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Northend Streamlines Finishing with Horizon Investment

Sheffield full-service print provider Northend is the second UK operation to install the Horizon StitchLiner MKIII with the new VAC-L600H tower collators.

The investment was made to streamline production at the newly formed operation created by the merger of Northend Creative Print Solutions (CPS) and My Print Partners (MPP) in April. The merger was completed through De Lisle Holdings which is 50% owned by MPP production director Richard Green and sales director Ian McCloskey and 50% by Northend CPS managing director Nigel Stubley.

There are 45 employees at the £5m turnover firm and it produces offset work on a quick drying Ryobi 920 LED UV five colour press and digital print on a Ricoh Pro C9100 and a Ricoh Pro C7100.

“We took six months after the merger to review operations and see where investment needed to be made,” explains Richard Green. “Our Muller Martini binding line was getting old and taking longer to make ready. The StitchLiner MKIII was the perfect solution. It ran quicker, was faster to set up improving planning and also used a smaller sheet size on magazines resulting in 10% savings on some paper.”

Northend’s 6,000 sheets per hour system includes the new 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’. It also has the option of Ultrasonic detection and a double length delivery stream.

“When we did the first demos it completed five jobs in a couple of hours, previously one job took three hours on its own. The fact we no longer have to fold sections saves us a lot of time freeing up capacity. It also helps us get the jobs out the door faster.”

The decision to invest in the StitchLiner was based on previous experience with Horizon solutions and working with IFS. Green says: “We have had Horizon systems before, in fact a Horizon SPF-FC200a was one of the few systems we moved to the new business. We know they can complete high quality work reliably and consistently with maximum uptime. We also know and trust IFS. When it came to replacing the Muller Martini we wanted something to match that and the StitchLiner was ideal.

“We have a monthly job that was taking 20 hours to finish. The new StitchLiner will take just five. That showed us just how much of an impact it would have on other jobs. It will give us some production space and allow us to reduce overtime.”