Halstan Printing has become the latest company to move to production inkjet, installing a Canon i300 at its factory in Amersham.
The cutsheet press joins Heidelberg and mono digital presses at the business which specialises in music publishing, both sheet music and books about music.
“We have a need for very short runs,” says chairman Chris Smith, “but we don’t have the volumes to go to a continuous feed press. And because we want colour in random positions though our publications, we find that inkjet is very good at that.”
This is the biggest digital investment at the main Amersham factory where it runs an Océ Varioprint mono press and Konica Minolta colour press as well as litho. The company’s overseas operations in Mainz, Germany and New York, are smaller digital-only plants.
The Canon i300 produces two up sheets, printing on offset papers with a priming coat to optimise the impact of the colour ink. It will print at 300 A4 ppm, faster than any equivalent toner machine. It will print to ISO standards on coated and uncoated papers with a water based ink.
Halstan has had to move equipment around in order to accommodate the press together with integrated cleaning and drying systems. Halstan is also investing in finishing equipment for ultra short run book production to accompany the press. Some binding technology has already been delivered and is in place. The company is now investigating the most suitable three knife trimmer for its needs.
The investment comes as Halstan celebrates is centenary year, prompting Smith to look at the company’s history, turning up an order for music engraving as one of the first jobs the young company produced after World War 1.
Halstan has pressed ahead with the investment at a time when other companies are more hesitant. Smith understands why: “There are so many different strands of technology, many in print don’t know what to buy or when to buy it.”
By Gareth Ward