Digi-Moll installed

Make Up Print Finishers brings gluing in-house

Make Up's Digi-MollPak has automated the previously manual process of folding and gluing
Make Up's Digi-MollPak has automated the previously manual process of folding and gluing

Make Up Print Finishers, the trade finishing arm of Gloucestershire-based Vale Press Group, has automated its in-house gluing process with a brand-new Moll Digi-MollPak folder-gluer.

Installed on 15 April, the new machine has brought Make Up’s folding and gluing capacity up from 5,000-10,000 to hundreds of thousands of items per job, according to Edward Stowe, the firm’s commercial director.

He told Printweek: “We had three days of training, and it’s been running now for about a week, all performing as expected.”

The decision to invest came after Vale Group – which turns over around £4.5m – saw that the industry seemed to be consolidating.

Stowe said: “It seems to be on a nearly weekly basis that we see other printers shutting down, so we felt it was an important time to invest.

“The new Digi-Moll allows us to do higher volumes of folding and gluing – and Make Up we deal with around 50 customers already, so it’s a welcome investment for the current customer base and is important for our group’s supply chain as a whole.

”One significant job that the new folder-gluer will handle was one that the firm had previously outsourced to Nottingham Trade Finishers, which ceased trading on 3 April.

Involving around 100,000 sheets printed by Make Up’s sister company, Vale Press, the job will now be produced entirely in-house.

As well as cutting Make-Up’s overheads on larger jobs, the Digi-Moll will drastically reduce the time it takes to fold and glue short runs – a process that Make Up’s team has until now done by hand, not least because of long lead times quoted by suppliers.

“There’s definitely a market we’re tapping into here – if they can’t touch it for two or three weeks, there’s obviously a bit of work to get hold of.”

One particular market in which Stowe hopes to expand Vale Group's presence is on folding cartons.

“The beauty with carton work is that they’re not particularly big print jobs. On a single-sided sheet, a job that’s almost 10,000 cartons four-up, for us that’s off the machine in 40 minutes. It’s not a big job that will clog you up, but you get the added value all the way along the line.”

Make Up employs 12 of the Vale Group’s 42 staff.