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UKAEA’s print team views ‘new horizons’

UKAEA’s print team views ‘new horizons’
The in-house printing department at UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has installed a new Ricoh Pro L5130 Latex printer and Summa cutter to enable it to produce more graphics on-site.

Based at the Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, the UKAEA’s print team produces all the marketing and graphics materials for the government department and, as a cost-recovery unit, for a range of external customers. Its Ricoh Pro C7210 colour cut-sheet solution is used to print stationery such as letterhead paper and brochures up to A3 in size, while a new Ricoh Pro L5130 latex printer has replaced an older large-format system from another brand for the production of floor and wall graphics, banners and more.

Explaining the UKAEA’s rationale for choosing the Ricoh offerings, Stuart Morris, Print Manager, said: “We rely on the quality and speed of our Ricoh C7210 and knew that with another Ricoh system we could easily match colours to achieve consistency across any size of output. The new machine will expand our horizons.”

He added: “The Ricoh Latex technology also creates a pleasant working environment. Our print room is small with no ventilation and Ricoh’s Latex printers produce very low levels of VOCs, heat and noise.”

Working from a COVID-secure site, Stuart and his team were unable to see the Ricoh Pro L5130 in action ahead of its installation, but made their decision based on samples – which he describes as ‘very, very good’ – and advice from Ricoh. The printer was installed in mid-October and was put to work straight away, in the middle of a huge project to create signs and graphics for UKAEA’s extensive Abingdon site.

Stuart recalled: “We had printed floor graphics before but nothing like the output this year for COVID. We spent a month and a half printing them, along with thousands of signs. We started the project on the older printer then switched to the Ricoh halfway through, so had to tackle the learning curve quickly.”

The next several months are expected to be busy for the UKAEA’s print team. As well as the government agency’s recruitment drive, it will also expand its workforce post-pandemic.

“It will be an ongoing refurbishment as more people come back to work and new starters arrive on-site,” said Stuart. “As well as signage relating to COVID we’ll be producing floor and wall graphics to make sure the centre is up to date and more welcoming for the various VIPs and businesses that visit.”

Previously, most finishing work was outsourced, but the addition of the Summa cutter will bring more work on flexible media in house. As well as reducing costs and turnaround times, the new print workflow will help the print department to reach new customers.

Stuart concluded: “We’re going to really push on now!”

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