Fine Print (Stockport) has invested in a Horizon AFC 566FG folder after striking a deal with UK distributor Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS) at Ipex.
Due for installation on 27 November, the B2 machine has been selected by the Stockport-based commercial printer due to its smaller footprint and faster operation, with a device from a rival manufacturer briefly considered before a deal was made.
Confirmed at Ipex, which took place from 31 October to 3 November in Birmingham, the sale is the latest in a series of purchases Fine Print has made from IFS, including one for a stitcher.
“Our relationship with IFS has always been very positive and, after comparing with a few other machines, we decided this was the most competitive offer,” said Fine Print director Lee Tilley, who runs the company with his brother Scott Tilley.
“We are swapping out our MB CAS 52 folder because the Horizon has a much smaller footprint and we are currently a little bit tight on space on our premises. The idea of relocation has been tossed around, but never seriously, and this helps us make more space.
“At the moment, we are being asked to do a lot more small-format work and wanted a system that was quick to set up and easy to run. The Horizon demo by IFS went well and that convinced us.”
With the introduction of the machine, the brothers expect a return on their investment in two years and to be able to handle “99%” of work in-house. The highly automated B2 folder has six buckles and a cross knife, with two buckles under the cross knife enabling 17 fold patterns and operation controlled via an icon-based 10.4in colour touchscreen.
Fine Print runs a range of kit, including a B2 Komori five-colour press, a Heidelberg Printmaster 46 and two digital Ricoh presses – one of which was installed earlier this year. A new member of staff has been recruited recently for its digital department and the company also has its own in-house finishing studio.
Other Ipex deals for IFS included the sale of several Foliant laminators and two BQ-270 single clamp perfect binders, as well as a StitchLiner Mark III to Healeys Print Group.
IFS managing director Brian Godwyn said: “It’s too early to tell if we will return to the next Ipex but we will always have interest in shows of this nature – the UK will always need a quality print show and not everyone has the time to go to shows like Drupa.
“Our customers came and saw our finishing systems and saw exactly what they were interested in. We did exactly what we set out to do and it seems to me that the UK market is alive and kicking – the business is still there.
“In my view, people wanted Ipex to be the same as it always was and of course it wasn’t. I have sympathy for the international visitors who expected a massive show but this was a big event for our customers and I saw it as a case of quality over quantity.”