The £150,000 device was installed at the firm’s 9,290sqm Rotherham premises around two months ago, initially on a trial basis. The company made the final decision to keep the machine in the past few weeks.
The device, which was launched at Drupa, combines the DSF-6000 sheet feeder with the DSC-10/60i suction tower collator. Duplo said the machine, which has a 24in (610mm) high-capacity stacker for large volume jobs, is ideal for converting pre-collated digital or offset printed media into high-quality booklets at speeds of up to 4,500bph.
Route One managing director Adam Carnell said: “We’re seeing a huge uplift in the number of booklets that we’re producing, particularly very short run lengths but with medium paginations.
“With a typical collator style bookletmaker it takes such a long time to load up all of the sections into the collation tower and then to run the job, so we saw huge time savings with this machine.”
He added: “It’s probably two to three times the productivity when we use the sheet feeder versus the traditional collation towers. We’re seeing really significant productivity gains on jobs such as digital books with run lengths of up to 250.”
Another key factor in the firm’s decision was the machine’s optional barcode kit, which ensures complete set integrity using barcodes.
“Quality is king and part of that is making sure we get the reliability and consistency of the books correct. The Duplo barcode kit means that something stops the machine if any pages fall out of the correct order,” said Carnell.
“We wanted to take work off our Xerox iGens, put them straight into the Duplo machine and have finished books come out. Different paginations and different kinds of very similar jobs come out one after each other, so Duplo’s barcoding system gave it the edge for us.”
The machine joins a Horizon Stitchliner, which will now be used for short-run litho work, and a Muller Martini machine, which will be used for longer-run work.
The Duplo investment follows Route One’s recent installation of a new 10-colour B2 Speedmaster XL 75, the conversion of its B1 Speedmaster SX 102 to LE-UV and a pre-press upgrade.
The 240-staff firm has a turnover of around £20m, which it expects to increase to £30m by the end of the current financial year. The company’s annual growth has averaged around 62% over the past four years and it came 50th in this year’s Sunday Times' Virgin Fast Track 100.