‘We’ve been fortunate to acquire many loyal customers who have grown with us. I’ve never forgotten my roots, and truly value business relationships that have been built and maintained with customers and suppliers during the last four decades,’ comments Willie. ‘Linking with like-minded people, who relate to our strategy to “raise the bar”, has been critical to our ongoing success.’
Since 1987, the company has been based in Selby, occupying an imposing four-storey building that hugs the corner of busy Village Road and Simmonds Street. Assisting Willie in day-to-day operations are Ken Brabson (sales director), Mario Pereira (works director), Andrea Jackson (director) and 75 dedicated and passionate staff who handle design, sales, prepress, production, proofreading, finishing and despatch.
‘We’re a close-knit team and our customers know they’re in good hands,’ relates Willie. ‘Excellent service and product quality are the two most important factors that give us our competitive edge, and that’s why we continue to invest in the right people and advanced technologies that assist our growth.’
To meet customers’ short- and long-run printing requirements, T&R utilises a number of complementary printing technologies.
With much business now dedicated to on-demand printing, Willie has invested in an HP Indigo 5000 digital sheetfed press and, more recently, an all-new HP Indigo 7600.
Purchased from Kemtek Print Solutions and installed in August 2012, the 7600 is the first of its kind in South Africa; it has elevated T&R’s digital printing capabilities and accelerated job turnaround.
‘We’re ardent fans of HP Indigo technology and this is the third press we’ve purchased, our first being an Indigo Turbostream in 1998,’ explains Willie. ‘There’s no doubt that we’re raising the bar with the 7600. It’s capable of speeds up to 160 colour pages/min and provides us with special effects such as raised print, digital watermarks and special textures.’
Willie comments, too, on HP Indigo’s ElectroInk technology – standard on both presses – that delivers a very thin ink layer to give a consistent gloss and accurate Pantone emulations in four, six or seven colours.
The 7600’s compatibility with more than 2 500 substrates, including board up to 400g/m2, also allows the presentation of numerous original designs and structures.
Used for longer runs is a Heidelberg DI (Direct Imaging) four-colour sheetfed litho press that prints on stocks from 80 to 300g/m2.
T&R’s impressive finishing department is dominated by a custom-built Duplo 5000 collater, folder, stitcher and trimmer; and a Duplo PUR perfect binding machine was installed at the end of last year.
Completing the line-up are two Polar guillotines, an automatic wiro binder, a scoring, perforating and folding machine, a laminating machine and two A1 digital die-cutting machines.
‘For many years we relied on outsourcing our finishing requirements, which had its frustrations,’ remarks Willie with a wry smile. ‘Therefore, we’ve invested heavily in this department so that we can control the entire operation and keep to promised delivery dates.’
As Willie has already commented, he hasn’t forgotten T&R’s origins and continues to maintain a specialised typesetting and repro department dedicated to makeup, retouching, colour proofing, proofreading and preparing print-ready files, anned by an experienced team.
Campaigns and images generated in this department are brought to life using an Epson 4800 digital colour proofer, four black and white A3 laser printers and a Konica Minolta colour laser printer.
Creative POP propositions
Undoubtedly, one of the fastest growing business areas at T&R is the production of point-of-purchase (POP) material, such as dump-bins, cubes, mobiles, 3D display stands furniture, counter stands, price strips and roll-up banners.
‘We’re fortunate to have a forward-thinking, creative design team that can conceptualise prototype and fully-finished POP material for brand launches and promotions,’ continues Willie. ‘By applying our Esko 3D design software, we can create any number of eye-catching designs for our customers.’
Flexible and rigid single- or double-sided substrates are printed on UV-curing VUTEk QS2000 and VUTEk 220 QS wide-format presses. Also utilised is a VUTEk 150 solvent machine and an Epson GS6000 eco-solvent press.
Once printed, substrates are precision cut using a Kasemake or a high-speed Kongsberg MultiCut digital die-cutting system, complete with speciality tools to handle various materials. Both have a format size of 1 600 x 300mm.
Ancillary and finishing services include bending of plastic-based rigid material, gluing, folding, scoring, welding, sewing, eyeleting and strutting.
‘Overall, we try and do things better every day,’ Willie sums up. ‘Printers are under increasing pressure to deliver the highest-quality products in double-quick time and it’s important to have the best equipment and people to be able to exceed customer expectations. To continue our upward momentum, we endeavour to maintain good relationships with our suppliers and treat each customer as if he were the only one.’
Typesetting & Repro Services
Kemtek Print Solutions