Bluetree Design & Print has added perfect binding to its service offering after enjoying success with its online print operation.
The Rotherham, South Yorkshire general commercial printer booted up a Horizon BQ470 binder to expand capabilities of the trade online print operation Route One.
“We set up Route One in 2012 as the trade arm for the Bluetree business,” said e-commerce director James Kinsella, who is using the new kit for short-run magazines and company reports.
“The brand has grown very quickly. It already produces stitched books but customers have been increasingly asking for perfect-bound options.
“It is important for us to have full control of production and quality management so if we were going to offer perfect binding it had to be something we did in house.
“The BQ470 has allowed us expand the range of options we can offer to the resellers we partner with and produce a greater variety of book size choices. The stand-out feature is automation.
“The Horizon sets itself up automatically in terms of the spines, adjusting for different stock thicknesses and changing from one book size to another.
“It's critical to reduce operator input that could affect the quality of the product. We deal with resellers, and customers have been asking for perfect binding for months and months.”
Bluetree Design & Print employs 197 staff across the £14.4m turnover group that includes its Route One online print service provider.
The company spent £8m last year on facilities and kit. This included two HP Scitex 11000 machines.
It bought a B1 eight-colour Heidelberg SX 102 and Muller Martini stitcher for long-run books last summer. In December it took an iGen 150 just before the Horizon for short-run books.
The 1,350 books-per-hour PUR BQ-470 four-clamp perfect binder is suitable for mid-range soft-back book production with higher production speeds and instant makereadies for runs-of-one.
It can bind up to 65mm thickness and offers fully automated set-up through an icon-based LCD touchscreen.
Kinsella said Bluetree had considered other options but was already sold on the quality, reliability and ease of use of its existing Horizon StitchLiner.
“We needed a system that could handle both litho and digital work. The perfect binder does that and also gives us the flexibility to easily change the size of jobs,” he said.