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Washington, Tyne and Wear-based Simpson will take delivery of the 3.2m printer and its ABB Robotics automated accessory in late August or early September.

Commercial director Mark Jerrard and David Dowson, part of the management buyout team that bought the business in February, visited Fespa in Berlin to shake hands on the deal. The Onset X3 replaces an HP Scitex FB11000 printer that is coming to the end of its lease.

Jerrard said: “As the lease on our HP was coming to an end, we started shopping around as you usually do. We took a look at what HP and Durst had to offer, but we were attracted to the Onset X3 because of the quality of its print.

“The robot arm was added because everything we invest in these days is related to increasing our automation and becoming more efficient. The HP would have six or seven members of staff working on it to help feed it and the Onset now only needs three.

“Its improved quality and greater speed to market gives us an extra leg up with our customers.”

Printing at 900sqm/hr, the Onset X3 comes with two UV curing lamps and uni- or bi-direction printing capability. At Simpson, it will be printing mostly point of sale and retail jobs.

Members of staff moved off the HP FB11000 as it leaves the 6,500sqm premises will be redistributed around Simpson Group’s digital portfolio – which comprises Rho 312R and Rho P10 printers from Durst and a small-format Ricoh Pro C901.

Simpson also prints litho using a Manroland R900 sheetfed press and screen prints on a SamX from Svecia. The group employs 100 staff and has a sales office in Langley, Berkshire.