Since installing Africa’s first Screen Truepress Jet520HD press last summer, Colourtech Printing has reportedly increased productivity by 37% percent and created opportunities for new revenue streams according to CEO and founder Sonja Groenewald. “The boost in capacity has supported the business in the pursuit of new contracts printing educational books, which is our flagship work,” states Groenewald, “Another significant advantage with the Screen Truepress is that colour and black and white prints are charged the same, so we can pursue more colour work outside our usual remit and expand our business.”
Colourtech epitomises a business successfully responding to market demand. With a background in South Africa’s Department of Education lecturing on accounting, Groenewald was struggling to get a book published in the early nineties due to the high minimum run-lengths printing companies commanded to cover costs and make a reasonable margin. Groenewald took the unusual decision to buy a small photocopier and print the book herself. This was 1991 and Groenewald had astutely identified a niche market that she would continue to serve over the next 27 years, albeit with continually advancing technology and a growing staff, today standing strong at 170 team members.
In the educational book publishing sector frequently changing curriculums, more and more diverse fields of study, constrained budgets, and other pressures make it a challenging market. Conversely, these challenges make it a perfect fit for a short-run digital business model. Groenewald saw the opportunity and over the years switched from a stable of high-volume photocopiers to digital presses.
In 2016 Groenewald was a year into the process of researching her next digital press, and at drupa got her first glimpse of the Screen Truepress Jet520HD press. Following a visit to Silhouet Digital Print in Belgium to see the press running live, it took just a day to decide it was the right choice for Colourtech. “It was the exceptional quality of the press that made the decision for me,” attests Groenewald.
Colourtech worked with Ipex Machinery to purchase and install the system, “As Africa’s first investors in the press, we wanted confidence in the service levels we were going to receive. Working with Ipex again gave us that assurance,” says Groenewald, “Our conviction was proven right when the three-month installation we were expecting was slashed to just three-weeks.”
Since installing the Truepress Jet520HD, Colourtech Printing has experienced impressive reliability and uptime from the press, when combined with a speed of 120mpm, makes it a hugely productive press. According to Groenewald, the press isn’t restricted to short-run work either; large runs are also possible due to the productivity of the press, “Whether publishers need a long first run, or a small number of back issues, we can easily accommodate with the Screen press.”
Today Colourtech printing produces a range of products, but educational books remain its core product line.