When people think of printing, the first thing which comes to mind is their desktop printer and the function of ‘File’ ‘Print’ and the arrival of the resultant printed page. While this is printing in essence, it is but a small part of the story. However, for Ndabase Printing Solutions in Pretoria this was the start of its story and it all began with Xerox.
That was in 2007. The company now looks considerably different, bigger, more streamlined and more industrial but Xerox is still a fundamental part of the success and growth of the company. Ndabase Printing Solutions recently became the first printer in Pretoria to install the new and ground-breaking Xerox Iridesse digital production press adding to its impressive array of printing equipment.
When Ndabase was formed by Thandazani Nyide and Mmabatho Morulane it was situated in a small shop in Sunnyside serving primarily the university student market with photocopies and printing of assignments and theses. All of that has changed in just 11 short years. The company has now outgrown two factory premises in the north of the city and is looking to source a single custom-designed factory capable of storing all of its impressive array of printing, binding and finishing systems. It also has a distribution and logistics facility in KwaZulu-Natal. Another production facility will be added in Nelspruit at the beginning of 2019. The total staff complement of the company exceeds 200 people across the three facilities.
According to Thanda (as he abbreviates his name) the company has not forgotten its early days of handling short print runs for students and attributes the success of the company, in no small measure, to the quality of its first printer and the support that it received from Xerox and Altron Bytes Document Solutions. That success and the ongoing relationship that Ndabase has enjoyed with Xerox and Bytes over the years saw the company install the Xerox 700 colour production press to meet the growing demand for printing.
This relationship and the success it brought lead directly to the point where the company invested in the very latest addition to the Xerox cut-sheet product portfolio – The Iridesse. However, before Thanda became aware of the Iridesse he knew that Ndabase needed a press with increased functionality and faster printing speeds accompanied with greater production capacity and he considered the Xerox 1000. He commented, ‘When we heard about the Iridesse from Ewald van Rensburg at BDS and we found out what it is capable of, we stopped the order for the 1000 and placed an order for the Iridesse. We have had a good relationship with Xerox over the years. The after-sales service is always good and they have always given us the right advice.’
This is only the fourth Iridesse to be installed in the South African market since the press was launched internationally in May of this year. Thanda added, ‘The Iridesse presents so many opportunities with the additional silver and gold metallic inks which allows you to produce work which is different to anything else. You do not get this combination of metallic colours as standard with any other machine on the market. The colours are so crisp that they jump out of the page at you.
‘It is also a big attraction for the private and individual clients because they are more quality oriented than the government departments we have had dealings with up to now. So, if you want to get into the private client base, you need to have the latest technology.’
The Xerox Iridesse is a four-colour press which features two additional print stations capable of being interchanged between silver and gold metallic inks and a clear varnish and white ink. This gives printers the ability to produce a wide gamut of metallic and iridescent colours creating unique finishes and effects. The Iridesse is Xerox’s latest offering in the CMYK Plus market space and features print quality of 2400 x 2400dpi. It is able to handle a wide range of substrates from 52gsm up to 400gsm. It handles sheets sizes up to 335 x 488mm but can also handle larger sheets in bypass mode of up to 1200mm in length.
Thanda added, ‘This machine provides us with the additional capacity we needed in the digital department but it also means that we can address a new market base. This is something Xerox is assisting us with by allowing us to understand exactly what the machine can do. Xerox and BDS has been extremely helpful through the process. The staff from Xerox has been here almost permanently to teach us and to help us learn through the early stages, they have been fantastic.
‘The machine is now stable and is operating exactly as it should and that is credit to Xerox and the team from BDS – they did not just drop the box – they made sure that it was working and that we know how to use it. Our staff working on the machine are excited because they find something new everyday. It is an exciting time for us.’ While Ndabase Printing Solutions has grown past the ‘File’ ‘Print’ stage, its passion for print has grown and deepened, as has its relationship with Bytes Documents Solutions and Xerox.