The move, which comes five years after Route 1 ordered the UK’s first S10P, is part of a broader £5m investment in its book printing division. It will bolster the firm’s capabilities in luxury and layflat book printing as well as stitched and perfect-bound booklets.
The majority of work going through the new seven-colour press will come from Bluetree’s online trade brand, Route 1 Print. It will be integrated into the workflow alongside the firm’s existing S10P, maintaining a continuous flow from customer upload to printing.
James Kinsella, Bluetree Group co-CEO, explained: “The print market is highly competitive, and to support the print resellers we serve through Route 1 Print we need to invest to ensure that we can produce at the highest quality and lowest unit cost. The first Landa press has fitted seamlessly into our workflow and has given us a lot more flexibility around what we can offer to our resellers.”
Bluetree Group’s investment has come after seeing strong growth in its perfect-bound book business, which are printed as blocks before being run through the firm’s Kolbus KM600 binding line.
The new press, expected to be installed in early 2024, will also serve Bluetree’s luxury book and brochure printer, Kingsbury Press, which it acquired in 2021.
“In the past, Kingsbury had almost exclusively used litho printing to ensure the best possible image reproduction and print quality,” Kinsella said.
Now part of Bluetree Group, the company can take advantage of the group’s digital heft to explore shorter run lengths, he added.
“The new press will take this to the next level with the capability that seven colours offers and what this can bring to the stunning photography that features in these projects,” he said.
Israeli manufacturer Landa, which revealed the sale at a press conference yesterday (14 December), also announced the sale of two further S10P presses; one to German direct mail specialist Wirtz Druck and its brand MailingLiebe, and another to European packaging company Model Group, for its factory in the Czech Republic.