'Foilplus is a family business, starting up in 1990 from a room in the family house, will be a familiar story to many. Initially all we had was a hand operated Hot Foil machine, where we were embossing leather belts, foil stamping business cards and general commercial printing. We quickly expanded adding an offset printing press and ‘New Foil’ automatic equipment before moving to our current facility in Corradino-Paola.
It was at this stage we began our search for a Flexo press to develop our business in labels. Focus came recommended by some UK friends at NEWFOIL, ARC & SOABAR LABELS and I quickly arranged a visit to the manufacturing & demonstration facility in Nottingham.
The experience was very positive from the very first step of meeting at the impressive focus factory and the professional set up … with meetings at the offices and factory tour with high quality organisation. The impressive thing was they listened to our business needs, we were never ‘’pressed’’ with unnecessary pressures to persuade us to buy a focus machine … it was a meeting with true facts and the decision was left to us with. No pressures at all.
Flexo was totally new to us, and we had approached two other well-known suppliers , however Focus were the most helpful , listened and ensured we had confidence in the back up , training & after sales that would be provided.
The installations were always done very professionally and never any rush ‘’to finish’’ , visiting engineers provided the ‘’training necessary’’ and never left our premises before being satisfied that we could then ‘’handle and operate’’ on our own.
The after sales service …. And follow up support is where I must strongly recommend to other Label makers …. Spares always available and I can only say the support is second to none from all the departments … through years of running we never encountered any serious issues . It was always day after day smooth running production. Any issues we always solved within 24/48 hours the latest with Focus continuous support and attention.
From that initial investment we now have 3 Focus Flexo machines and have just invested in a new Inspection rewinding & converting system. We are now looking expand the existing premises and planning to investment in both conventional & digital equipment in the near future and Focus will be our first port of call.'
‘Although business was steady, we found that we were having to sub-contract more & more jobs to other label printers in order to achieve the higher print quality being demanded from our customers.
We were also finding that because many print runs were getting shorter, quite often it was taking longer to set a job up than it was to print the labels.
It was becoming increasingly obvious that we needed a more efficient printing press, capable of faster set-ups and higher print quality.
This was all very well, but we were still a relatively small, family business and any new press we purchased would have to meet a budget that we were comfortable with. We thought about looking at the used machinery market, but felt that this was too much of a risk and that finance on used equipment would be difficult. So we started to look for a brand new press. We were aware of Focus Label Machinery and felt that we would very much like to buy from a UK manufacturer if at all possible. We visited their factory and showroom near Nottingham and were very pleased to see that they design & manufacture almost everything in-house, meaning that spare parts and additional extras would be readily available, should we need them.
Focus demonstrated the Proflex press in detail and also took us to visit some of their local customers to see the equipment in a production environment. We were very impressed with the quality of the machinery and also with Focus as a company. Shortly afterwards, we confirmed our order for a six colour Proflex 250 press and began to re-organise our factory in anticipation of the new installation.
The installation went smoothly and training by the Focus technician was very professional and thorough. Immediately, we noticed a big increase in productivity. Jobs which had previously taken hours to make ready, then taken all day to complete, could now be produced in just a couple of hours, meaning that we could schedule several jobs for completion within a single shift. We gradually started bringing our outsourced work back in-house, saving us money and improving our service.
We could see that our business was being transformed. The investment in a new press had definitely been worthwhile and we began planning for future growth, knowing that the Focus press would easily be for earlier than we had anticipated.
The Focus team have been very supportive, offering technical advice & help whenever we have needed it. We will certainly be talking to them about more equipment in the very near future. We can’t recommend them highly enough.’
Paul Lever, Knight Labels
‘Having managed with some quite old flexo presses for many years, we realised that we were gradually losing business because we were no longer competitive and were not able to offer the print quality that customers were coming to expect as standard. Eventually, we decided to take the plunge and invest in a new press, in order to try and retain our existing customers & hopefully gain some new ones.
We took some time to assess which presses would meet our needs (& our budget) and decided to conduct some print trials with Focus Label Machinery, on their Centraflex press. Although quite compact & inexpensive, we were surprised at the level of sophistication offered and the print quality achievable. Another major consideration for us was space – or rather – lack of it. The Centraflex had a footprint of just 3m x 1.4m , but still offered six colours plus the various converting features we needed - so was perfect for our requirements in every way.
Focus installed our new press and provided thorough training for our operators. Within weeks, we were producing high quality labels and had more than doubled our production capacity. More importantly, we were able to win back business we had lost and bring our outsourced work back in-house. We quickly became more confident in our capabilities and approached new potential customers, who would had previously been out of our reach. Not only had we safeguarded our existing customer base, but we had won new customers and secured new business.
A year or so later, we realised that if business continued to grow at the same rate, we would need another press. This time however, we decided to get rid of some of our older equipment, in order to make space for an in-line , modular press, which could be expanded in the future, if necessary. A few months later, we installed our second Focus press – a six colour Proflex 250 with the same high print quality, but even higher productivity. Since the print cylinders & rotary dies were interchangeable between our Centraflex & Proflex presses, we now had even greater flexibility – and therefore, greater efficiency.
The influx of all this new, high quality work presented us with a different problem. What about our more simple, blank & single colour jobs? It didn’t make sense to put these on our new presses, so we spoke to Focus in order to find a solution. They suggested their Reflex 250 single colour flexo press, which was available with a re-register facility. This meant that in addition to handling our blank & single colour jobs, we could also use the Reflex to die cut & finish our digitally printed labels, rather than having to use pre die-cut reels on our digital press. In addition, Focus pointed out that we could add a digital inkjet module to the Reflex press at a future date, if required. It was a ‘no-brainer’ decision, so we signed up for our third Focus press within 4 years!
During this period, we had also doubled our turnover and extended our premises in order to accommodate further expansion of the business. As well as supplying our new equipment, Focus have also provided an excellent after sales service and been on hand to give technical advice & assistance whenever needed. We have been very pleased with their products & service and would recommend Focus, without hesitation.’
Richard Lloyd, Cresta Labels
‘We had an old Focus F250 central impression press, which had served us well for many years and had never let us down. The guys from Focus had always looked after us and were always trying to persuade us to look at the latest ‘in-line’ presses, with quick change features, etc. A brand new press was certainly an attractive prospect, but we weren’t sure that this was within our budget at the time.
Anyway, we decided to visit Focus for a demo of their Proflex press, so that we could see for ourselves the various advantages this would give us over our existing presses. During the demo, we quickly realised that we simply had to invest in a new press, in order to move our business forward and to be more competitive. We were genuinely surprised how quickly a six colour job could be set up, with hardly any material wastage. Print registration was excellent, even at high speeds and on different substrates. We then changed over to a different job, with a different repeat length, in just a few minutes – again with hardly any material wastage.
We were treated to a tour of the Focus manufacturing site, where we saw that the company operates a comprehensive design & engineering facility, with a lot of emphasis on quality control and innovation. We also saw their very busy assembly plant, before visiting a local Focus customer with a very similar set up to our own, but with recently installed Proflex & Reflex presses. Their MD explained that investing in the new equipment was the best move they had ever made and that their company was growing rapidly as a result.
After checking out a few other presses & suppliers, we decided to order a six colour Proflex from Focus and replace the F250 press. The Focus guys installed the new press, then trained our operators for about three days and helped us with our first few production runs. They were very helpful – nothing was too much trouble.
We very quickly noticed a big improvement in print quality & productivity. The quick change print cartridge system allowed us to get jobs onto press very quickly, meaning that we were able to plan more jobs into our working day, creating capacity for more orders. We were becoming more efficient and more confident in our capabilities. A few months later, we decided to contact Focus about a new slitter-rewinder, as we were struggling to keep up on the finishing side using our older rewinders. Again, Focus were very helpful and even developed a new model for us, based on our particular requirements.
Shortly after this, we took delivery of a Reflex 330 single colour re-register press, which was our third Focus installation in 3 years. The Reflex is perfect for blanks, single colour and even two colour jobs, as the re-registration is extremely accurate. Going forwards, this also gives us the option to add an in-line digital inkjet module, to give us short-run & variable data capability.
We’ve been very satisfied with the Focus equipment we have purchased and also very pleased with the back-up & support we have received. We would highly recommend Focus every time.’
Dave Summersgill, The Label Company
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