The aim has been to demonstrate a full case bound book production line to printers and trade binder by appointment only. This allows time for production staff as well as directors to get to grips with the Italian made machinery without time pressure – or a rival peering over a shoulder.
Friedheim was welcomed 15 companies in the first ten days of the event with a similar number already lined up before the doors are closed on 19 July. More can be accommodated. Stuart Bamford, national sales manager for postpress, says: “We’ve made sure that we can give as many of our customers enough time to see the kit. We’re trying to give an honest representation of the capabilities of the machines and not simply rush as many bodies through the door.”
Those that have come to date represent specialist binders, digital printers and photobook producers. All are chasing a fast growing sector of the market in short run hard cover book production, whether for printed books or straightforward notebooks.
In 2018 hard cover book production increased to the point it is now a £2.5 billion sector. And the Zechini equipment is priced to enable new entrants to take advantage or for larger binders to run short run jobs without tying up heavier production machinery. A complete line represents an investment of £110,000, says a Friedheim spokesperson.
Visitors have been shown the X-Range, comprising a Roby Junior 2 case maker, X-case casing in unit including its own glue pump and cleaning system and the X-Forming book press and joint forming machines combining into a semi automated production line.
The company had preprinted covers for A5 notebooks for the demonstrations and promised to trim them down on a Wohlenberg 115 guillotine. This did not happen. The guillotine was sold to a printer that could not wait for delivery.
“We have found is that it takes some skill and experience to understand how best to put a hard cover book together,” says the spokesman. “This has allowed our engineers to understand what the customers face and to get that experience of hands on book production so that we do not always need to send an engineer from the Zechini factory and that is faster and better for customers too.”
By Gareth Ward