PODW Set to Expand it’s Operations
We are proud to announce that we are set to increase our premises by one third over the coming months by expanding into the business unit adjacent to our current plant and opening our Future Technology and Innovation Centre, focusing on the research and development of new printing technology and finishing processes.
We currently produce over 5,000 books and journals per day, and are looking to use the new centre to do something that few other printers do, invest in the future. The investment will include the purchase of state of the art inkjet printing machinery, the creation of a colour lab – to refine the printing process, ensuring that through the companies extended services the emphasis remains on quality, and an investment in cross media technology.
As a company, we feel that as the book industry evolves, it is not enough to provide just a printing service, so have developed numerous services to embrace digital technology, such as ebook conversion, retail distribution and sales analytic services for book and journal publishers. Each of these services that we provide are supported by systems developed in-house, utilizing technology to streamline and simplify sometimes complex processes for publishers, offering them a reduction in resources required to achieve success as well as often creating new or increased revenue streams for their clients.
The Future Technology and Innovation Centre will provide the company a unique opportunity to trial machinery in a production environment whilst being able to develop new ways of doing things which aren’t always possible in an efficiency driven production line. One such example of this would be investment in inkjet printers. By spending time analysing colour, testing and trialling new ways of printing and finishing books outside of the normal environment the company can invest in the right technology. This will mean greater confidence in machinery purchases, faster implementation of the technology, a reduction in production costs associated with older printers- which is passed on to its clients and ultimately a company who is lean, efficient and ground breaking.
Investing in cross media books might seem a step away from the companies printing roots. However, at PODW we hope to be able to offer customers a print book which can be used in conjunction with a smart phone or tablet to provide an enhanced virtual reality experience for readers. Business Development Director Jean Roberts, shares some market insights, “Why should a printed book become redundant as technology progresses? Research shows that even with the rapid growth of ebooks, the print market is not reducing as dramatically as originally feared.& In fact, we’re seeing that many readers wish to own the printed book in addition to an electronic version so for many of our Publishers ebooks have increased their printed book sales. Print is not dying it is just evolving.”
Our Managing Director, Andy Cork adds “So often you hear about printers who have failed to keep up with the industry, offering the same services they did 5 years ago and competing on price alone, which can spell disaster in the long term. At PODW we want to provide our clients a complete solution and that means we have to understand the marketplace and pre-empt change. By investing in research I know we can develop services which will put us ahead of the competition and allow us continued growth for years to come.”
Andy then goes on to add, “Part of this commitment to research involves the creation of a colour lab within the PODW plant. PODW have already been able to offer their clients high quality digital colour for some time. This was done during the last ten years, a time where digital printers were often referred to as glorified photocopiers, and this was down to experimentation with technology, ink and substrates to create the formula for great print. PODW wants to continue this approach to innovation, creating a specific laboratory, working with new technology as it has tested, experimenting with colour ratios, new inks, run lengths and automation to further improve its colour print processes. By closely analysing our printing processes and really focusing on colour transfer we know there are huge lessons to be learned. Every time we’re able to improve something and become more efficient at ultra low-run colour printing we’re able to pass savings to our clients. Our ultimate aim is to make colour POD from within the UK more cost effective than traditional long litho runs that many publishers are still forced to opt for, price is still the big sticking point.”
With the premise expansion the Printondemand-worldwide will now have a business footprint of 24,000 square feet with the new unit providing additional office and meeting space for staff, a new state of the art reception area for clients and production space being constructed especially with innovation at its heart. The company looks forward to sharing their R & D initiatives with clients, offering plant tours to those who wish to see how PODW are investing in the future of their customers businesses as well as their own.