Clinical broadens offer with Horizon

By Hannah Jordan, Tuesday 31 January 2017

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Clinical Print Finishers has invested in a B2 Horizon AFC 566FG folder to support increasing demand from customers.

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Pickles: "The beauty of this machine is that it’s flexible"

Installed by Intelligent Finishing Systems in December, the new folder joins more than 40 other, mostly H&H, devices at the Leicester-based trade finisher. 

“We’re always looking at H&H, MBO and Heidelberg and this time we felt the Horizon best suited our needs,” said Clinical’s operation director Alan Pickles. “I’ve been looking at Horizon kit for a few years and monitoring reliability and have heard very good reports.

“Although we’re predominantly small-format, we do have some B2 customers and the beauty of this machine is that it’s flexible so it can do small-format if we require it to,” he added.

The Horizon AFC-566FG installed at Clinical is a fully automated folder with electric delivery conveyor that offers a wide range of simple to very complex folding patterns. Its added ED-40 vertical stacker delivery enables it to produce and batch deliver small-format folding.

“It’s the first B2 device that we’ve invested in for this kind of work. As well as the B2 work, the machine will be doing a lot of short-run, z-fold card and miniature sections for our offline stitchers,” said Pickles of the circa-£65,000 folder.

The 42-year-old business runs 30 H&H machines for miniature work, which Clinical carried out a roller replacement programme for last year, four z-fold card lines, five stitching lines, two Bograma die-cutting machines, mailing lines for attaching items such as sachets and cards, two spine-glue booklet lines and two ram punches. 

Clinical, which employs 32 staff and turns over around £2m annually, gets 80% of its work from commercial printers and the remaining 20% from pharmaceutical packaging firms, producing lightweight multi-fold patient information leaflets. 

“We have tended to get pigeon-holed with folding leaflets, but we do have a wide range of products we can produce,” said Pickles. 

He said that while many print finishers have disappeared in recent years, the company’s client-base keeps them firmly in business.

“Because we tend to specialise and we have a big customer-base who all give us three or four jobs a year, it doesn’t make sense for them to make a big investment to bring this work in-house and that’s what keeps us going,” he explained.

Pickles said as a company Clinical is always looking at new equipment and investing and would be exhibiting in March at PrintWeekLive! as part of this strategy. 

“We like to visit and be present at as many shows as we can just to see what’s in development and to share our offering,” he said. “There’s a limit as print finishers as to what you can put out there but it’s about having a versatile range of kit."

The company will show a broad range of samples on its stand at the event, which takes place on 8 and 9 March at the Wasps Arena, Coventry. 

He said: “What we make is quite tactile with lots of interesting shapes and formats so we can show a lot in a small space. We’ll be giving out a lot of sample packs if people choose to take them so they can show them to their customers to try to sell ideas to them.

"People shouldn’t be frightened of doing small-format work. For some printers it’s outside of their comfort zone, but they’re missing a trick in many ways. It adds value.”

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