A six month period of testing machines from various digital suppliers has resulted in Farnham-based A3 Design & Print purchasing a Heidelberg Versafire CP digital press to replace two ageing Konica Minoltas.


The priority was quality rather than machine speed. A3 Design & Print, also trading as A3 Digital Print, handles work from high end designers who demand top quality. From a print production perspective, it was important that colour could be achieved with ease and without a lot of the usual tweaking, taking up makeready time.



“We looked at Konica, Xerox, Canon as well as the mid range of Ricoh and Heidelberg and planned to buy two replacement machines,” says Tony Pooles, chairman and managing director of A3 Design & Print.


“We tested thoroughly and were on the brink of buying Konica kit when we were shown samples from the top of the range Heidelberg Versafire CP. Director Paul Berry followed up with four to five hours testing on it with different resolutions and colours and we were totally convinced this was the press for us. We have not been disappointed and, more importantly, nor are our customers.”



The operators run with just three to four different settings tailored to the needs of specific customers and the press runs at top speed all the time, irrespective of stock thickness.


A builder had to be employed to alter a couple of walls to fit the press into the “DigiDen” but this larger press is producing as much and more than the two presses it has replaced and has increased capability to 6pp A4.


“Telling customers you have a Heidelberg digital press is convincing. You see the designers’ eyes light up. They love the quality and they no longer worry if we are going to print litho or digital, they know that it is going on a Heidelberg press and that the results will be first rate. Heidelberg will be in pole position when we next upgrade our digital portfolio,” says Mr Pooles.


The Versafire CP runs flexible day shifts to produce work for fashion labels, luxury brands, high end property developments, design companies and local organisations. The company also runs a Speedmaster SM 74 five-colour press, two Stahlfolders and two Polars - all supplied by Heidelberg.