Precision Printing signed for £450,000 worth of layflat and case-binding kit from Duplo at Ipex to enable the firm to boost its high-value, high-impact corporate and on-demand offering.
“One of the things we’ve noticed in the past 18 months is that there seems to be more budget available from corporate clients, particular when it comes to enhanced finishes,” said Precision managing director Gary Peeling.
“So the demand for case binding and layflat, which is the focus of this investment, has increased dramatically and the ability to execute those projects in short run is something we want to undertake inhouse, because they tend to be time sensitive.”
The company has signed for an eight cases/min Mitacase automatic hard cover unit, a seven books/min Mitabook automatic casing-in unit, a 70 cycles/min Mitamax layflat hot-melt binder – all built by Photobook Technology (PBT), which is represented in the UK by Duplo.
The deal also includes the UK’s first UltraBind 6000 - Duplo’s highly automated 600 copies-per-hour PUR/Hotmelt hybrid perfect binder which was launched at Ipex.
All machines will be run offline and will be installed at precision’s Barking site over the summer, where the setup will complement the recently purchased Scodix digital enhancement press.
To accommodate the new kit Precision will relocate some of its customer warehousing to a facility nearby, giving it in effect a new 560sqm bindery.
Peeling hinted that this would also make room for some future undisclosed investments.
The company annually outsources around £250,000 of book binding work, which presents obvious challenges in the on-demand market.
“It isn’t just about recapturing that though, it’s making sure that we’re positioned for the developing trend of high-value, high-impact products,” said Peeling.
Precision’s reasons for opting for the PBT and Ultrabind kit were largely down to their ability to change formats and substrates in under a minute and their ease of use.
“So we don’t necessarily need the complexity of a bookbinder’s skill and the people per machine is also one per machine, whereas on some of the alternative technologies it’s two,” said Peeling.
As well as corporate projects, Peeling said the kit would enable the company to produce jobs such as case-bound on-demand photobooks and publishing projects.
“So we can have a number of potential streams coming in through Oneflow [Precision’s homegrown on-demand workflow] with an output that is finished as a casebook or layflat book,” he said.
The deal represents Duplo’s single biggest Ipex 2014 sale.
“This will be our first install of the Mita products, these have always been thought of as photobook technologies, but we’ve known for some time that there was a hand-in-glove fit with the commercial print market, so it was just a matter of time, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better customer than Precision,” said Duplo UK managing director Peter Jolly.