07 December 2014 Print Companies

UK's first Duplo iSaddle is scooped up by Flexpress

The Leicester printer in the first in the country with the iSaddle, and it is already making an impact.

Leicester printer and booklet specialist Flexpress has become the first UK printer to buy the Duplo iSaddle, Duplo’s newly launched flagship booklet maker.

And the printer is expanding into a second unit next year to cope with demand for its services, which will deliver a 20% sales increase next year according to the company’s business plan. Despite having a flatbed inkjet press and offering a wide range of services including banners and business cards, booklets account for almost half the turnover of the 25-strong company.

The second unit will be the same size as the unit it took on in 2010 when installing a B2 Ryobi. Last year it added a five-colour B3 Ryobi to ease pressure on the larger press and to handle work beyond the scope of digital printing.

In all the company has spent £1.3 million since the move and has managed to fit the iSaddle into the increasingly space constrained factory. The iSaddle has been specified with a an intelligent collating tower able to work with litho printed sheets, percolated blocks from the digital press or a combination of the two.

But key to the decision to take the iSaddle according to managing director Steve Wenlock is the ability to produce A4 landscape products. “This has increased our ability to win contracts by about 30%,” he explains.

The second key aspect is the automation which reduces makeready time to a few minutes only. He continues: “We are conscious that in an increasingly digital world people work in hours, not days, which is where Duplo has really helped us. The results of the iSaddle system have been phenomenal.

"The productivity has been superb thanks to the ease of use and fast makeready speed that’s as little as five minutes, a two-third reduction on the previous system. Overall, I’d estimate that there’s a 60% time saving for jobs on the iSaddle System that can produce up to 80-page booklets.”

The device incorporates a central cut on the trimming station to produce two-up products, something that relieves pressure on what is now a single guillotine operation, down from four previously.

The business has also upgraded its workflow in the last few months to cope with the expected additional throughput of booklets. The expansion will take the business through the £2 million sales barrier early next year and up from there.

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Steve Wenlock

Steve Wenlock

Flexpress is expanding into an adjacent unit to cope with growth in demand for booklets, a trend which has led to the installation of the UK's first Duplo iSaddle.


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