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Case Studies: Northend – Cron 36G+ thermal CTP


Thermal Cron CTP system does the job for Northend

Sheffield-based Northend has replaced an ageing UV CTP system with a Cron 36G+ thermal system supplied by SOS (Service Offset Supplies). There were several reasons for the Cron buy according to Production Director Richard Green, with the need to move to more environment-friendly production to the fore.

“This is the latest in a series of investments aimed at carbon-balancing our business, which included a low-power SRA1 press and stitching line,” he says. “As it is now possible to use processless plates with our LED-UV offset press, we decided it was time to upgrade our platemaking to a cleaner system with no chemical or water waste.”

There were many other practical benefits to the new Cron machine, according to Mr Green. “We were getting quality issues with our old system, which relied on regular attention and maintenance to perform at the required level,” he says. “The new machine is much more ‘dummy proof’ and saves time and manpower, so we get more reliable quality and a higher throughput. Also the lower footprint and clean operation mean we have been able to relocate platemaking into our digital room.”

Mr Green says that the choice of supplier was also a factor. “We had choices in a similar price range but we went with SOS because we have always found their support to be exceptional.”

Pre-Press Operator Chris Morley agrees. “SOS are friendly and on the phone whenever you need them – they have opened our eyes to a different type of service,” he says. “The installation was quick and integration with our prepress software was seamless. A lot of machines on the market are hard to operate, but with the Cron it’s press and play!”

Northend was on course to hit a £5m annual turnover prior to Covid-19. Although business has reduced during the pandemic, the company has managed to keep afloat and continued to invest throughout, with updated IT infrastructure in place and a new MIS system in the pipeline. With litho, digital, wide format and a comprehensive capability in both prepress and finishing, Northend aims to be the ultimate one-stop printer.