The full-colour B2 digital press arrived at the book printer’s Suffolk site in July last year in order to support an increasing amount of complex digital colour book covers and jackets that Clays was seeing commissioned from the market.
Now, the company has announced that it will keep the four-colour machine onsite due to its capability to streamline the 200-year-old business’s book production.
Operations director Ian Smith said: “We use a wide range of litho and digital presses, and each offer significant advantages in their own way. We are always looking for ways in which we can streamline our processes and also improve the quality of our work. Fujifilm’s Jet Press 750S has certainly offered that and more.
“It can print on a wide range of substrates without us needing to use any particular coating, and from a business point of view, it brings short-run, self-colours and a wide range of Pantone colours. In fact, the machine stores any colour we create for one job, so we can use it again and again and be in no doubt it will produce the same quality every time.
“Ultimately, we see the Jet Press as having simplified our workplace; there is little wastage and the transition of work off our other presses and onto the Jet Press has been completely seamless. We expect the highest quality from our equipment, as do our customers, and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback on the work we’ve done on the Jet Press.”
Clays’ 56,600sqm site, which employs 700 people, turns out around 160 million books each year. The Jet Press’ capability for rapid job changeover and low wastage appealed to the company as the books market becomes quicker-paced and increasingly on-demand.
Having replaced litho presses on certain jobs, the Jet Press has also improved sustainability at Clays as it is a zero makeready press using less paper. It prints up to 3,600sph B2 at a maximum resolution of 1,200dpi powered by Samba printheads.
The Jet Press was brought in alongside a raft of Müller Martini finishing kit at the back end of a £12m investment drive which also saw an HP T490D inkjet web press added to Clays’ HP battery in November 2018.
Clays was bought by Italian firm Elcograf for £23.8m in May 2018 and, with a restructured board overseeing operations, it currently turns over around £76.5m. It renewed a contract with longstanding customer Penguin Random House in December which will see it print all of the publisher's monochrome book work until 2026.