CPI in major digital expansion


CPI is making a major investment in its digital book production facilities that includes some of the kit from failed group MPG.

Last week CPI’s parent company changed ownership and restructured its debt when it was acquired by a new consortium of French investors.

With the ownership situation resolved, the £112m turnover UK operation can now press on with the planned expansion of its short-run facilities, which will result in the creation of 20-30 new jobs and a 50-60% increase in its digital print capacity in the UK.

It is installing a second HP T360 inkjet web at its Antony Rowe facility in Wiltshire. CPI brands its HP lines as ‘Quantum’ technology, and now has seven systems across Europe.

The new press, a colour model, will be fitted with the Timson T-Fold from MPG’s King’s Lynn site. This is the first time CPI has configured one of its HP lines in this way.

Francois Golicheff, CPI UK chief executive, said: "In the UK everything is going as planned, we have had quite a good year and gained market share and volume even though there is no Fifty Shades of Grey.

"We had already decided to buy a second Quantum line, the equipment from MPG allows us to speed up the ramp-up," he explained.

"We are not doing things because of the demise of MPG, this is all part of our plan. It sits perfectly with the continuing market shift towards shorter, more frequent print runs."

CPI declined to put a figure on the spend, but said it was "a significant investment to support our customers". It forms part of CPI’s £20m investment plan in the UK.

In addition to the T-Fold, CPI is also buying the Kolbus KM600 binding system with sequential signature feeder, Kolbus BF casing in-line and DA 260 casemaking machines from MPG King’s Lynn.

MPG’s collapse has resulted in a significant amount of new work for CPI UK.

Chief operating officer Ian Browning-Smith said CPI had seen a big increase in volumes for the scientific, technical, medical and academic market (STMA), and in the amount of cased books it was producing.

"We shared a large number of customers as the two largest STMA book printers. Instead of dual supply, or working with three or four printers, we’re finding that customers want to find a partner that has the right technology and can deliver large volumes," he said.

"Demand for hardback books is rising, publishers are investing more in those products, which is pleasing," Browning-Smith added.

The new kit will be installed over the next two months. CPI said it would be up and running in time for the traditionally busy pre-Christmas production period.

CPI employs 980 staff in the UK.

 


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