UK Bookbinders is opening a digitally focused section for its trade binding operation. The Weston Super Mare company has installed a Horizon BQ470 four-clamp binder together with Horizon HT30 trimmer and small format guillotine in a separate 650m2 unit alongside the main 200m2 factory.
“It lets us diversify into markets where we haven’t been present or affordable enough,” says general manager Lee Gary. “This lets us target the binding of digitally printed book blocks and a new service for digital printers.”
The company has two large Muller Martini binding lines as well as large format guillotines and high speed sewn binding. Processing short runs on this equipment is disruptive and creates bottlenecks. “Short run and digital printing is here to stay,” he explains. “Before runs of 200 to 300 were cost prohibitive for us.”
The company decided on a four-clamp model rather than a single-clamp binder for the extra versatility and volume. It then looked at what was available on the market and crucially what its customers and others were using: the Horizon BQ470.
Gray says: “A lot of people had decided it was good enough for them, so it was going to be good enough for us. As we will be handling over flow work for a couple of customers it also helps that they will know what they are going to get in terms of quality.”
The machine has been specified to run PUR only to cope with the widest range of substrates. The HT30 will also run landscape and small format products alongside standard sizes. “We have produced digital jobs and short run litho jobs that have been gathered offline and have been very pleased with results from both types of work,” he says.
The Muller Martini binders are able to run with hot melt or PUR so the company has experience with the versatile glue. And while its operators are experienced with the larger machines, they have taken quickly to the smaller machine and its touch screen set up for shorter runs.
“A lot of digital print is for runs that are set up quantities for the large machines,” he says. This has made it expensive and rule UK Bookbinders from a developing part of the market. Now with the machines commissioned, sales staff are starting to bang the drum for the new service. Gray says: “We have wanted to create extra revenue streams and have other investment coming before the end of the summer.”
UK Bookbinders, like BCQ here, has installed a Horizon BQ470 to handle short runs and digital work without clogging its Muller Martini binding lines. The Weston Super mare company chose the four clamp model because of its popularity among the UK printers that could use the company for overflow jobs.