Park Communications has brought lay flat binding in-house with a set up based on a Kisun DB 440, Digi Binder and Digi Press with a cover gluing unit.
It delivers strong full spreads which open flat to display high quality images across a full width of the brochure or magazine. “It is ideal for the creative market and areas like property where they live to have the spread to show off rooms and spaces to full effect,” says managing director Alison Branch. “This allows the book to lie completely flat.”
The technology folds and laminates one sheet of print to the back of another sheet of print to leave a stitchless spread with no seam. This method results in a stronger bind than technologies which use micro levels of glue. “This way you lose nothing in the spine,” she says.
The Beckton company had been outsourcing lay flat jobs, but demand is increasing across the industry. “There are not too many suppliers and they are getting busier and busier. As a result they can’t always meet the time table that our customers were looking for. A further complication is that these suppliers can be a distance away.
“We like to bring services under our roof where we can control the quality and priority which means that we can deliver in a faster tie and without the transport costs or carbon impact,” Branch explains.
The books themselves are frequently short run jobs, but this does not mean that they are automatically printed digitally. Many include metallic effects or a special colour which means they need to be printed litho she explains. “It is ideal to combine with digital printing, to display graphics and images across that full width of the book,” she says. “We’ve been looking at photography, corporate brochures, fashion. The first we produced was for Energy Equation, an energy company.”
The company has also built up knowledge of which papers work best. She adds: “It takes quite a lot of learning to produce lay flat products which work well.
“Customers are looking for print that includes something more creative, more differentiated and where we can add real value.”
To this end the company has also installed a Heidelberg SBD Zenith full refurbished Cylinder for die cutting. “We have had it painted in Park blue. I love the older pieces of kit to watch it working,” she adds.
The company also played host to BBC News as economics correspondent Andy Verity reported on the impact of employment figures from a high spec printworks factory in east London. While Park had suffered a very short pause immediately after the referendum, confidence had flowed back. "The printers (sic) are running at full tilt at this time of night, just like the economy it's humming.”