13 September 2020 Print Companies

Lea Printers begins upgrade with finishing

Orpington printer has installed a StitchLiner to modernise a finishing department as part of a longer term renewal strategy.

Lea Printers has installed a Horizon StitchLiner MkIII as a programme of renewal through automation gets underway at the Orpington commercial printer.

The company is currently a litho and digital printer with five-colour plus coat B2 Mitsubishi supported by Xerox digital print. There are also B3 Heidelbergs and mono only HP presses. But it is not yet a joined up printer.

This will change, says managing director Tristan Gill. With run lengths shrinking and turnaround times and margins becoming tighter, the print business needed a way of finishing that offered greater production flexibility and agility.

Installation took place during the pandemic, but was nevertheless a smooth, trouble free process. It has replaced a Hohner stitching line which was struggling to keep pace with the changes in the industry.

“We looked around and found the Horizon StitchLiner is the industry standard. We liked its ability to fold which removes the need for the separate process and saves time. It is also easy to set up so any operator is comfortable running it. We can complete a lot more short run jobs faster and that will enable us to expand capacity,” says Gill.

The investment is part of a five-year strategic plan for the company, intended to keep it competitive and in line with industry standard processes. Gill recognises the need to be versatile and agile to service a client base that includes Sony, the London Stock Exchange, Grey Goose, Bollinger, Bacardi and UEFA.

The company has a range of value added finishing technologies that enable it to foil, emboss and die cut as well as deliver trimmed and stitched jobs.

The StitchLiner has been configured with the most recent L600H collating towers. These have a tray depth of 130mm, offering more than twice the 55mm deep trays on a ten station collating tower. The deeper trays need filling with less than half the frequency and they will also run a greater variety of stocks.

The touch panel control can be set up to run work that has been printed in page sequence.

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The StitchLiner MkIII is establishing itself as the industry standard for short run fold and stitch applications from both litho and digitally printed sheets, at least as far as Tristan Gill is concerned. And Lea Printers has recently installed one.

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