Intec helps ‘Ancestors of Dover’

State of the art digital printing and finishing equipment has enabled ‘Ancestors of Dover’, leaders in the huge heritage industry, to produce higher quality packaging, increase profit margins, minimise turnaround times - and even discover new and exciting niche product opportunities!

Historical roots. Ancestors of Dover Ltd. was formed in 1992, primarily as a firm of professional genealogists. Over the passage of time, the need to produce an accurate Royal ancestral chart arose - and today, the company now manufactures and markets an enormous and diverse range of packaged heritage gifts and merchandising to satisfy its growing global marketplace.

Moving with the times. Having established themselves, Nick Humphrey -Smith MD, sought to streamline their production processes with automated printing and finishing equipment. A Google search served up a number of options for their consideration and Nick eventually awarded the contract to Intec, following an impressive demonstration of how well the ColorSplash, ColorFlare and ColorCut products met their very specific requirements.

From cottage industry - to major digital player… Since their humble beginnings, the company had enjoyed extremely good times with its growing range of product lines, but future success depended upon achieving higher production levels.
With payrolled staff now numbering 17, production to date had been conducted both internally and by a reliable core of some 50 outworkers. Using scalpels, hand tools and glue, every single item had historically been lovingly processed by hand. With demand outstripping the capacity of traditional methods - the time had come for automation - and also for the entry of Intec Printing Solutions.

Having been impressed by the fruits of Intec’s trio of equipment, the specific models were decided upon and duly installed into their very own clean room - built especially to house Ancestors’ new in-house production facility.
Following standard training by the Intec technical installation team, Ancestors’ production staff soon grasped the processes and were up and running, experimenting with new techniques. A new future lay in their hands - a new era had dawned.

Speed, accuracy and productivity - As if grasping Excalibur itself, the team now had access to a whole new magical realm of speed, accuracy and productivity - not to mention, a new found freedom to experiment!
“We are all delighted with the ColorCut FB8000PRO”, said Nick, “The price point was sensible with a short payback period and it has taken away so much time consuming and laborious effort. Plus the quality of all the cuts and creases is absolutely perfect.”

Another pleasingly positive outcome of the new technology, is that rather than replacing workforce, ColorCut has stepped up production to such an extent that new staff have been recruited to cope with the output capacity and options for new lines!
Experimentation reaps dividends With their new found flexibility to experiment freely without incurring outsourced charges for dies etc. Ancestors has discovered they can explore new ideas and make any prototypes and one-offs at will.
In doing so, they quickly discovered an exciting and potentially profitable new line in face masks and crowns: whilst producing a pair of these for his children, Nick showed the idea to English Heritage, who loved the idea and now a new range of English kings and queens masks for children to decorate, pop out, assemble and wear has been created. A new line is born.
One of Ancestors most popular lines are diecast figurines. Having acquired their own casting company to produce all figurines, they now produce quite unique and intricate hexagonal cartons to contain the fascinatingly detailed
Ancestors can now also produce laminated hanging cards which are intricately cut to shape to hold branded items such as bottle openers.
“Everything is now within our control internally, to produce any form of printed and finished item we should so desire”. added Tim Parsons, Company Secretary & Design Manager
Bottle opener hanging card. Printed, cut and creased for Historic Royal Palaces, one of Ancestors of Dover’s many, key accounts “Our automated ColorCut flatbed cutter revolutionised our production process at a stroke! Output is now many times faster and we’re creating clean, accurate creasing and cut lines”

Digital profit ability and economies of scale - Nobody needs reminding that ‘going digital’ brings with it the bonus of being able to produce minimum quantities - and also the convenience of producing ‘on demand.’ However, the realisation of this was really brought home when Nick found they could now print and cut just a few hundred pieces of one part of a four-part series, on demand and at the drop of a hat! Previously, the company would have had to commit to placing a full external print order of around 4,000 pieces of all four types, and then stock-pile in order to achieve an acceptable unit price.

“Intec has revolutionised everything.” continues Nick, “it’s like a quantum leap! Having the freedom to print any quantities we require at any time, apply lamination and cut and crease absolutely any shape - all on the same morning and then ship out that afternoon - this has been a game changer and given us a real cutting edge for future success”.
Ancestors has also discovered that being able to operate a ‘Just In Time’ production principle has improved their ability to meet customer expectations, as well as improve profitability and minimise stock-holding.

Embellishing with ColorFlare - makes print even better. Between the printing and cutting processes, the ColorFlare CF1200LX comes into its own! The team use the device almost constantly to laminate much of their print work, to offer durability and protection as much as a luxurious finish. However, the most stunning effects happen when coloured metallic foiling as added.

“The CF1200LX’s dual arm enables us to easily swap between lamination and foil at will.” mentions Tim, “and the perceived values of the finished items is much higher too. The kit all works in perfect harmony.”

New product lines have been designed and produced, with the acquisition of the new Intec printing and finishing equipment - items such as miniature Crown Jewels, royal chart, family trees, heraldic charts, pewter knights on horseback and more.