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Book printer turns new digital page

Friday, 11 December 2009
By Print 21 Online Article

135-year-old Queensland book printer, Watson Ferguson & Company, installs the state’s first Ricoh ProC900.

The one-time family business that started out as a jack-of-all-trades, covering everything from printing, publishing and making furniture, was bought by Terry Kelly in 1990 and since then has focussed purely on book printing.

Armed with two Heidelberg Speedmasters and one Planeta Polygraph, the company was 100 per cent offset until buying a Kyocera digital printer in 2005. General manager, Dan Kelly, said that after “burning out” the machine in 18 months it was time to invest in something that “went beyond the glorified photocopier.”

Pictured: A new chapter for Watson Ferguson & Company.  Mark Katrakis(l) and David Clifton of Ricoh’s Queensland branch (r), present Dan Kelly (centre) with a plaque for being the first in Queensland with the Pro C900.

After travelling to Sydney to visit the Ricoh showroom, the C900 caught Kelly’s eye. “I was impressed with what the machine could do,” he said.

Installed in October this year, the C900 was the first in Queensland. According to Mark Katrakis, national business development manager at Ricoh, there have since been two more installations in the state. He added that there is now a machine in every state but South Australia, with Western Australia claiming the highest number.

For Kelly, digital printing will become more prevalent at Watson Ferguson & Company. He predicts more installations in the next 12-18 months. Book lovers expect top quality, and Kelly is impressed with what the C900 has been able to produce.

“Digital is just as good a quality and in some cases, even better,” he said.

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