Barkers now have the ‘Optimum’ B3 production, thanks to Hans Gronhi press

    • Allison


    The press with everything

    Barkers Print and Design has replaced a ten year old four colour B3 Shinohara press with a five colour Hans Gronhi GH525 supplied by Printers Superstore. “The Shinohara served us well, but it got to the stage where a new machine was a better option for us than repair,” says MD Colin Barker.

    The company was hoping to update its capability in a number of areas. “Five colours is now a standard configuration, enabling special colours and sealing,” says Mr Barker. “We also wanted the latest in electronics – this means automated setups from networked profiles and ‘closed loop’ monitoring at the delivery end. The Hans Gronhi machine has everything we were looking for.”

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    Mr Barker says that researching the offset press market led to an obvious conclusion. “There is no machine offering this kind of technology at this price – the GH525 was easily the best value for money. It actually costs less than the four colour we bought ten years ago! We also visited another Gronhi user who had good things to say about it.”


    “We are convinced we now have the optimum set-up for short run colour. We’ve got a digital machine for runs under 200, and for runs above that, we have the fastest makereadies, low cost plates and a high quality, high tech press with low repayments and low running costs. Even the power consumption is low,” says Mr Barker.

    Barkers Print and design has maintained a turnover around the £450K mark throughout the recent downturn by being versatile and maintaining a broad appeal. “We are what used to be called a jobbing printer,” says Mr Barker, “we need to excel at whatever we are asked to do, and we want to maintain a wide customer base so we never rely too heavily on big customers. The Hans Gronhi machine helps, as it is cost effective for both short and long runs, on a wider range of paper stocks than we could handle previously.”

    “It does what we need it to do, and most importantly, it enables us to do it profitably,” he concludes.

    Barkers Design and Print is based in Attleborough, Norfolk. It was founded 30 years ago, and produces mainly for local businesses. Traditionally the company has gained new work through recommendation, but it has recently added a sales role in order to seek growth – making a total of 9 staff.

    Pictured above: Colin Barker with the GH525