Invitebay has upgraded its six year old Duplo DC-616 multi-finisher to a new DC-618 in a bid to grow its production output. Invitebay, which was founded in 2014, purchased the equipment through AfterPrint, Duplo’s strategic partner in the north of England.

‘We loved the old DC-616, it was such an easy machine to run, it practically did everything we asked of it,’ said Kevin Oakford, owner of Invitebay. ‘It’s a robust, well-engineered and very well thought out device. What we were looking at doing was to expand our product portfolio and to be able to finish thicker stock and give our customers a wider choice in substrates and designs. The new DC-618 ticks all those boxes, but it’s much more of a production device than the older model. It’s much faster – almost double the speed, it can slit, cut, perf and crease up to 400gsm, it has a new PC control system, which is much easier to navigate, and we can store every single template on the device. We currently have a large number of templates that all our customers find really convenient to use, so we already have them loaded into the multi-finisher so the jobs can be linked up and cut without any manual intervention. I’ve also found that the DC-618 is actually more precise with its cutting.’

Merseyside-based Invitebay specialises in the production of personalised printed products, mainly event invites, business cards and flyers, with its products available through two online portals, Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Naturally the pandemic has had a major impact on a company so heavily involved with the hospitality sector, as Mr Oakford explains, ‘At the start of the Pandemic we tried to remain positive and kept the business going but, as the majority of our business is based around parties, weddings, corporate events and business cards it become increasingly difficult as the demands for our products dropped massively.

‘By April/May 2020 the demand had fallen by 90% so we put the business into hibernation until the world settled down. During this time, we looked into new avenues to market and explored various online marketplaces including Amazon, the close down period gave us time to focus so some good did come of the shutdown overall. Fortunately, with the new routes to market and the significant lift of restrictions around Christmas we saw a surge in demand for our products and we have not looked back since. We are now operating at close to full capacity based on our pre-pandemic figures and if anything, we are getting more business, hence the investment in the new Duplo DC618.’

Mr Oakford anticipates that the new installation will open up new possibilities for his company, and he doesn’t rule out further investment in the future. ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing how much time the new DC-618 will save us especially with the cutting and packaging of the new products we’ve recently launched. The automation is much better, meaning our operators can get on with other jobs, like packing the finished jobs or loading the printer whilst the print is being finished. It’s also quite a bit more user friendly than its predecessor. If the demand keeps growing in a positive manner, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate in speaking with the AfterPrint team when the time comes to look at my next piece of finishing kit that can expand my business further.’