Northend has replaced an ageing Muller Martini stitching line with a Horizon StitchLiner MkIII, with an immediate impact on productivity.
The investment comes less than a year after Northend Creative Print Solutions joined forces with My Print Partner under the banner of De Lisle Holdings, a company owned 50% by Northend CPS managing director Nigel Stubley and 50% by MPP sales director Ian McCloskey and production director Richard Green.
Green is now managing director of the combined business in Sheffield. He says: “It’s been a mad seven months.We are now a service, service, service company with large format, direct mail, digital services as well as SRA1 LED UV printing on all different substrates.
“We took six months after the merger to review operations and see where investment needed to be made. Our Muller Martini binding line was getting old and taking longer to make ready. The StitchLiner MKIII was the perfect solution. It ran quicker, was faster to set up improving planning and also used a smaller sheet size on magazines resulting in 10% savings on some paper.”
The company has also acquired a new laminator and has upgraded its IT systems in the time since April last year. At the point of merger MPP shed its own B2 press as Northend had recently installed a five colour RMGT 920 LED UV. Two Ricoh digital presses handle shorter run and personalised work.
Now these are joined by the StitchLiner, only the second in the country with Horizon’s latest deep bin VAC-L600H collating towers. Each has 130mm deep trays rather than the standard 55mm depth and are able to cope with a wider range of substrates as well as running for longer without loading.
But the impact on productivity has come from shorter makeready times than on the older stitching line. “When we did the first demos it completed five jobs in a couple of hours, previously one job took three hours on its own. The fact we no longer have to fold sections saves us a lot of time freeing up capacity. It also helps us get the jobs out the door faster,” says Green.
The business does have to trim SRA1 sheets on its two guillotines in preparation for the StitchLiner. However, thanks to the spread of work that it prints there has been no undue pressure on this aspect of production. And it has kept the Horizon SPF FC 200 booklet maker, whose reliability and performance convinced Green that the StitchLiner would be suitable.
He says: “We have a monthly job that was taking 20 hours to finish. The StitchLiner will take just five. That showed us just how much of an impact it would have on other jobs. It will give us some production space and allow us to reduce overtime.”
By Gareth Ward