Lightning Source International, the print production arm of book distributor Ingram Content Manager, has placed the largest order to date for HP T series inkjet presses.
The company has ordered 24 T240HD inkjet presses to be delivered to five production sites in the next seven years. This includes the LSI site in Milton Keynes which installed an Océ Colorstream 3700 just three years ago.
A test machine has been installed, says chief content officer Phil Ollila. “We plan to continue rolling out the new presses during the remainder of this year and through 2018. The sites are our current Lightning Source locations, including our UK site. The installation of these presses will meet our current capacity needs and forecast for 2018, as well as provide additional options like printing on coated stock.”
The press are a mix of mono and colour specified presses and mark both a huge expansion of digital production capacity at Lightning Source and the largest order to date for HP inkjet presses. It comes hard on the heels of an order for HP Indigo presses from photo products producer Shutterfly.
Cover printing will remain with HP Indigo presses and others where the web presses are not suitable. Finishing requirements have been taken into accounts says Ollila. “We expect to have an effective solution. We’ve got some great finishing partners and are glad to be working collaboratively with them.” This includes Tecnau at the Milton Keynes site.
Nobody is putting a value to the deal, but in a statement Lightning Source says this will “transform the distribution and sales model for book publishers all over the world”. The investment in print capacity comes at a time that Ingram is adding to its distribution network. In June it acquired Book Network International, a book distribution specialist in Plymouth, and in August announced internal restructuring to exploit the growth in its wholesale distribution networks.
The investment may also help Lightning Source stave off an expected challenge from Amazon which has been building production facilities at fulfilment centres in America, Japan, the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
Lightning Source International will install HP T240 mono and colour presses at plants around the world over the next couple of years after the signing of a seven-year deal, the largest to date for the inkjet presses.