Installed at the end of April, the machine represented a circa £80,000 investment for St Helens-based Poplar, which bought the machine from long-time kit supplier Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS) to replace a Duplo System 2000 bookletmaker.
According to managing director Martin Winders, the new Horizon will lead to a major increase in turnaround speed for his company’s offering to clients in the point of sale and retail sector, seeing its A4 landscape production rate increase from 100-150 units per hour to around 3,500-4,000.
He said: “In replacing the Duplo, we decided to take something on that would really allow us to flex our muscles. We are growing and wanted something faster and stronger to cope with our A4 landscape workload.
“We have a lot of Horizon kit onsite that runs as well now as it did when we bought it, so I was sold on the quality of previous kit along. I also cannot praise IFS highly enough, as they understand that after-sale should be just as good as pre-sale.
“Every single sheet that goes through the SPF-200L is electronically calibrated so our consistency has massively increased and this is backed up by getting quicker turnarounds so a job with 5,000 brochures can be delivered this afternoon rather than in a few days.”
The Horizon SPF-200L bookletmaker runs at speeds up to 3,500 A4 landscape booklets per hour or 4,000bph in A4 portrait. It will be used by Poplar for a variety of retail applications including brochures, voucher booklets and leaflets.
Equipped with two VAC 1000 10-station collators, it joins an IFS-supplied portfolio on the 2,230sqm premises that includes a Horizon BQ-270 single-clamp perfect binder, a Horizon AFC-546 folder and a Foliant Vega 400 laminators.
Poplar’s operates a number of Ricoh production printers, two Pro C8120S and two Pro C9100s, and it has been a wholly digital since it switched from SRA2 litho in 2014.
“A lot of our litho clients were in banking and they drew back in the crash,” explained Winders. “We saw that the litho market had B2 companies leaning down on SRA2 while digital was biting up. We invested in digital to specialise in fast turnaround and top quality.”
With a workforce of 10 employees, Poplar Services Printers saw its turnover rise by 9% last year, a feat which Widners expects to repeat or surpass this year.