Flexpress early adopter of new Horizon perfect binder

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Flexpress has taken delivery of one of the first Horizon BQ-500 four clamp perfect binders in the UK to manage an increase in book printing orders.

The BQ-500 has a maximum production speed of 800bph
The BQ-500 has a maximum production speed of 800bph

The Leicester-based trade printer installed the new machine at the end of March. It was supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS).

Flexpress managing director Steve Wenlock said: “Book printing demand has been growing and we felt our existing equipment was struggling to cope, particularly at times of peak demand.

“The Horizon BQ-470 and Horizon BQ-480 PUR have always had excellent reputations so the opportunity to install the latest variation was too good to miss. Plus, our experience of Horizon equipment, such as our StitchLiner MK III, has always been very positive.

“Apart from the fact it's considerably quicker than the machine it replaced, we liked the fact the BQ-500 has the ability to add extra functionality, such as end paper feeders for case bound books, as our need demands.

“We didn’t look at any other alternatives because we are familiar with and have confidence in Horizon binders. We knew it would meet our needs, so didn't feel we needed to consider anything else.”

Wenlock added the company can now get more production from the same amount of time, which enables the business to take on jobs it would have previously struggled with.

“We're not chasing different markets. Our existing trade market has plenty of opportunity and rely on us to provide quality products reliably and cost-effectively. This installation means we'll simply be able to do this on a slightly bigger scale.

“The full return on investment won't be fully known until our plans to expand capabilities in other areas of the business are realised. We are, though, anticipating it will be a significant component in a strategy that will see us double in size over the next few years.”

Wenlock said the company’s relationship with IFS was also crucial to choosing the Horizon machine.

“We've worked with IFS for many years and can't foresee this changing. We trust the team implicitly and having been lucky enough to visit the Horizon factory in Japan, know they have a strong partnership with one of the world's most respected brands of finishing equipment.”

The headline specs of the BQ-500 mirror those of the BQ-480: a maximum production speed of 800bph when configured with automatic book block feeding and 21 automated sections from cycle speed through to milling, side-glue and nipper settings amongst others.

It also features interchangeable EVA and PUR glue tanks and can handle the same book formats, from 145x105mm to 320x320mm in thicknesses from 1-65mm.

Under the hood enhancements include deeper scoring for a thicker cover, a new gluing mechanism, glue overflow detection, a faster nipping changeover and a switchable exit mechanism for thick book or PUR book production.

The machine is pre-installed with Horizon’s cloud-based iCE LiNK workflow that provides access to an intuitive dashboard that reports real-time production analysis for improved efficiency and profitability, remote update capabilities, and scheduled maintenance resulting in less downtime.

IFS said UK prices for a typical production configuration BQ-500 start at around £120,000 dependent on options selected.

As well as books, Flexpress produces a range of commercial print including booklets, manuals, and presentation folders on LED UV RMGT (Ryobi) litho presses up to SRA1 and HP Indigo digital printers up to B2.


For more information on Flexpress's products and services, visit Printweek’s new Services Portfolio+ platform: servicesportfolioplus.com/company-list/Flexpress

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