Precision Printing has augmented its casebinding capabilities after investing close to £200,000 in new equipment for the department.
In the first week of October the Dagenham-based business took delivery of a manual Zechini Roby Zero and a semi-automatic Zechini Roby Junior 2 casemakers, supplied by Friedheim International, plus a Schmedt PräLeg Neo XL casing-in machine and a Schmedt PräForm Neo pressing and joint-forming machine, supplied by Neenah Redbridge.
The equipment is all additional and complements the firm’s existing casemaking machinery from Photobook Technology (PBT), which comprises a fully automatic hard cover unit, a fully automatic casing-in unit and a layflat hotmelt binder.
“This kit allows us to increase our firepower within that market space because we’re seeing a rapid increase in the book market,” said Precision Printing group chief operating officer Andy Skarpellis.
“It’s a growing sector for [Precision’s trade print service] Where The Trade Buys. It enables us to be more diverse with the volumes that we can take on, especially as we go into peak season.”
The new equipment was chosen following a thorough review of the market that saw the business look at around 40 machines from nine different suppliers.
“Pound for pound, the Schmedt and Zechini machines were the best,” said Skarpellis.
“They have given us a huge amount more flexibility to be able to produce book-of-one much faster, and also to be able to service our Where The Trade Buys customers in a quicker manner.”
The new kit will be used to complete jobs printed on Precision’s six HP Indigos – a 12000, a 10000 and four 7500s. The business also operates two eight-colour Ryobi LED UV offset presses at its 5,110sqm factory, which it moved into last year.
Separately, in June the business bolstered its finishing department with the installation of a Horizon StitchLiner Mark III and two VAC-600 collators from Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS).
This kit enables the company to run 35 to 40 jobs per shift, up from the 20 to 25 it had been able to fulfil prior to the investment.
Skarpellis said the firm’s complete finishing investment during 2018 represents another separate £200,000 spend, and also includes some secondhand guillotines installed earlier in the year.
“Our offline commercial sector is growing as well and the additional casebinding and StitchLiner machinery allows us to service our customers in a more robust way, because from a contingency point of view just having one machine is never healthy,” he added.
Precision Printing employs around 200 permanent staff across three sites, including 160 in Dagenham, though the number of people working at this site ramps up to 300 in peak season. The business is forecasting a turnover of £25m for 2018.