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Industry

Print industry stalwarts retire and sell up

Two of the most familiar faces of the printing industry have hung up their pica type scales and called it a day after decades in business.

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Ian Carrott with Bob Usher at The Print Show in 2015

Bob Usher and Terry Bratt of Apex Digital Graphics have decided to retire after a combination of 80 years of experience in an industry that has moved dramatically from the glory days of litho to today’s digital inkjet era. The Hemel Hempstead company is to be split and transferred to two separate companies with the Ryobi press sector taken on by MPartners (MPL) based in Godstone, while the CtP sector element will transfer to SOS in Laughton Essex.


In an open letter, the duo writes: “We have made the decision to retire, with effect from 4th July 2018 and from this date our business will be split and transferred into two separate companies.”


They go on to say: “Our Ryobi press business will be taken over by MPartners (MPL), based in Godstone Surrey, who are the RMGT dealer for the former Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) presses in the B1 and VLF sector. You may recall Ryobi and MHI merged five years ago, forming Ryobi Mitsubishi Graphic Technology (RMGT). This change for the UK will unify the brand, providing sales, technical support, and spare parts for all RMGT equipment in the UK and Ireland, from the series 3 to 9 Ryobi presses and the 10 and 11press series, manufactured formerly by MHI.


“Under the new dealership all Apex Ryobi technical support staff and spare parts will be transferred to MPL. Furthermore, as part of this agreement, MPL will honour all warranties made by Apex and all service contracts will be novated to MPL. Therefore, you will soon receive a new contract and a replacement standing order mandate, where applicable.


“From 4th July 2018 the telephone number for all sales, service, parts and advice for RMGT products will be 020 8835 2221 and all former Apex staff members will retain their mobile numbers.”


The industry veterans went on to explain how the CtP section of the company will live on in a new guise: “The CtP element of our business will transfer to SOS in Laughton Essex, who are the largest independent consumable dealership in our industry for the UK. Under the new agreement all Apex CtP technical support staff, plates/chemistry consumables and parts will be transferred to SOS. Furthermore, as part of this agreement, SOS will honour all warranties made by Apex for Cron and DPX2 devices and all service contracts will be novated to SOS. Therefore you will soon receive a new contract and a replacement standing order mandate, where applicable.

“From 2nd July 2018 the telephone number for all sales, service, consumables parts and advice for your CtP products will be 020 8502 4291 and all former Apex staff mobile numbers will remain unchanged.”

One man who has known the pair and the company for many years paid a warm tribute to them


One man who has known the pair and the company for many years paid a warm tribute to them. Ian Carrott of ICSM, the membership organisation that keeps members informed of potential bad debts and insolvencies, says they were old school stalwarts of the printing industry.


He comments: “Honourable is a word I would use. These guys will be sorely missed as they have integrity and sound business practices which some say are old school but are methods all should adhere to as trust in the business is something money can’t buy. It is sad to see them go and I wish them a long and happy retirement.”


For those readers wondering what a pica scale rule is they were used to work out type sizes before computer typesetting or desktop publishing in the days when a typographer or artworker would cast off type. Typed up or written copy was sent to the typesetter along with instructions. Now that’s what you call old school.



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