Harrier LLC has installed a Kolbus DA 260 casemaker and Kolbus BF 512 casing-in machine as part of a "heavy investment" push which has also seen the company add an eighth HP Indigo and other post-press kit.
The new kit has replaced a manual ODM casemaker and a Rebord casing-in machine to boost the efficiency and quality of Harrier’s photobook and commercial book operation. The new binding line is also designed to allow Harrier to grow its presence in commercial trade finishing.
"We’ve been making books using smaller hand kit for quite some time, but the volumes have increased, as have demands for quality, whether that’s in photo finishing or commercial print," said operational planning and solutions manager at Harrier James Belton.
The biggest challenge in sourcing a new binding line was finding kit that could switch quickly between the wide range of different book sizes Harrier processes, said Belton.
"Our work is heavily variable in terms of pages," said Belton. "So 10 sheets of paper all the way up to commercial books which are two to three inches thick. We had to have something that could deal with that without massive disruption to the set-up times. We decided that the Kolbus would be the best option."
He added: "It has built-in variance which allows you a small amount of measurement where you can batch efficiently and you don’t have to change the machine over. There are machines available on the market that say they run faster and can switch on the fly but when you actually try that option it makes things slower."
The efficiency of both Kolbus machines is also crucial for producing personalised photobook cases. Belton said: "The Rebord machine for instance was fine for doing your linens and your leathers and that was where the marketplace was a few years ago for us, but personalised spines mean people want text that never moves out of half a millimeter tolerance. We needed that accuracy and we needed it quick."
The Kolbus DA 260 outputs 40 cases per minute, while the BF 512 outputs 30.
Also part of an investment push "in the millions" for Harrier LLC this year, has been an eighth HP Indigo installation and investment in UV coating, lamination, guillotine and punching capacity.