John Price snaps up Versafire and StitchLiner

Rhys Handley
Monday, February 11, 2019

John Price Printers has upgraded its digital firepower and increased its flexiblity with a new Heidelberg Versafire EP press and a Horizon StitchLiner Mark III book line.

The £120,000 Versafire was taken on at the end of January to replace a Konica Minolta BizHub C1060, following a sharp rise in digital demand last year at the Bilston, Wolverhampton-based business.

It followed on from the December arrival of the StitchLiner, a £175,000 investment which will run in tandem with John Price's existing Muller Martini Bravo, picking up fast-turnaround, shorter run work that the Bravo would have struggled with, enabling it to focus on longer run jobs.

Director David Harris said: “In 2018, digital work rose so rapidly at the end of the year that we were struggling to fit work in. With its build quality and the in-line controls, we could see that the Versafire was great value for its money.

“Our new StitchLiner gives us greater capacity and more flexibility between job sizes, as our Muller Martini is not young so changeover and makeready could take up to 40 minutes whereas the new machine can be ready within a few minutes.”

First announced in May last year, the Versafire EP was introduced by Heidelberg as a direct replacement for its CP predecessor. Its capabilities include taking a banner size of 1,030mm in duplex and 1,260mm in simplex on substrates up to 450gsm. It can print up to 135 A4ppm and features automatic inline colour calibration.

The Stitchliner Mark III, supplied to John Price by Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS), can take a maximum sheet size of 356x508mm, producing up to 6,000 booklets/hr with up to 5mm stitch thickness. According to Harris, it will carry out runs up to 10,000 booklets with paginations of 32pp or less.

£4.5m-turnover John Price Printers also runs three Komori presses in its litho department – a B2 10-colour Lithrone S1029, as well as five-colour plus coater and four-colour plus coater machines – alongside mono digital printing from Konica Minolta, lamination, guillotining and creasing.

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