New, better capacity

Halstan boosts book firepower with Canon, Tecnau and Horizon

Smith, third from left, at Drupa with Halstan and Canon team: "The business case and the numbers all work out"

Halstan has confirmed a major spend with Canon and IFS that will see the business automate and add continuous feed inkjet to its book production setup.

The circa £2.5m investment includes a Canon ProStream 2133 reelfed inkjet press, a Tecnau Revolution 50 AutoSetup sheeter, and Horizon BQ-500 iCE perfect binder with inline auto trimming via a Horizon HT-1000V.

Halstan CEO Rupert Smith was at Drupa to confirm the deals, having done extensive due diligence prior to the show.

The firm has been running Canon’s VarioPrint iX3200 B3 format sheetfed inkjet since 2021, and the business – and its customers – have been impressed by the quality.

Smith told Printweek the new kit would arrive next month and was set to be operational by the end of August.

“It give us the capacity to grow, and is very exciting for us,” he said.

“One of our biggest growth areas has been colour books, but we’ve been constrained by the sheet size, as a lot of high-end coffee table style books are oversized,” he explained.

The ProStream, which runs at up to 133m/min and handles coated and uncoated media from 28gsm to 150gsm, will replace some older toner devices that have reached end-of-life.

As well as additional capacity, it will also help the business streamline production.

“The Canon inkjet systems have helped us win significant new business and put Halstan at the forefront for quality in the book market,” Smith stated.

Halstan team with Tecnau and IFS At Drupa 2024 -

The Tecnau will arrive at Halstan’s Amersham facility directly from Drupa where it was on show, with the firm becoming the first customer in the world to take the new device.

It can change between page configurations without manual intervention.

“We produce such a wide variety of products that the automation Tecnau now offer means we can switch between formats without stopping production,” Smith said.

“Products such as landscape booklets, music scores, oversized coffee table books and pocket-sized notebooks can now all be produced with equal ease.”

Stuart Rising, head of commercial print at Canon UK and Ireland, said he was excited to see how Halstan was using Canon’s technology to optimise its operations.

“The implementation of the Canon ProStream 2133 continuous feed inkjet press will enable the business to reach the next level of fully automated book production,” he said.

Tecnau and Horizon distributor Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS) is also supplying the firm’s new Horizon BQ-500 iCE perfect binding system.

IFS technical sales director Jason Seaber said: “We are really excited to be working with the team at Halstan as they continue to build a very smart book factory.

“I am confident these new investments, and continued partnership with IFS, Horizon, and new partnership with Tecnau, will be a fantastic success. We look forward to supporting all these new investments to ensure success and continued growth, and we appreciate the trust and confidence in choosing Tecnau, Horizon and IFS.”

Smith said the investment also included new Canon toner presses and saddle stitching kit for its operation in Germany, which is also set to add perfect binding to its setup later this year.

“This has all come at the right time in our investment cycle. The business case and the numbers all work out,” he added.

“With every investment we are making now we are looking at what we can automate. We have great staff and a really good prepress team to make the most of it all.”

Halstan UK employs 30 and has sales of around £5m.

Its services include perfect bound, thread sewn and layflat books, sheet music, and premium notebooks and stationery.