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Presstek 52DI® Digital Offset Press Enables University of Essex In-Plant Shop to Target Commercial Market

Print_Essex_PrsRlsImg Presstek, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRST), a leading supplier of digital offset printing solutions to the printing and communications industries has announced that the University of Essex has installed a Presstek 52DI® digital offset press and Vector FL52 chemistry-free CTP system. At the start of 2011 the in-plant shop rebranded itself as Print Essex and strategically began to target a broader range of customers including those in the commercial market.
To support their expansion strategy Print Essex is looking to introduce a web-to-print online ordering system, explains General Manager Chris Lewes: “Adding this functionality will increase the variety of work Print Essex receives, so we needed to ensure our pressroom could cope with the wider range of work that we will be targeting. At the same time we had to increase productivity and work more profitably. The Presstek 52DI® meets all these criteria.”
The Presstek 52DI® replaced a four-colour Hamada, the investment was made after a thorough review of all available options: “We went to Ipex and looked closely at what the market had to offer,” says Lewes. “We also went out to tender. The Presstek 52DI® outperformed the other presses. It was the only one that ticked all the boxes.”
Lewes adds, “There were a number of reasons why the Presstek 52DI® was chosen: the environmental benefits of waterless printing and chemical-free plate making were very important to us. We were also very impressed with the system’s output – colour accuracy and the final print quality is fantastic. With the 300lpi and FM screening, the final result is comparable to anything you would find on a much larger, more expensive litho press. The fast makeready and throughput is also exceptional and we are producing significantly more work per day. The 52DI is the perfect press for us.”
Since the press has been installed, production has been smoother and faster: “We haven’t looked back” says Lewes. “The system just eats work. It’s perfect for the commercial market we’re moving into, where customers want everything yesterday. It has also reduced overtime, which means that we can support our web-to-print service as we know there is capacity to deal with the fast turnaround orders.”
The range of work completed on the Presstek 52DI® also impressed Lewes: “It’s equally happy producing short-runs or jobs that are 14,000 long. It is a very productive press.”
Print Essex’s longstanding history with Presstek was also an important part of the decision-making process. “We have a very good relationship with Presstek,” adds Lewes. “The service we have received has always been excellent.”
Print Essex’s investment also included a Presstek Vector FL52 easy-to-use, small-format, chemistry-free platemaking solution to work in conjunction with an existing two-colour Hamada B3 press. “We wanted the whole operation to be more environmentally sustainable” explains Lewes. “Previously we were using plastic plates, which were very good but switching to the Vector and metal plates eliminates the need for chemicals and means we just rinse imaged plates with tap water before printing. That also reduces our costs, as we don’t have to buy the chemicals and pay for their disposal.”
Print Essex is a thriving business which employs 13 people. Along with a Hamada 252 two-colour press, it operates two Xerox 4112s and a Xerox 242, as well as a Canon Large Format 8100 poster printer.

About Presstek

Presstek, Inc. is a leading supplier of digital offset printing solutions to the printing and communications industries. Presstek’s DI® digital offset solutions bridge the gap between toner and conventional offset printing, enabling printers to cost effectively meet increasing customer demand for high quality, short run colour printing with a fast turnaround time while providing improved profit margins. The Company’s CTP portfolio ranges from two-page to eight-page systems, many of which are fully automated. These systems support Presstek’s line of chemistry-free plates as well as Aeon, a no preheat thermal plate which offers run lengths up to one million impressions. Presstek also offers a range of workflow solutions, pressroom supplies, and reliable service. Presstek is well positioned to support print environments of any size on a worldwide basis. For more information visit, send an e-mail to or call +44 (0) 208 745 8156 (Europe) or +1 603 595 7000 (North America).