Sheffield full service print specialist The Print & Design Factory has created a short run fast turnaround post production service with a Horizon SPF-200A highly automated bookletmaker with twin-tower 20 station tower collators and a Horizon PF-40L automated folder from IFS.
Established 20 years ago, the operation produces a wide array of general commercial print for local and national clients. It completes litho print on a five colour S2 Sakurai, a two-colour Heidelberg SpeedMaster 52 and digital print on a Xerox Versant 180 and Xerox C60.
Commercial Manager Craig Ikin joined The Print & Design Factory three years ago when a number of printing operations were merged together to form the current business. He explains: “I was running Eastland Colour in Manchester and was asked by the management team to look at the way the combined company was operating. After reviewing the end-to-end process one of the main areas that needed updating was the booklet production.”
The Horizon SPF-200A and Horizon PF-40L replace a MBO B26 all buckle fold unit and a Muller Martini saddlestitcher and Ikin says: “We were taking too long to complete runs and sending work out. We needed a solution that was faster and more cost effective.”
As for choosing the Horizon systems he explains: “I had used Horizon systems before and knew how well they ran and how high the quality of the work was that they produced. We also saw them in action at trade finisher Leeds Die Cutting and if its good enough for them then its good enough for us.”
He adds: “We did think about buying second hand but after considering the long term plan we decided that the slight cost difference was worth all the production gains.”
The highly automated Horizon SPF/FC-200A is capable of producing 4,500bph. The JDF-ready system 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 store and recall of up to 200 jobs.
The PF-40L combines high-volume suction feed capabilities with intelligent automation. The 1,000 sheet capacity top-fed system is the same suction feed system used on the highly popular VAC Collators. Its push-button control panel enables any user to set-up for the six most popular fold patterns of standard cut-sheet sizes. The paper size range for the PF-40L is from 5” x 5” to 12.6” x 24.8” and thicknesses from 50gsm to 90gsm cover without requiring pre-scoring or creasing. Memory capacity allows for easy programming of ten unique fold patterns and/or non-standard sheet sizes to be recalled at any time.
Ikin continues: “Now one operator runs both systems as they are so easy to set up. For example, we took a job on yesterday for first thing Tuesday. We would have normally ended up working over the weekend but with the new equipment this was done in the day.
“We can confidently say yes to jobs knowing that they will be completed quickly. Scheduling work is easier too. This means we can take on more work than we would have done in the past. Both systems have also freed up a lot of floor space.”