J Thomson Colour Printers is upgrading both saddle stitching and perfect binding at its Glasgow factory, placing the double order with Muller Martini.
The saddle stitcher, a Primera MC, will arrive first at the start of November. To accommodate it and ensure that no production is lost, the printer is moving folders to a temporary home during installation. Once the new line is signed off, the old Primera E140 will be removed and the folding equipment returned.
This is a nine-year-old machine and is beginning to show its age in terms of call outs, says managing director Kevin Creechan. “We have a very robust investment policy and even though both machines were still performing to an acceptable level, we felt that it was time to upgrade our finishing capabilities,” he says. “It made sense therefore to look at a deal which involved replacing both machines at the same time.”
The Alegro perfect binder will replace an Acoro binding line. This will be taken out first and the new machine installed in its place. This is due to take place in January when there is usually muted demand for perfect binding. Any that is needed will be handled by a neighbouring printer.
The company anticipates “a big uplift” from the new saddle stitcher. J Thomson Colour will run the Muller Martini Connex control system to accelerate make ready and to enable the machines to be operated from a single touch screen. But there are no plans to link this to a digital production network.
The stitcher is a crucial element of the production base at the factory, handling runs that can reach 1 million, though more frequently at 5,000 to 10,000. “It is such an important part of our business,” says Creechan.
The binder is not as crucial to the printer. The Acoro was installed in 2012, though is a 2005 machine. The new Alegro will double perfect binding capacity, or cope with existing volumes in half the time, thanks to faster makeready and better quality. Control of this line is also centralised to a single touch screen.
Creechan expects to gain flexibility in the bindery in terms of deploying staff to meet production needs. Even though printer and the Swiss finishing supplier have a long relationship, Creechan says he looked at all possible options. “However, we concluded that the Muller Martini option was the best match for our production profile.”