GK Craig Printers

by Ricoh Australia

With the white ink, we have done jobs that people can't replicate anywhere. The quality coming off it is spot on.

Justin Littlewood - Director, GK Craig

Ricoh Pro C7100X digital production printer has brought a fifth colour option to Orange's largest print company

With the ability to print 330mm x 700 mm sheet sizes, the option of white and clear toner and inline finishing, the Ricoh Pro C7110X provides GK Craig Printers with the versatility to offer a wide range of commercial print jobs, giving them a competitive edge to stand out from the crowd.

Faced with replacing aged digital printing equipment last year, GK Craig Printers chose the Ricoh Pro C7110X digital production press. Justin Littlewood, director at GK Craig, says, "Basically, the Ricoh printer fitted what we wanted to do. It is a heavy duty machine; I think it was the second of its type to arrive in the country. We saw it demonstrated in Ricoh headquarters in North Ryde and we could see it would handle the type of jobs we print."

The Ricoh Pro C7110X offers versatility for commercial print jobs. He says, "It has the ability to print banner so we print three A4s. It will print a sheet size of 700 by 330, which gives a big advantage along with the spot clear and the white ink. With the white ink, we have done jobs that people can't replicate anywhere."

"The quality coming off it is spot on. It is quick and it will double side 360gm stock. Before we got it, we used to have to run it though one side and then run it through the other. It does a very good print on to textured stock too. We also have an inline finishing off the back. We can saddle-stitch books off the back of it. It is all supplied by Ricoh."

Orange is the new black

From its base in Orange in New South Wales, GK Craig Printers offers a wide range of commercial print jobs from offset printing and digital, to large format. Littlewood says, "In this day and age you will starve a bit if you put all your eggs in one basket so we have integrated a Signarama and Embroidme franchise into the business as well."

"Like everyone else, we get have to answer a demand for shorter run jobs and that is where the Ricoh comes in. It is also a value for money machine. We got a lot more for the money we spent than we would have got with a comparable machine."

Ricoh also offers service coverage. He says, "This matters because Orange is a country town three and a half hours from Sydney. We can't afford to wait for a tech to come up from Sydney; uptime is critical in printing. This machine is serviced by a guy here in Orange."

The future looks good for printing in Orange

Littlewood has decades of experience, starting his apprenticeship in 1977 as a lithographic plate maker at Offset Alpine. He says, "Back in the days of no digital, the trade was different, not dependent on computers. In 1977, we had 30 odd people in prepress, now one CTP device will do for the whole department."

With his brother Ivan, he bought GK Craig off the founder Gordon Craig about seven years ago. "He was our opposition. He wanted to retire so we bought him out. He had been there since 1977, so it just made sense." The future looks good for printing in Orange. He says, "The overall picture is the same as it has always been. The actual offset printed part is dropping off but the digital continues to rise and the Ricoh responds to that demand."

"It is a good product. It really is. The quality side by side with small format offset is comparable. Of course, it isn't offset speed but it will be interesting to see where it goes in 10 years' time. Where technology is going it's quite mind blowing." He concludes, "In our situation, we have the whole machine and the finishing line for an excellent price. And I couldn't be happier with it."