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Digital demand drives Horizon SPF-200L buy for Positive Images UK


Positive Images UK has elevated its responsive, flexible finishing production with investment in a highly automated Horizon SPF-200L bookletmaker and two VAC-1000 tower collators from IFS.

The Mitcham commercial printing, direct mail and large format printer has a broad customer base that includes retail, medical, estate agent and insurance sectors. It offers online ordering capabilities via a number of portals resulting in an increase in fast turnaround litho, digital and large format print.

Mike Sullivan, Production Director at the London commercial printer, explains the investment was made to effectively manage the changing work mix: “A couple of years ago our customer base was much narrower. We have been working hard to diversify. We wanted to be all things to all people – more of a one stop shop. To do that competently we needed to be able to deliver fast turnaround print on demand.”

He continues: “We had an older stitching line but that was suited to longer litho runs and took time to makeready. We needed something that was quick and easy to set up and that could easily complete short runs. The Horizon does just that. Only the other day we had a 2,000 run 8-page A4 booklet, a 2,000 run A4 12-page booklet and a 2,000 run A5 32-page booklet. Before those jobs would have taken us the best part of the day to complete. With the Horizon they took just over three hours.

Positive Images’s 4,500bph Horizon SPF-200L combines stitching and folding with the ability to feed A4 landscape sheets up to 640mm in length. JDF-ready, it offers instant set-ups via a large icon-based colour touchscreen for user-friendly operation. The screen can be used for on-the-run fine tune adjustments as well as the storage and recall of up to 200 jobs.

It completes litho work from a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL, a two-colour Heidleberg GTO and a two-colour Heidleberg Sormz and digital print from an HP Indigo 5500 and a Ricoh Pro 9200.

Adds Sullivan: “We liked its robust build. We looked at other systems but this was the best one on the market. We knew it was up to the job. We liked its modularity and the fact we can run the towers separately if we need to.”

There have been no concerns since the Horizon SPF-FC200L was installed: “It has been reliable and there have been no issues at all. In fact, it is sat just outside my office and the operators regularly put their thumbs up when they are running it. It makes their lives much easier. It also eliminates bottlenecks and that helps reduce costs.

“We are very happy,” he concludes: “We try to run as much work as we can through it.”