As firms experience the toughest trading conditions in decades now could be the right time to invest in new technology.
IN the current economic climate, margins are being squeezed as companies try to absorb the rising cost of raw materials, while at the same time cutting output prices to ensure order books are full.
According to Peter Lilley of Alltrade Printers, a specialist printer based in Birmingham, counting and batching of printed and paper products is one area of investment where firms can maximise production and save money by introducing new technology.
Traditionally, converting and printing companies employ hand counting for items such as calendars, reams of paper and even security documents like currency and credit cards, but physical contact marks these items and human error results in inaccuracies.
Alternatively some systems use pin and wheel, which can lead to corner deformation, resulting in costs that cannot be passed on.
Lilley says he had been scouring the market for suitable machinery to replace hand counting products like calendars at the company’s facility, before discovering the B.Matic Protec Dual System. This range is manufactured in Italy and now available in the UK from packaging, labelling and counting equipment supplier Advanced Dynamics Ltd.
The Protec combines electronic touch screen technology with a mechanical pick-up system featuring dual-suction plates and, rather than using optic devices or statistical calculations, sheets are counted until reaching the pre-set number.
Lilley said: “Printers are being squeezed on prices, so streamlining processes to maximise efficiency and cut costs is vital.”
Advanced Dynamics’ joint managing director, Malcolm Little, added: “The prevailing economic climate means businesses have to watch every penny when purchasing capital equipment. But by adopting new technologies, like the latest in sheet counters, printers and paper makers can get the cost-effective solutions they need to help boost profits.”