Galloways Printers has installed an IFS supplied Horizon StitchLiner MK III as part of a five year plan to redefine its end to end print production capabilities.
Matt Galloway, Managing Director of the Cheshire commercial operation, explains: “We are on a journey that will marry hardware and software like never before in our 151 year history. It began some 5 years ago by changing our MIS systems, adding a web to print offering and automated proofing software and a new Heidelberg Speedmaster CX102. The press quickly delivered production capabilities which put us in Heidelberg’s top 15 for CX102 users worldwide.
“The investments allowed us to move from 30 minute to 45 minute 500 sheet makereadies to five minute and 100 sheet makereadies. We have become much more competitive on short run work such as brochures. Now our average runs are 3,300 B1 sheets. But that efficiency pushed the bottleneck down the line to the bindery. The StitchLiner will help us manage that while delivering the high quality finish our customers expect. It will also mean that work does not have to go through a separate folding process which leaves our folders to handle other jobs.”
The new addition will help Galloways continue to see results from the impact of its five year plan, says Matt: “2020 should have been a growth year following the investment in the new press. We have been lucky enough to see 10% of our work come from new business in the past year and much of this is for short to medium run jobs. With those comes greater customer expectation for fast or next day delivery and the StitchLiner will help us manage that work more flexibly. We hope it will help us attract more new work, too, now we know we can proactively promote the capability and deliver.”
He continues: “Standing still is moving backwards. We wanted to be in a good position to respond to fast changing market requirements. We looked at various systems a couple of years ago but at that time we were still assessing how the business was changing. Then Covid hit. As work continued to come in we refocused on adapting the bindery for a more varied work mix.”
Galloways’ 6,000 sheets per hour system includes three high capacity VAC-L600H collators and 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 handle a wider range of substrates enabling greater flexibility and their intelligent operation allows them to feed digital work that has been printed `in page order’.
Says Matt: “We complete a lot of fulfilment work and before we were sending that out to be collated or it was being hand collated which took time. Customers don’t want to wait and these collators will help us be much faster so the deep trays will be ideal for the work we produce.”
The system includes a double length delivery conveyor as well. He states: “We went to see Flexpress and talked about their product mix. It was after that we added a twin delivery conveyor to give the operators more time to collect the completed work.”
Important to the investment was the relationship between Galloways and IFS adds Matt: “I got a real sense that we were creating a partnership – one that will look after us down the line. The team worked with us to define the best set up to handle our work mix.”