International Recognition

9th February 2017

Hobbs received recognition from the IPN (International Printers Network) when they won two awards at the recent IPN Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

The primary award was voted by the members of the IPN for the best solution developed and delivered by a member in 2016. This was a fully automated Article Reprint solution built for The Institute of Physics Publishing in Bristol. The award recognised the complexity and intelligence of the solution that allows an academic audience access to over 600,000 articles and the ability to purchase multiple copies of those of interest. The recipient is taken seamlessly from the IOP Publishing website through to a Hobbs hosted site where details of the article required are collected, along with delivery requirements. A price is calculated as agreed with the IOP Publishing. The purchase and associated financial transfers are handled by Hobbs who then manufacture and ship worldwide. These articles were not printed with covers originally, but the IOP Publishing specified that they wanted these products to have a cover that reflected both the IOP Publishing brand and the original journal. Accordingly, we automatically create and include covers with content driven from the IOP Publishing metadata.

The solution delivers a number of key objectives for the IOP Publishing, the availability of archive content to a new audience, a significant reduction in the administrative overhead of managing and delivering offprints, and the upholding and protection of the integrity of the IOP Publishing brand through the delivery of a high quality product. Significantly it also delivers a new revenue stream and market awareness.

IOP Publishing Head of Production, Liz Martin, reports: ‘The Hobbs team took a very pragmatic and practical approach to dealing with this complexity and were always proactive in their communication. They were a pleasure to deal with throughout....They were dedicated, solution focused and detail orientated; highlighting many aspects of the project that we had not previously considered....Hobbs successfully delivered on a tight timescale and I am looking forward to working with them on the future development of this system’.

We are now working together to extend the scope of the project and to provide more complex products on demand.

Martin Kelly, Programme Manager, and Liz Martin, Head of Production at IOP Publishing, are pictured with the
IPN Technical Achievement Award

The second award was an ‘Outstanding Recognition award’ presented to Graham Bromley, reflecting his contribution to the IPN through management of the IPN Technical conferences and work of the IPN board. Graham is one of 13 people who make up the board of the IPN. Members are drawn from partners in the UK, Netherlands, USA, France, Canada and Singapore. This is truly an international group.

Our partners are helping our clients deliver to their clients in all corners of the world. If you would like to know more about how the IPN and Hobbs can help you avoid complex and expensive shipping costs by manufacturing and delivering locally, please contact either Brian Jelf or Graham Bromley.

Steve Diaper’s Retirement

9th September 2016

Steve Diaper retired in September after thirty-five years of service with Hobbs, making Steve one of our longest serving members of staff.

Steve joined Hobbs the Printers in August 1981, when we were in Millbrook, as a member of our Reprographic Department. This was in the days when our printing was mainly mono and two-colour. None of our work was 4-colour process or digital at that time. In the ‘80s large cameras were used to photograph made-up pages of artwork, from which we produced film that was taped together and placed on top of a litho plate which in turn was exposed to a light source. We thought this was all high-tech stuff at the time!

Steve soon became an important member of our Repro Team and became our main Opti-Copy Camera operator when we bought this revolutionary camera in 1985.

During the mid-1990s, the production of plates began to become digitised, so many of the Repro Teams’ roles became redundant. All the members of the Repro team affected were offered opportunities to re-train within the company and Steve, after attending a short Purchasing Course, became our first full-time Paper Buyer.

Steve soon learned the art of paper buying and stock control. Steve presented a professional image of Hobbs to all the paper merchants from whom we purchased our own paper and also to our major clients for whom Steve was required to produce monthly paper usage statements in respect of paper our clients supplied to us.

Many of our paper suppliers have recently contacted Steve to thank him for the courteous way he conducted business with them over the years and to wish him a happy retirement.

We thank Steve most sincerely for his wonderful loyalty and service to Hobbs the Printers and to wish him a long and happy retirement with his wife, Sylvia.

Our new Komori G437 four Colour Press

24th August 2016

We recently completed the installation and commissioning of a new Komori G437 4 colour H-UV press. This SRA1 format press replaced a B3 format Heidelberg Speedmaster 52. It effectively has more than 4 times the capacity of the older press due to faster make ready times, faster running speeds and the larger format.

The H-UV technology delivers a number of real and tangible benefits for both us and our customers.

In the first instance the sheets are cured in the press immediately after printing – this means we are delivering absolutely dry sheets at the end of the press without risk of set off or marking. These sheets are immediately ready for turning or for post processing through guillotines, folding machines or laminators as appropriate.

The fact that the ink is cured on the surface of the sheet rather than drying conventionally through a blend of absorption, oxidation and evaporation, allows us to print high quality vibrant images on a very wide range of stocks. This includes uncoated stocks – thus allowing lower cost and potentially more environmentally friendly stocks to be used for high quality print.

The driers on an H-UV press use around 50% of the power than the driers on a conventional litho press use. This is because the IR driers normally used generate a lot of heat and then air has to be blown across these lamps to prevent overheating. The reduction in airflow in the back of the press allows sheets to be delivered more consistently at higher speed as well.

In January 2017 Komori UK will complete the upgrading of our existing G440 B1 format press to the same H-UV technology. At this point the two presses will use no more power than the previous configuration, but we will have almost doubled our 4 colour capacity – it is a very energy efficient solution.

The curing process on the H-UV presses will make coating and sealing completely unnecessary as the image is stable and robust and not liable to scuffing when printed on matt and silk coated stocks. The absence of the coating will remove the associated odours from our printed products.

H-UV technology generates no Ozone and requires no venting of the air from the press. Other advantages to us from adoption of this technology include the removal of downtime associated with maintaining and cleaning the coating unit and a dramatic reduction iN maintenance time associated with the print units – this ink does not skin or go off in the ink ducts – it only cures when exposed to a very specific bandwidth of UV light. The cost savings of the reduction in maintenance time and the removal of coating materials offset the increased cost of the ink and help to make us as competitive as possible.

Hobbs and the Environment

2nd February 2016

At Hobbs we have a long-term capital expenditure programme that covers not only software, IT and printing equipment but also the factory itself, including the fabric of the building and all its different components such as Heating & Ventilation and the electrical supply. This is all due to our intention for our factory to be as environmentally efficient and sustainable as possible.

Our concern for the environment is illustrated by the fact that for many years Hobbs has held the Environmental Standard ISO 14001 which requires us to continually find ways to reduce our environmental impact in a safe and predictable manner.

At the end of 2015 Hobbs made two major investments to reduce its electrical consumption, firstly by replacing its main Heating & Cooling System, which consisted of Chillers and Fan Coil Units, with a new Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat recovery system. The advantages of such a system are that heating to offices and departments would be from heat recovered from production areas and that the cooling and ventilation is more energy efficient (18% more efficient) than a chiller/fan coil arrangement.

The second investment was in a Solar Photovoltaic System consisting of 960 PV panels. Such panels are able to generate 250 kW when the sun is shining brightly – which is over a third of the factory’s energy requirement when all the plant is working. Even when the sun is not shining, the modern panels still enable electricity to be generated. For any electricity generated that is not used at Hobbs, the spare electricity is sent automatically into the National Grid for other users to benefit from.

Our ‘BPIF Apprentice Chairman’ – Josh Levett-Thomas

7th January 2016

The importance of Training and Apprenticeships has been one of Hobbs ‘corner-stones’ for many years. It is difficult to think of anyone at Hobbs who has not benefited from some form of training since joining the company with many of our team having benefited from being on an Apprentice Scheme, including: Graham Bromley, our Deputy Managing Director; Brian Jelf, Sales Director; Colin Richardson, Customer Services Manager, together with Paul Smart, Michael Vine and Glen Maidment who are part of our Bindery Management Team.

We were therefore extremely proud when Josh Levett-Thomas, a member of our bindery team, was asked by the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) to be the first Chairman of the BPIF Apprentice Council. Josh achieved great scores during his apprenticeship training and was short-listed as a Finalist of the South Central Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award in 2014.

Graham Bromley with Josh Levett-Thomas

In recognition of his achievement, Josh was invited during National Apprenticeship Week 2015 to be part of forming the Apprentice Council to help bring a higher standard to the BPIF apprentices and to show how apprenticeship can lead to greater opportunities.

In the current issue of the BPIF Magazine, called Inprint, an article was written about Josh who was asked, “Why did you do an apprenticeship?”, his response was, “I really enjoyed working in the print industry and wanted to progress without leaving the company. Knowing how beneficial apprenticeships are to our company and how it would also benefit me, I decided this would be the best option. Since starting my apprenticeship, I have only improved and have never looked back”.

We are extremely proud of Josh’s achievements and congratulate him on his appointment.

Bake for Heroes

11th May 2015

On 23rd April 2015 a ‘Cake & Savoury Sale’ was held at Hobbs the Printers to raise funds for Help for Heroes, a charity that helps support wounded servicemen and women who have suffered life-changing injuries in the course of their duties for their country. For these selfless people, it is after the din of battle has quietened that the real fight begins – a fight that may last for the rest of their lives.

As a result of much baking, the Hobbs staff raised £340 for this very worthwhile charity. The company then ‘rounded up’ this sum to £500.

As well as raising funds through its Cake & Savoury Sale, Hobbs also provides Help for Heroes with free printing to promote local fund raising events and has received thanks from ‘H4H’ for the company’s continued support over the years.

Apprenticeships completed

1st April 2015

Six members of staff have recently completed NVQ Level 2 qualifications in Performing Manufacturing Operations with five of these going on to complete an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

David Hobbs is seen here with Graham Bromley (Deputy Managing Director) Dan Phillips, Jaimie Wyse, Darrel Moore (back row), Mark Stokes, Sharon Titcombe, and John Hull (front row). These Intermediate Apprenticeships are not just for new starters but are available to any member of staff. Within this group we have people who have been with us for anything between 3 and 39 years!

The benefits of this programme include gaining nationally recognised qualifications while learning recognised best practice manufacturing techniques alongside improved understanding of Health & Safety, employee rights and responsibilities. The outcome is these people are better equipped to deliver the highest levels of quality and productivity on a daily basis. A key business strategy is to ensure that our people have a range of skills that are flexible enough to allow them to develop with the changes in technology and not get left behind. There is no question that this underpins some of the core values of this business and continues a long-standing and consistent investment by Hobbs into the apprenticeship programme.

We currently have 11 members of staff who have been through the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship scheme during their career at Hobbs and 18 others who have achieved Level 2 qualifications. In addition we have apprentices in programme at this time with more to recruit in 2015.

Equipment update – digital colour

We have recently concluded the upgrading of our digital colour capabilities by installing two more digital print engines. The first is a Canon 7011 engine capable of producing 71 full colour A4 pages per minute and up to 1,000,000 pages per month. The machine allows us to print covers for perfect bound books with spines up to 60mm with full bleed and to efficiently produce books and covers on demand. This runs alongside the HP Indigo 5600 that was installed last year.

The second engine installed is an Epson 9900 wide format machine capable of outputting any image up to a width of 1100mm. This enables us to generate FOGRA 39 standard digital colour proofs at high speed and to output anything from pop-up banners, to posters to folders on demand.

This ongoing investment truly makes us a one stop shop for all of our customers’ needs.

Recognition of achievement – Josh Thomas

15th September 2014

Josh Thomas (centre) with Andy Bracey (BPIF) and Graham Bromley at the award ceremony..

Josh Thomas who is an apprentice in our finishing department has recently been shortlisted as a finalist in the South Central Advanced Apprentice of the Year awards with the National Apprenticeship Service. Josh was rated as ‘Highly Commended’ finishing runner up in a category that covered all trades across all industries, not just printing, across 5 counties in Southern England. Josh attended a ceremony at the Grand Hall in Winchester on Thursday 11th September to receive his award. There were over 14,000 applications for the National Apprenticeship Awards in 2014, so this is a very significant achievement for Josh.

In July the late Kathy Woodward, formerly CEO of the BPIF, wrote to Josh to congratulate him:

I was delighted to hear that you had been shortlisted as a regional apprentice of the year in the National Apprenticeship Awards. This is a great credit to both yourself and Hobbs the Printers. I hope you do well at the September Awards but to even get shortlisted is a great achievement. I hope this is the beginnings of a great career for you in the industry. Good luck for the future.

Josh first joined the business in August 2007 when he was still at college. He worked part time as an assistant in our bindery on late shift. In September 2009 he moved to full time working in the same role.

In October 2010 Josh was promoted to the position of machine operator having applied himself to gaining as much knowledge and experience as he could within the department. Josh began training on folding machines. In September 2011 Josh completed an NVQ level 2 in Business Improvement Techniques as one of a number of staff undertaking this study at work. In 2012 Josh successfully applied for the chance to undertake a formal Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Print Finishing.

Josh has proven himself to be a very effective operator on a wide range of equipment including Dursellen drilling systems, Shanklin shrink wrappers, Renz wire-o-binding, Heidelberg folding, Polar guillotines and Muller Martini saddle stitching lines, most recently adding the latest Presto2 Digital line to the list – the first of its kind in the world.

Josh has built a reputation for enthusiasm as well as his technical ability that makes him a popular and highly effective member of the team at Hobbs.

Josh’s mother Liz has worked at Hobbs since leaving school and is rightly very proud of the way in which Josh has been developing his career at Hobbs.

Liz Thomas with her son Josh.

World War I - David Hobbs reflects

1st August 2014

David Hobbs' grandfather sitting on one of the many "War Horses" he helped to look after during World War I.

As we all know, this year is the 100th Year Anniversary of the commencement of the First World War. There have been many programmes on the television commemorating this tragic event. For me it is the photographs taken of known relatives who fought in the war, or assisted in the war effort, that are sometimes the most moving way for us who are fortunate to be alive today to appreciate how the war affected the lives of our ancestors.

Bert, the new recruit, in 1914.                          Bert, Home on Leave, in 1916.

I have recently been tidying up a store in the factory which contained boxes of old documents that had been the possessions of my grandfather, H.C.Hobbs (who was known as Bert). To my surprise I came across an old photo album of his that covered the period from 1910 to 1920. Amongst the collection were photos of my grandfather as a “raw recruit” in 1914, then aged 20, to photos of him in France when he was part of 26th Field Ambulance. His duties required him to drive the ambulances to the front-line to collect the injured and transport them to the field hospitals, helping the injured as much as he could in the process, to looking after the “war horses” that pulled the ambulances.

There are two photos which together are a poignant reminder of the great loss of life. The first is of my grandfather with his friend Fred Coombs, who also was with the Field Ambulence, standing in uniform (Fred appears to be wearing a German helmet).

Fred Coombs with Bert.                                                             Fred Coombs grave in France, killed in action, 1917.

The second photo simply shows the grave of Fred Coombs with writing on a wooden cross that states he died of wounds whilst performing his duty for the Field Ambulance on the 6th July 1917.

Let us never forget the dreadful sacrifice of those that fought in that tragic war.

Customer Survey Results

16th July 2014

We are delighted and humbled by the wonderfully positive feedback we have been given in the 2014 Hobbs Customer Survey. From the astonishing 60% response, we are now able to publish the very encouraging results summary in the chart at the end of this article and to share some of the comments included in the feedback.

The overall outcome from the survey showed a step up to 97% of all respondents selecting the highest option across the five categories, which compares nicely to 96% last time; just one percent, but, in our view we’ve closed a quarter of the 4% gap to perfection!

We remain entirely focused on providing the best customer service in our industry; it’s difficult and takes the right attitude, resources and commitment right across the workforce to achieve our potential. With your feedback and the customer loyalty we are privileged to experience, these tiny steps of improvement will continue and we will all gain from better workflows, better communication and better value propositions year on year.

“I deal with many suppliers throughout the course of our business and none are as reliable or as easy to work with as the team at Hobbs. Communications are always quick, honest and effective and we've always been very pleased with the final product. Schedules are kept, deliveries arrive on time and the invoicing is smooth. A joy to work with.” Social Development Trust Publisher

“Very happy on all fronts!” Children's Personalised Book Publisher

“Only been working directly with you for a couple of months, but have been very impressed by your service, your business model and pragmatically ambitious plans for the future.” Medical Education Publisher

“I am always very happy with both the level of customer service and the quality of the goods you supply.” Publisher

“Having worked with Hobbs for a number of years, I find it difficult to find fault in the service you provide... I have always been impressed not just with the quality and timeliness of your print work but also the professional yet personable way in which you have always dealt with us. This being the case, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Hobbs to prospective print buyers”. Global Information Provider

“Always efficient and professional. Communications are open as we would expect from a business partnership. Will go the extra 'mile' for us to ensure we meet our publishing schedules. A pleasure to work with, an extremely strong working relationship exists between Hobbs and ourselves”. International Legal Publisher

“Great quality and great customer service, always happy to help when we have a problem.” Global Journal Publisher

“Always a pleasure dealing with the Hobbs team, good to speak to such knowledgeable and friendly people, never any doubt that what is promised is done!” Global Regulatory Publisher

“No negative feedback whatsoever; as ever I am extremely pleased with the service and the quality of our products and I know that the team feel the same. We can absolutely count on Hobbs month upon month to publish a huge list of titles, mostly back-ended... since we moved our subscription work to Hobbs in 2011, we have not had one title miss month through any fault of Hobbs.” Legal Journal Publisher

“The level of customer care and product quality that we've experienced has been perfect, thank you for all your hard work to date.” International STM Publisher

HOBBS CUSTOMER SURVEY JUNE 2014
ARE WE ENTHUSIASTIC WHEN WE MAKE CONTACT? 100% 0% 0%
ARE WE EASY TO DEAL WITH? 98% 2% 0%
IS OUR SERVICE PERFORMANCE UP TO YOUR REQUIREMENTS? 96% 4% 0%
IS OUR QUALITY PERFORMANCE UP TO YOUR REQUIREMENTS? 96% 4% 0%
ARE WE ACCURATE WITH OUR PAPERWORK? 95% 5% 0%

Mr Peter Hobbs

6th January 2013


It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that ‘Mr Peter’ Hobbs passed away peacefully on Sunday 6th January at the age of 87.

Peter worked for the company for over 50 years – he actually started working for Hobbs when he was stationed at Calshot whilst performing his National Service with the RAF. (After working his shift at Calshot, he would hop onto his motor-bike and ride to the factory – which was then in Shirley – when he would either run a press or folder or operate a monotype keyboard to help his father before returning to his RAF base). This was just after the end of the Second World War.

After completing his National Service, Peter joined the family business full-time and in 1948 attended an intensive course at the London College of Printing for ex-service students. He obtained 10 First Class Grades of the 11 subjects he studied and often joked that the two subjects he chose not to study on this course were Estimating and Costing – which became an area of the business that he became responsible for as the company expanded throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. Peter developed an awesome reputation for being successful with our tenders for many Railway and HMSO contracts – which represented the majority of our work until the mid-1980s - often winning a bid by the smallest of margins having spent the night before with hand-written calculations on papers all over the kitchen table as he decided upon what price to submit. Mr Peter was a major reason why the company expanded as much as it did from being a small jobbing printer based in Shirley in the late 1940s to becoming the well- respected medium-sized printing business that it is today.

In the late 70s Peter worked with a programmer to create software for our first computerised costing system (and one of the first such programs in the country) – which involved a large investment in a computer which had an enormous 5 Mega Bytes of memory! The method of recording our costs using the principle of the program he developed is still used to-day and has been an important corner-stone for much of our decision making for estimating and capital investment decisions.

Mr Peter was a quiet man with a gentle sense of humour who, despite having two handicapped children whom he helped care for every day, gave his all to Hobbs the Printers. He was even in the factory, working in his office, when he had a major stroke in 1996 which forced his retirement at the age of 70. I can safely say that without Mr Peter’s ‘steady hand on the tiller’ for so many years the company would not be here today.


Thank you for your feedback

24th June 2012

Once again we are grateful for the wonderful feedback we have received from our customers from this year’s survey. We know we work in a very competitive market, and you know we try very hard to provide an excellent service with great value. So it is very gratifying to receive such positive marks and comments once again.

We will continue to strive for ever higher levels of service and the competitive edge which will make working with Hobbs a must for our valued customers. This will be through increased customer focused service initiatives, staff training and development, and, of course investment in the latest plant and technologies to support this effort.

The numbers in the chart tell a great story, but we’d also like to share some of the lovely comments we received; thank you all.

"Great quality product, provided by friendly, efficient and accurate staff. Highly recommended."

Alliance Publishing

"We can always be totally confident that Hobbs will be able to deal with any printing task that we request and with an enthusiasm and attention to detail that ensures our products meet ours and our customers’ highest expectations."

Speechmark

"You set a very high standard, and you always live up to it. As you know, I have always valued your top drawer customer service, and the fact that any problems are quickly resolved."

Taylor & Francis

"It is always a pleasure working with Hobbs and that has consistently been the case over a 10-year period. The customer service is excellent and the quality of the work of a very high standard. I always feel Hobbs will do their best to accommodate our needs however unreasonable they might be!"

Legal Action Group

"It is difficult to find fault. We continue to use Hobbs to benchmark other suppliers’ performance."

The Open University

"Hobbs always go out of their way to meet our deadlines even when we run late. They are efficient, professional and a great company to deal with."

LexisNexis UK

"We're always very pleased with the quality of printing. It's also a pleasure to deal with the various staff members!"

Anvil Press


Skills and succession planning – key to our future

8th March 2012

Succession planning

Steven Renyard was promoted to the position of Pre-Press Team Leader at the start of the New Year. Steven has been responsible for establishing and developing our automated pre-press workflows. He joined us while still studying at college; working part time in the Bindery to help fund his studies. Since then Steven has been working in imposition and taken responsibility for the pre-flight checking of all incoming work. Steven is now responsible for typesetting, database management, file receipt and imposition and succeeds Sylvia Beecham who retired at Christmas after a lifetime of service to the company.


Software Solutions

Robert Gall has recently joined our team of software developers. Robert initially joined our typesetting team as an apprentice in 2004. He has progressed through the department and in so doing built significant knowledge and experience of XML applications. Robert’s multi discipline skillset adds new perspectives as well as capacity to this team. He has recently completed two courses at The Learning Tree in London where he has been trained in SQL Server techniques and best practices.


Paul Harmsworth (left), Jim Harrison (centre) & Josh Thomas (right)

NVQ Achievements

Two more members of our team, Paul Harmsworth and Josh Thomas have now completed their NVQ Level 2s in Business Improvement Techniques. As a result they have demonstrated their knowledge and understanding in lean manufacturing tools such as 5s (workplace organisation) SMED (make ready time reduction) and value stream mapping.

Jim Harrison has also completed his NVQ level 3 qualifications as part of his apprenticeship in our finishing department. Jim has trained to operate folding machines, guillotines, Oce digital print engines and a Domino inkjet system as part of his apprenticeship. Jim will shortly be training on our STS and new SITMA poly-wrapping lines.


Caring about our environment

5th February 2012

We have been working hard to reduce the consumption of water and chemistry in our processes. The introduction of our new AGFA Avalon platesetters in 2010 massively reduced water consumption, saving over 1,600,000 litres since installation. We have also been reducing the use of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) which is used in the damping solutions of litho presses. In 2005 we consumed over 12,000 litres of IPA. By 2009, following the introduction of our Komori LS 529C which has always run alcohol free, we had reduced this consumption to just under 6,000 litres per year. Since the autumn of 2011 we have been working with Stehlin Hostag to drive the consumption even lower; we now run two presses completely alcohol free, three others are run using just 1.5% alcohol and the other just 3%. Traditionally presses would have run using between 8 and 10% alcohol in their dampening systems. At the current rate we are using 1275 litres in a 12 month period. However, we are on course to have all presses running completely alcohol free by the end of March 2012.

To achieve this we have developed and implemented a whole series of precise and effective daily and weekly maintenance practices right across our press room. Fewer inflammable chemicals in the workspace significantly reduces the risk of fire.

When you print with us on FSC or PEFC accredited materials you can be assured that we are doing everything possible to safeguard our environment in both the short and longer term. FSC and PEFC materials are guaranteed to be drawn from sustainable resources; more trees are being planted than felled for this purpose and young trees are particularly effective at absorbing carbon dioxide from the environment.

43 years of service

21st November 2011

Alan Hinton retired from our bindery on 10th November 2011 after almost 43 years of continuous and distinguished service. Alan joined the business in 1968 as a guillotine operator. He worked for many years looking after a team of assistants running our folding machines. In November 1987 Alan became shift supervisor in the bindery, a role he excelled in for the following 12 years. In 1999 Alan returned to the folding machines where he became a key part of our training programme for apprentices and trainees. Alan has passed on first hand the benefit of his knowledge and experience to many members of the team he leaves behind. During the last 40 years we have been very fortunate to have a very experienced, loyal and stable team operating as the backbone of our bindery operations. While we are all very sorry to see Alan leave us, we are delighted that he has seized the opportunity to move into the next phase of his life at a time of his choosing.

His retirement was marked by firstly a presentation from the Directors and then another presentation in front of all staff plus a number of his former colleagues who came in to see him on his last day at Hobbs.

There is a significant group of our staff who worked together for many years who get together on a regular basis even though they have now retired.

The title of longest serving member of staff now passes to Sandra Maynard who runs our despatch and delivery department. Like many of our staff, Sandra joined straight from school.

The investment continues; Two new Polar Guillotines

8th Febuary 2011

In February we saw the installation of two new Polar 115X Plus guillotines supplied by Heidelberg UK. These are the fourth generation of Polar guillotines to have been operated by Hobbs. The machines are supported by materials handling equipment that lifts and jogs materials prior to cutting as well as making it easier for the operator to stack down efficiently.

The guillotines are critical to the smooth running of the plant as they are involved in the preparation of paper to print as well as cutting text down prior to folding and covers prior to binding.

It is essential in our view that we operate modern, safe, reliable equipment to help us meet the needs and expectations of our clients.

Farewell Malcolm

16th October 2010

On to October and we saw the retirement of Malcolm Rose after 40 years of service, who will be known to many of you as an Account Manager. Malcolm’s career saw him rise from a trainee, through department management to become a most trusted and admired member of our customer service team. His knowledge and experience were second to none. Many stories were shared during his farewell presentations and as you can see from the pictures below (excluding the one from the 1970’s!) Malcolm had a great send off and David wished him a long and contented retirement on behalf of the company and his colleagues.

Malcolm asked us to thank the many customers who sent him personal messages for his retirement. We collated them together and presented Malcolm with a personalised book of photographs and good wishes.

Xerox 1300 Digital Web

2nd September 2010

After painstaking evaluation of the current and future needs for short run, lightweight paper products in the directory and loose leaf markets we decided to replace our Nipson Digital Web with the Xerox 1300 Digital Web, which now gives us up to 1200dpi resolution for the production of high quality tints and half-tones.

Installation was completed in November 2010 and this coincided with the extension of contracts with major publishers of loose leaf titles.

As you can see from the pictures, the final product is delivered as collated blocks and with minimal handling proceeds to the next production process.

BPIF's 2010 Award for outstanding contribution to UK printing industry

11th July 2010

David Hobbs was both surprised and delighted to be singled out for this prestigious industry awarded, which was presented to him by BPIF President, Rupert Middleton at lunch during Members’ Day 2010. Below is just a short extract from Rupert’s speech:

“I am delighted to present to you today a quiet and generous man, who has done so much for his company, his community and his industry. David Hobbs is first and foremost a family man, with three fast-growing children all achieving great things at school, university and post-graduation and challenging David to keep up, both mentally and physically! He is a keen sports fan, having been a Saints season ticket holder for most of his life – this can’t be easy I guess, but at least he’s loyal! He’s also a Hampshire Cricket fan, a dinghy sailor when time permits, and a keen occasional golfer and tennis player. In recent years he has been specialising in military golf!

“During his time at Hobbs, David has overseen significant changes within the company, sustaining and building upon a remarkable legacy at Hobbs. The company has achieved its success by always focusing on providing the highest quality of customer service and developing a professional team through investing in training. These two tenets have been the cornerstone of the company’s business philosophy over the years.

“Colleagues will tell you that David’s style is to work quietly without seeking attention. He is often to be found working alongside his production and estimating teams demonstrating his commitment to clients’ needs. He is liked and trusted within the business and by his customers; people know that he is both honest and sincere. He is also a great supporter of our industry. A member (and former Chairman) of the BPIF’s South Eastern Regional Board, and he is a Board Member with the IPN (International Printers Network) guiding this international partnership of independent companies.

“Outside of work, David is a passionate supporter of national and local charities such as the Muscular Dystrophy Society, for whom he has run the London Marathon on more than one occasion, and Wessex Heartbeat, for whom he has cycled around Northern France as part of a Hobbs team on several occasions, all to raise much needed funds for these very worthy causes [editor’s note: sponsorship for the Autumn 2011 500 mile ride would be much appreciated!]. Now though, he also gives even more of himself as a Trustee of the Wessex Cardiac Trust.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to present David Hobbs with the BPIF 2010 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the UK Printing Industry.”

Rupert Middleton, President, BPIF . July 2010.

Hampshire Football Association

22nd March 2010

Many of our staff have a keen interest in sport and inevitably football plays its part within our Monday morning discussions. For many years we’ve enjoyed a working relationship with the Hampshire Football Association and have also provided some sponsorship for competitions and events. Last year Terry Ozanne and Colin Richardson were asked to be the guests of honour at the Hampshire FA Veterans Cup between Aerostructures and Nursling.

Their duties involved being presented to the team prior to the game, watching the game intently in order to choose the Man of the Match and presenting the trophy to the winning team.

Colin found Man of the Match selection a particularly difficult task, not through a lack of football knowledge, but because during his own career in local football he’d left his mark on a number of those still playing!! Areostructures came out the winners with a stunning injury time goal in dreadful rain and windswept conditions.

Photographs courtesy of www.MirrorBoxStudios.co.uk

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