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Flexpress in UK Horizon First

Flexpress, Leicester, is the first UK operation to install the Horizon StitchLiner MKIII with the new VAC-L600H tower collators. 

The new system was chosen to streamline production at the trade only printing company that works with print resellers including publishers. It replaced a Horizon StitchLiner 5500 and Duplo iSaddle.

Crucial to the decision to invest in the new high capacity VAC-L600H collators was their 130mm deep trays. They are more than double the depth of the 55mm trays on 10 station collators. This equates to 2.3 times less down time for loading and greater uptime.

The new collators can also handle a wider range of substrates enabling Flexpress to have greater flexibility while the StitchLiner’s 6,000 per hour productivity enables faster turnaround of jobs. 

Steve Wenlock, Managing Director, comments: “We chose this system as there isn’t anything out there that offers the same combination of versatility and overall performance.

“We do a lot of A4 landscape booklets and the new collators are designed with these in mind and when we saw the new collators in action in Germany we knew they would handle everything we needed the machine to do. In addition, the deeper bins are more suited to the type of work we tend to do.”

He continues: “We’ve replaced two older machines with the new solution and it is proving just as productive. In addition, we can instantly see there are quality improvements too, with flatter booklets and less skewing.

“Since it has been installed we’ve effectively been able to save one salary as we have reassigned the operator of the old second machine elsewhere in the business. Plus, we’ve freed up floor space which, combined with other room saving initiatives, will negate the need to expand the operation’s square meterage; at least for a short while!”

As for the anticipated impact of the new collator design he states: “We can now run thicker substrates and all types of laminates which makes us much more productive.”

The latest investment follows the installation of three Horizon systems just a few months ago. The Horizon BQ-280 PUR single clamp perfect binder, Horizon HT-30C three-sided trimmer and a Horizon CRF 362 creaser folder, added PUR gluing capabilities, eased production throughput and enhanced high quality folding and creasing respectively. They were chosen to enhance Flexpress’s perfect bound book production capabilities. 

As for working with IFS Wenlock states: Everyone we deal with at IFS go above and beyond to help out. That includes the managing director Bryan Godwyn, the sales team, the service team and the office staff. The equipment they supply is all well-built and reliable. Because of this, they are usually our first port of call when we need new equipment.”