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CustomerKNECT Unit 5,
Fox Cover Enterprise Park,
Admiralty Way,

+44 (0) 191 301 1685

£12m CustomerKNECT & Canon Partnership – Investment springs into life!

In support of the business rebrand and to help ensure we remain well positioned to Deliver Excellence we are excited to confirm that we are now fully live following our extensive print room overhaul.

In partnership with Canon, we have entered a £12 million investment bringing in two Colorstream 8160’s continuous inkjets, Hunkeler finishing equipment and an iX 2100 sheetfed inkjet press all of which are now all fully operational on our site.

Using the latest ink technology, with native 1200 dpi printheads, the Colorstreams allow us to offer even better-quality print, with a wider and more vibrant colour gamut to make DM mail pieces pop out of the page.  The increased production speed helps us further improve time to market for critical business communications. As well as the advances in automation which allow for decreased operator interaction, reduced downtime due to head blockage and a reduction in overall paper and ink waste improving our environmental impact.

Paul Anderson, Head of Digital & Systems at CustomerKNECT, added “The Colorstream 8160’s provide a 25% increase in speed giving just over a 20% increase in hourly productivity compared with the Colorstream 3900s that they have replaced.  The increase to 1200 DPI sets off the vibrancy of the inks, giving crystal clear fine detail. With increased automation including paper dust removal and automatic printhead cleaning, print quality issues are significantly reduced, providing higher uptime, and producing less waste. From an environmental and sustainability perspective, the Colorstream 8160’s have an overall improved energy consumption and lower ink consumption, with inks that are fully de-inkable.”

“With a 30-inch stacker, the new Hunkeler inline finishing solution allows us to produce a wider range of products in a more efficient workflow.  Coupled with the dynamic perforator, we can produce fully personalised one-piece mailers complete with perforated vouchers ready for our folding and gluing lines. The Prisma simulate job costing solution provides a streamlined approach to accurate ink estimation, with no complex settings or fiddly spreadsheets to work with.  Drop in your artwork and out pops your costs.”

The iX 2100 brings new capabilities to the business, giving the ability to produce quick turnaround digital complimentary products such as postcards and one-piece mailers with truly eye-catching colours on a huge range of standard offset media.  With its broad weight range running from 60 to 350 gsm, we’re now able to use this machine in tandem with our Horizon Stitchliner to produce fully personalised booklets, ensuring full integrity and 100% mail piece completion.

This investment brings the latest market leading technology with true 1200 DPI output, increased colour gamut and faster run speeds give us the opportunity to improve time to market for our customers, to give a much-improved quality output that’s as good as litho print on uncoated substrates.  The iX allows us to move into new markets and develop digital complementary products at scale, programmatic postcards, and one-piece mailers, and high-quality personalised booklets.

Stuart Rising, Head of Commercial Print at Canon UK commented “I’m very pleased that CustomerKNECT have chosen Canon as their printing technology partner. After a detailed process analysis, the team worked closely with CustomerKNECT to develop a solution that supports their desire for growth and flexibility, whilst allowing new applications to be manufactured very productively with limited user intervention. I look forward to developing the partnership further, supporting the team with business development and high levels of service support over the contract duration. Some very exciting times ahead”.

Tim Smith, CustomerKNECT CEO commented, “Whilst on time implementation and operational sign off is to key to any relationship the real gains with Canon have been the softer less tangible benefits with flexibility around our production and engineering challenges whilst at the same time pushing the boundaries of innovation”.

The shift towards litho print quality allows us to offer a one stop shop for direct marketing products, and in combination with our digital solutions we can deliver truly personalised, relevant, and engaging campaigns through both physical and digital channels, with quick time to market. This great combination enables us to continue our innovative drive to Deliver Excellence.

Paul Anderson, Head of Digital & Systems at CK, with Matthew Newstead (Canon)