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Tickets, please!

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Tickets, please!

Article in FlexoTech Magazine by Neel Madsen, issue 158 April 2016

As a leading expert in the production of transport tickets advertising, Ticketmedia offers a one stop shop from campaign planning and design of artwork to printing and distribution. The company has just installed a new MPS flexo press, adding to its printing capabilities. 

Based in Hove, in East Sussex, Ticketmedia was established in the late 1990s as a paper roll manufacturing company producing traditional bus ticket and till rolls. Through constant innovation and a strong emphasis on design and technology, the company today provides a broad portfolio of powerful and effective marketing media opportunities for throughout the country. Its creative reverse ticket printing technology offers clients the advantage of extending their reach to passengers, placing advertising messages directly into their hands.

Now recognised as a global expert on transport ticket advertising, Ticketmedia offers diverse marketing campaigns, from branding and recruitment to charities, retail, travel, education and more. Managing director Jeremy Burbidge claims that this is not just a printing company, but rather a provider of multi-channel consumer publicity campaigns.

The company’s impressive client list includes big brand companies such as McDonalds, Ikea, Subway and Burger King. Clients’ marketing campaigns are rolled out through paid advertorial space on the back of transport tickets, and in exchange, Ticketmedia supplies the tickets to the transportation companies.

Going servo

Recently, the Hove-based company has invested in a new MPS EF 430 mm five colour flexo press, bringing the total number of printing presses owned by the company to eight. Talking about this unique customer, MPS UK sales director Nick Tyrer commented, ‘The main challenge for us during this project was material handling. We had to run at constantly high press speeds and being able to present a finished roll with perfect tension from core to finished outside diameter is absolutely critical. The finishing of the tickets is only ever a success if the printed reel is presented to the finishing line in the same condition that it came from the mill.’

When asked why he chose MPS, Mr Burbidge provided the following explanation, ‘There were several printing press manufacturers that we considered for our next investment. Initially we were looking to purchase a digital press. However, a big drawback was the maintenance contracts which come with significant costs. We also planned to use the press mainly for single jobs that come with much higher print run volumes. After much deliberation, we decided to move the company forward and purchase the first fully servo-driven flexo press, which would be able to handle the longer order runs when required but equally be able to handle the short run work in a much more efficient manner.’

He continued, ‘I am not at all concerned with the trend of smaller sized jobs including personalisation and variable data in printed marketing. Quite the contrary; Ticketmedia is founded on the principle of short run and bespoke client identities, whilst still producing mass production products.’

Fixed palette advantage

Key to Ticketmedia is the ability to deliver the consistent print quality that is demanded by larger brand clients. With the new EF flexo press, this consistency can be maintained through the stable register and colour control.

Also critical to making the choice was the ability to keep the UV inks in the print units for up to a month at a time to avoid time-consuming changeovers and unwanted downtime. The straightforward nature and the length of the print jobs allow the company to take full advantage of printing with just the four process colours in a fixed position. The fifth print unit is used for foiling when required.

Colours are calibrated every morning with no follow up required. With the MPS Lean Inking system, long runs can be printed without having to refill ink trays as the system provides circulatory ink filling from a 5 litre bucket. Mr Burbidge emphasised that printing with fixed colours in combination with the Lean Inking system will offer a saving in set up and cleaning of around 8 hours per week. In the end it was a very easy decision as MPS was the only press manufacturer with this type of inking system that proved they could deliver on these requirements, he explained.

Mr Burbidge concluded, ‘Even though MPS was at the top end of our budget, the advanced technology and willingness to understand our challenges and incorporate our needs into a solution proved MPS the preferred choice by some distance. Leopold der Nederlanden, MPS print manager, and Richard Meurs, MPS print application specialist, were instrumental to the process and shared valuable input that will improve our entire print process and productivity.’

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