Brits Drukkery upgrades digital printing service with Xerox and D.P.R.

Johannesburg, 07 Dec 2021
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Specialist platteland-based printing services company Brits Drukkery has upgraded its printing and cutting capabilities with a new Xerox Versant 180 Press with Vivid and Fluorescent toners, and a D.P.R. Gemini digital cutter and creaser for custom labelling, finishing and packaging applications.

Supplied by Xerox and D.P.R. reseller Compleo and installed and serviced by Altron Document Solutions, the new machines consolidate and complement Brits Drukkery’s existing digital printing equipment, which already included a Xerox C75 and Versant 180 Press.

Brits Drukkery owner Susan Honiball, who runs the company together with her daughter Catinka Van Der Walt, says the investment in the new machines comes at a time when the printing industry – especially in smaller towns and rural regions – is under extreme pressure to win over a customer base affected by the economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We have five or six printing companies in our area, and what’s always made us stand out from the rest is quality products backed by quality service and a can-do attitude to deliver whatever our customers need from us,” says Honiball.

“Even though conditions are tough, we have to take certain risks if we want to keep growing our customer base and surprising our existing customers with ever-improving products and service,” she says.

“That’s why investing in a second Versant with the new toners, and adding the Gemini cutter, made absolute business sense for us. What’s more, Compleo did all the homework, crunched the numbers, and we’ve ended up saving money and becoming even more competitive with the new machines than we were before.”

Founded in 1948, Brits Drukkery recently moved premises, becoming a fully digital printing service in the process. With a team of designers, technicians and maintenance staff, half of which have been with the company for more than 12 years, Brits offers a full portfolio of digital (and litho) printing products, both short and long run, including pamphlets, letterheads, business cards, newsletters and brochures, school yearbooks, diaries, folders and ID cards, training manuals, invoice, order and receipt books, invitations and posters.

“A while back we were invited to the launch of the Xerox Iridesse, which opened our eyes to a whole new world of digital printing possibilities with its special gold, silver and fluorescent printing features,” says Van Der Walt.

“While the Iridesse was out of our budget, when Xerox launched the new Adaptive CMYK+ Kit with Vivid and Fluorescent options for the Versant 180, it was an opportunity too good to miss,” she says. “We can now offer a much higher level of quality finishes and special embellishments for short-run projects that would have been too difficult to produce cost-effectively before. At the same time, the Gemini cutter helps us further expand our product offering, allowing us to produce short-run label, packaging and custom shape printed products where with die-cutting it would have been far too expensive and time-consuming before. This is especially useful in our market, where customers have turned to selling homemade products and paraphernalia to make ends meet.”

The Xerox Versant 180 Press is a compact, high-volume production machine that combines Xerox’s industry-leading 2 400 x 2 400 dpi print engine with 10-bit RIP rendering and an advanced Compact Belt Fuser, using Emulsion Aggregation (EA) toner to deliver consistently brilliant results at a full 80ppm on standard and specialty media ranging from 52gsm to 350gsm.

Adding the Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kit adds shiny metallics, bold whites and glowing fluorescent colours, extending the usable palette to more than a million colours using 11 new toners. Printers can add these enhancements to print jobs without sacrificing the benefits of short-run digital printing, printing a CMYK job, or swapping in the Vivid or Fluorescent Kit to add fluorescent or metallic embellishments without needing to purge toners or sheets between Kit swaps.

The Gemini is an automatic sheet feeder and cutter that loads and cuts without the need for an operator. Cuts can be made on adhesive sheets, silkscreen prints, shop material prints, and digital prints on cardboard in a variety of thicknesses and sheet sizes. It can also create perforation cuts, kiss cuts, die cuts and creasing for products such as labels, business cards, shaped business cards and small packaging boxes.

Attwell says Compleo has been working closely with Brits Drukkery for more than 20 years, watching the business grow and evolve over that time to become the leading digital printing provider in its region.

“A successful business is built on the foundation of successful partnerships, and ours has gone from strength to strength as we navigated a successful investment strategy in the most appropriate, cost-effective and quality-driven products that best suited the size and scope of the business,” he says.

“Investing in a second Versant and a new Gemini made strategic sense for how Brits was looking to grow its customer base and consolidate the relationships it had with existing customers in the region,” he adds. “Being able to offer new and different products – like gold embellishments on school certificates, or classy embellishments for guesthouses in the area, for example – creates a one-stop shop service and differentiates them from the competition.”

Honiball concurs: “In terms of current and future equipment purchases we don’t even entertain looking beyond Xerox and what Compleo recommends for our business. Not only has it proven extremely reliable, but we can count on same-day or next-day service on the rare occasion we have an issue with any of the machines, which means there’s never any downtime. We generally offer a 24-hour turnaround on most projects, but we joke that it’s becoming a drive-through service because the equipment is so efficient, accurate and automated.”

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Amanda Hetherington (011) 928 9111
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