30 June 2014 Printing/Print Company Profiles

CPI books extra hardback capacity for Chatham

Growth in hardcover business is spurring investment to meet publisher demand with a Kolbus line heading to Kent.

CPI UK HAS ORDERED A FULL hardback binding line for its Chatham factory, continuing a £23 million investment spree that has included a new HP T410 for its Melksham plant in Wiltshire it announced last week.

The new line, comprising case maker, blocker and casing in machine arrives to be operational in August, so will be in place for the start of the busy season running up to the autumn when publishers launch their key titles. The order also underlines the continuing popularity of hardback trade books in the UK, despite projections that ebooks would replace printed books. Delegates to the Interquest Digital Book Printing Forum last week heard that the growth in ebook sales is slowing in the UK and that there has been a 10% growth in hardback trade book sales in the same period.

ANDY WATTS, GENERAL MANAGER OF CPI Books, says: “ As the UK’s leading book manufacturer our aim is to support our customers in a changing market. We’re doing this by continuing to invest in the most efficient new technology available, so that we can offer even greater responsiveness and increased security of supply.”

Kolbus will supply the binding equipment comprising BF530 casing in machine which will run at 70 books a minute, and delivering stacked books to a shrink wrapper; the DA270 case maker and PE312 embossing press. Overall the line will run at 70 books a minute delivering a 50% increase in production of hardcover editions. The company is also planning to use the technology to offer “innovative ways of adding value to the book” to its customers adding: “CPI believes its innovations will be of considerable interest as publishers seek ways to differentiation physical product.”

CPI ALREADY HAS KOLBUS EQUIPMENT at the Chatham factory along with Timson litho presses including a Zero Make Ready machine installed five years ago. Kolbus is also supplying what is the UK’s first KM200 binding line as part of the digital print investment in Wiltshire, where there is already a KM600 binder in operation.

The KM200 is the perfect binder designed specifically for short run digitally printed books, with automatic adjustment for size and thickness. It includes different feeding systems one to handle sequential sections, to be able to include colour sections for example, the other to take books or loose sheets. “We are very pleased that this latest generation of Kolbus digital technology has been taken up by CPI,” says Kolbus UK managing director Robert Flather.

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CPI is installing a BF530 from Kolbus.

CPI is installing a BF530 from Kolbus.