The Delta Group has gone big – very big – with its first order with EFI, and will begin installing the UK’s first Nozomi C18000 single-pass LED corrugated printer next month.

Shipp (second from left): “Nozomi gives us extra flexibility”

The point-of-purchase specialist announced the buy at this week’s Fespa show in Berlin.

Chief operating officer Martin Shipp said that installation would begin towards the end of June, and he expected it to be in production in early August. It is the firm’s first EFI machine and will be installed at Delta’s 16,722sqm facility in Waltham Cross.

“We’ve been looking at single-pass inkjet options for about a year,” he said. “What we saw in the Nozomi was a better fit for working with a variety of substrates and formats. It gives us that extra flexibility.”

The Nozomi runs at up to 75 linear metres per minute and can print onto a wide range of boards up to triple-wall thickness. It has a 1.8x3m print bed, and the entire production line is nearly 40m long.

Delta’s machine is being configured with four colours, a bottom feeder, AQM quality management and variable data.

The firm will use it to print onto 500-micron boards and upwards, and plans to add a top feeder for flexible substrate feeding in the next year.   

It will add substantial capacity to Delta’s array of existing digital kit, which includes multiple devices from HP, Durst, Fujifilm and Inca. The firm also runs VLF litho presses.

The deal is a major coup for EFI, which has gained substantial traction with the Nozomi and now has around ten installations. EFI vice president of marketing for inkjet Ken Hanulec said: “We’re excited that Delta Group has elected to partner with EFI. Martin and the team there have proved to be industry thought-leaders which bodes well for our long-term partnership.”

Shipp said the Nozomi would be used to produce a variety of point-of-sale work, and would help meet increasing customer requirements for rapid on-demand printing of store-specific formats and quantities.

The firm’s clients include a host of major brands including Asda, Sainsbury’s, River Island, Puma and Disney

“One of the reasons for buying it is because we were looking for additional capacity and better speed to market,” he added. “I can see this equipment making some quite radical effects on our industry and market.”

The multi-million pound investment also includes an Elitron Kombo TAV pallet-in, pallet-out, twin-head cutting system.

Some existing work is likely to shift from litho lamination to the Nozomi, as well as corrugated jobs currently produced on some of Delta’s other digital kit.

However, Shipp said he thought there would always be a place for litho in the business.

“We will keep staff in the loop and look at multi-platform training,” he said.

Delta employs around 850 people across multiple locations, including London, Waltham Cross, and Leeds. The firm acquired Melksham-based Superior Creative Services last year, and Shipp said group sales were now around £115m.

Pictured: EFI’s Frank Mallozzi, Shipp, Hanulec, and EFI’s Frank Janssen at Fespa. 

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