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Profile Spring 2007 Newsletter

Printing company gets hi-tech efficiency courtesy of loan

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Pictured from the left is Karl Hodson, SYIF; Richard Lukey of BLSY and Giles Hunter of Idigicon.

A Doncaster printing specialist has invested in the latest hi-tech computer-to-plate printing system courtesy of a South Yorkshire Investment Fund loan.

Apple Tree Design and Print, part of the Idigicon Ltd group, has used the £100,000 loan to increase its paper-based print production efficiency, making significant environmental savings into the bargain.

The Computer-to-plate (CTP) system removes an entire film-based part of the printing process, resulting in an estimated 20 per cent production increase over the first 12-months and reducing chemical useage to almost zero.

Apple Tree's installation of the CTP process makes them one of the first companies in the Yorkshire region to provide the hi-tech solution, which enables computer held graphic artwork to be thermally imaged directly onto a metal printing plate, keeping the entire process under one roof.

Giles Hunter, Managing Director of Idigicon Ltd, said: "Our new CTP process is all about speed, efficiency and environmental consciousness. Historically, we spent a lot of time involved in the pre-print process and manufactured a vast number of printing plates, which was heavily chemically dependent and time consuming.

"With CTP, we still manufacture the plates, but we have removed the film-based part of that process. Not all companies would find this a cost effective move. Also, with the plate being thermally imaged, we have stopped using developing chemicals.

"With the scale of our production, we could easily justify the cost of the new machinery and hopefully, the new efficiency will enable us to bring in more work.

"The loan from SYIF has basically given us the kick-start that we needed to take the company to the next level. We are still getting to know the new machinery, but it is clear that we now have far greater flexibility than before and it is our intention to exploit the opportunity we now have to further grow the business."

Apple Tree Design and Print was established in 1986 to serve the Idigicon parent company and has grown to provide a full commercial printing service with the capacity to produce anything from business cards to brochures, lithographically and digitally.

Idigicon Ltd manages intellectual property and digital rights across the globe and has vast experience and knowledge in all software industry sectors.

Karl Hodson, Investment Manager at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: "Idigicon is now in a position to capitalise on its new production process and the efficiency that they can demonstrate will undoubtedly allow for an increased client base and higher returns.

"The company could clearly demonstrate to us that they were in a position to move the subsidiary company forward through investment. SYIF is always on the look out for such dynamic and progressive companies to help."

Richard Lukey of Business Link South Yorkshire introduced Idigicon to the services of South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).