Corporate communication specialist Jones and Palmer has installed the Horizon booklet maker the company ordered just a week before lockdown.
The new machine will relieve a second hand Muller Martini stitching line that was installed in 1986 and had reached the end of its useful life. This was exacerbated by a swing towards shorter runs and landscape format products.
“The time had come to replace the Muller and we wanted a system that was easy to use. We like the Horizon because of its flexibility,” says manufacturing and HR director Stephen O’Brien. “We wanted something that was more user friendly to handle the increase in digital work.”
There has also been an increase in perfect bound work, which is produced on a Horizon BQ470 that IFS had supplied a couple of years ago. There is also an increase in landscape formats, which the Horizon SPF 200L handles with comfort. It takes flat sheets from 640mm long, folding and stitching these with on the run fine adjustments via touch screen controls.
The Birmingham company has evolved from a conventional print business into a corporate communications agency. “We realised that unless you connect with the company, you don’t have control over what happens to you,” says O’Brien. “That led us into corporate communications and into consultancy for customers. We ask ‘what’s the message, what’s the story?’ We can do the website, the corporate design as well as print in house, whether litho or digital.”
The company specialises in report and account work, expanding into other styles of corporate communication. Print runs have come for the report and accounts publication, but thanks to sections on corporate governance and transparency, paginations have increased markedly. These can be printed in collated order on the digital press where runs are short or as a live sample for customers.
The booklet maker was delivered in June during the lockdown period and within government guidelines. The company had sent office staff to work from home ahead of the lockdown while setting up safety measures inside the factory, allowing production of reports for those customers with a March year end to continue.
The big change to these will come in 12 months with publication of the 2020 reports. Some customers have struggled in the lockdown period, says O’Brien. Others have thrived: “Ocado told us that in 15 weeks they have experienced 15 years of growth.”