Lancashire based D&L Designs Limited has just taken delivery of £60k worth of new equipment to help them expand their design business into print production. Most of the new finishing kit was supplied and installed by local specialist The Finishing Point in Warrington and includes a Matrix laminator, IDEAL 5221 guillotine and Duplo DC-615 cutter-creaser.
Joint Directors Darral Pinch and Laraine Thompson-Pinch started the company 10 years ago as a dedicated creative design house for publishers in the greetings card industry. In 2008 the company expanded into print and began offering personalised cards and invitations over the internet. Over the past three years, that business has experienced steady growth to the point where D&L's existing print and finishing equipment was holding the company back.
As Laraine explains, "We knew our designs were good because we've been selling them to the big publishers for a long time so we decided to take it a step further and get into print too. We focused on short run, personalised products - greetings cards, invitations etc. but the demand has been so strong we've been struggling to keep up."
D&L had been finishing most of their products by hand but the DC-615 has changed all that. Darral commented, "The Duplo cutter creaser is so much faster that we've now got more time to do other things. To finish a typical job was taking 25 minutes but now it takes less than five. Not only that, the machine can cut and crease the cards completely unsupervised and the accuracy is unbelievable."
The DC-615 is a pre-programmble digital finisher that cuts and creases SRA3 sheets down to finished products. According to the literature, it can produce 1200 greetings cards or 6000 business cards per hour with no manual intervention.
Another benefit for D&L has been the ability to work with more rigid substrates. In the past the company was restricted to lighter stocks because the equipment couldn't cope with anything heavy. Now thanks to the new printer and DC-615, they can produce cards on 350gsm which Laraine believes adds real value to their products, "There is no doubt about it, people want thicker paper, it feels nicer and makes the product a whole lot more marketable".
Commenting on the service they received from The Finishing Point, Darral concluded, "we had been in contact with a number of suppliers during the procurement but the expertise, responsiveness and advice from TFP was a class apart. The benefit of doing business with a dealer is they have access to a greater selection of products than going direct to a manufacturer so we've been able to kit out our whole premises in one go. The after sales customer service is excellent and you are not left feeling abandoned."
As for the future, D&L's next big project is a website upgrade before hitting the market with an enhanced offering covering design and its new range of print products.
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