CPI in Hunkeler-Horizon integration first

The installation was captured in a time-lapse video by Canon
The installation was captured in a time-lapse video by Canon

CPI Group has achieved a UK first with its integration of finishing systems from Hunkeler and Horizon for its new on-demand book production facility.

The new CPI Books facility is a strategic partnership with Wiley and brings print and distribution together at the publisher’s European Distribution Centre site in Bognor Regis. 

It went live earlier this month. 

The post-press setup involves a Hunkeler Bookline connected to a Horizon BQ-500 iCE Smart Binding System – the first configuration of its type in the country, and also the first BQ-500 installation in the UK. 

Martin Collyer, divisional general manager at CPI, said: “It’s a blend of Hunkeler and Horizon. We’ve already got Hunkeler kit in Germany and it’s a really good book line, and we have a lot of Horizons in our digital portfolio in the UK, so having a BQ-500 is a natural progression for us.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do and it was a case of talking to people and making it happen. Blending the two together has been a great experience,” he said.

Book blocks and covers are barcoded, and the entire system dynamically adjusts to different book sizes and paginations.

The Hunkeler part of the setup makes book blocks from a reel of paper and can run online or offline to a print engine. It has a top speed of 200m/min. The CPI configuration is offline. 

The Horizon BQ-500 with HT-1000V trimmer is a variable perfect binder, and a fully automated BBF-480 book block feeder has been integrated inline with the Hunkeler system. The Hunkeler will adjust to match the capacity of the binder – for example if the binder was making a lot of small format books, the Bookline would automatically slow down to a pre-set speed, and then speed up again afterwards.  

Hunkeler’s UK partner Friedheim International, Horizon UK distributor Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS), and CPI’s IT experts collaborated on the integration of the two finishing systems, and with CPI’s own print-on-demand workflow. 

A sheetfed Canon ImagePress C9010 produces the covers, with a Canon ColorStream 6700 inkjet web press printing roll-to-roll producing the text pages. 

“It’s a different way of putting kit together and is a UK first. Offline is the right way to go for us because we can maximise the capabilities and efficiencies of each part of the system,” Collyer explained. 

“What it does is give us the flexibility to produce zero inventory books. We time the books to be ready for the right wave to be picked from stock,” he added.

IFS also supplied a Tecnau u9 unwinder and r9 rewinder for the ColorStream, and a Foliant Taurus thermal laminator that forms part of the total system. 

“It’s an exciting installation and we’re proud to work with CPI on this project. What they’re doing with their partnership with Wiley could be a new trend for the publishing market,” said IFS technical sales director Jason Seaber. 

He described it as "a complete roll to finished book solution without any manual touch points".

"All book covers are laminated on the Foliant Taurus 530 SF B2 thermal laminator and loaded directly into the binder with no need to be pre-trimmed on a guillotine as the binder features in-line cover slitting. This fully automated variable binding and trimming system also features Horizon’s latest iCE LiNK IoT connectivity for cloud based automated workflow including machine status, KPIs and job data management."

Robin Brown, national sales manager at Friedheim International, added: “It’s a UK first and a very interesting project. We’ve all worked together on a really clever interface. It’s a super line and it will just run and run.”

CPI said the total investment in the new facility involved a “multimillion pound” spend. It is set to create up to 40 new jobs at the operation.