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The contract for eight custom built B3 Portrait Collators sent to Heidelberg’s Wiesloch-Walldorf site was awarded after a two-year-long enquiry and tender process. The machines were supplied in two batches over a twelve month period.
Further details below are taken from an article published in the leading UK print journal, Printweek (2017).
The collators, along with a number of Heidelberg presses and other finishing equipment, are in the process of being shipped to the Saudi Arabian education ministry as part of a larger contract, with Hampshire-based Col-Tec the only manufacturer not owned by Heidelberg to be supplying the tender. Col-Tec initiated a relationship with Heidelberg when it installed a Signature collator into its UK showroom in 2012.
Col-Tec sales director Paul Bailey said that after beating off competition from two German collating machine manufacturers, the contract win suggests that "despite Brexit, 'Brand GB' remains as strong as ever”. “This has come about directly with Germany who are supplying a substantial amount of kit and needed as part of the package a number of collating machines,” said Bailey. “They had the opportunity of looking at our rivals, who incidentally come from Germany, so the fact that we’ve won this significant order is almost like selling coals to Newcastle or snow to the Eskimos.
“At a time of Brexit it’s nice to see business trumping politics. It’s very much a close collaboration between the Germans and the British; a British machine chosen in the place of homegrown kit.”Consisting of six stations, the custom-built machines are identical in specification and are all configured with jogger-stackers. “No two collating machines are really ever the same, we tweak and heavily customise for client preference, so to get an order for five machines that are identical is quite frankly nirvana for us,” added Bailey.
A spokesperson for Heidelberg said that Col-Tec had proved to be the best solution for the contract.
Founded in 2002, Col-Tec, are based in New Milton.