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Flexpress installs one of the UK’s first Horizon BQ-500 perfect binders

Flexpress, Leicester, has chosen to manage an increase in book printing orders with one of the first Horizon BQ-500 perfect binders in the UK.

Explains Steve Wenlock, Managing Director: “Book printing demand has been growing and we felt our existing equipment was struggling to cope, particularly at times of peak demand.”

It was the reputation of Horizon systems that was instrumental in the decision to buy. States Steve: “The Horizon BQ-470 and Horizon BQ-480 PUR have always had excellent reputations so the opportunity to install the latest variation was too good to miss. Plus, our experience of Horizon equipment, such as our StitchLiner MK III, has always been very positive.”

He continues: “Apart from the fact it’s considerably quicker than the machine it replaced, we liked the fact the BQ-500 has the ability to add extra functionality, such as end paper feeders for case bound books, as our need demands.

“We didn’t look at any other alternatives because we are familiar with and have confidence in Horizon binders. We knew it would meet our needs, so didn’t feel we needed to consider anything else.

As for the impact it is making Steve states: “Basically, we can get more production from the same amount of time which enables us to take on jobs we’d have struggled with previously.

We’re not chasing different markets. Our existing trade market has plenty of opportunity and rely on us to provide quality products reliably and cost-effectively. This installation means we’ll simply be able to do this on a slightly bigger scale.”

He adds: “The full return on investment won’t be fully known until our plans to expand capabilities in other areas of the business are realised. We are, though, anticipating it will be a significant component in a strategy that will see us double in size over the next few years.

Also crucial was the relationship Flexpress has with IFS. Says Steve “We’ve worked with IFS for many years and can’t foresee this changing. We trust the team implicitly and having been lucky enough to visit the Horizon factory in Japan, know they have a strong partnership with one of the world’s most respected brands of finishing equipment. Why wouldn’t we love that?”

The new Horizon BQ-500 four clamp perfect binder builds on the successful tried and trusted features of its BQ-470 and BQ-480 predecessors. Its enhanced functionality includes smoother faster more highly automated set up via a large 12.1 inch colour touchscreen, 21 automated sections from cycle and milling speed to roller height and guide positioning, memory storage of up to 999 jobs, pre-installed variable software capability and variable thickness production of 5mm up to 800bph.

It also incorporates a number of new design features that aid easy operation.

They include a status light that indicates, at a distance, how the binder is running, and an ergonomic design where all the operator required actions are on the same side.

It is pre-installed with Horizon’s cloud-based iCE LiNK workflow that provides access to an intuitive easy to use dashboard that reports real-time production analysis for improved efficiency and profitability, remote update capabilities and scheduled maintenance resulting in less downtime.

The latest investment joins a Horizon StitchLiner MKIII, a Horizon BQ-280 PUR single clamp perfect binder, a Horizon HT-30C three-sided trimmer, a Horizon CRF 362 creaser folder and a Horizon AFC-566 folder.

As well as books Flexpress produces a range of commercial print including booklets, manuals and presentation folders on LED UV lithographic presses up to SRA1 and HP Indigos up to B2.