Route 1 Print has signed off investment of more than £3 million, buying a second Screen TruepressJet 520HD and a host of finishing equipment to make the Rotherham factory even slicker.
The company rejected the idea of investment in litho technology to invest in the ink web press, an endorsement of the quality produced by the first machine which went live in May. The second press arrives in August and is expected to produce its first jobs in time for the busy autumn season.
One inkjet press will be dedicated to perfect bound products, the other to stitched booklets, improving turnaround time for both product types. Managing director Adam Carnell says: “We’re really excited to continue our investments into inkjet technology with the Truepress. By moving booklet production to digital methods, we can really make a dent in our current lead times while simultaneously freeing up our litho stream for bigger jobs.
“Not only that, but the reel to reel set up allows us to completely bypass the guillotine process. With all these added efficiencies, we’re able to look at introducing same day turnarounds on stapled booklets.”
The choice of inkjet will not be automatic. The company will run a programme to measure the amount of ink required by the artwork and that will dictate how the job is produced, says operations director Jim Swain. Currently the first press is running a 150gsm silk stock and the intention is to continue using this as the standard paper for both presses. These are standard offset papers rather than inkjet optimised, something that is possible because of Screen’s SC inks.
IFS has supplied Route 1 with two Horizon StitchLiner MkIIIs, the fifth and sixth for the business and with digital sheet feeders, and a new Horizon BQ480 will handle the perfect bound jobs. The work from the press will come off as sheets from a Tecnau C23 cutter, able to cut and trim and into a Tecnau S25 stacker which has soft touch grippers like the delivery from a sheetfed litho press to avoid the risk of marking.
The perfect binder will operate inline to the company’s existing HT1000 three-knife trimmer. The conveyor system will also link to the BQ470 which is being retained as a back up and for the ultra busy periods.
Wire bound work will be handled by a Renz AP360 which will be installed to push sheets for wire binding.
In the same round of investment, Route 1 is buying a PitStop high speed creaser for greetings card production as this can run stocks of 350gsm and more. And it is reinstating the second HP Scitex 11000 flatbed inkjet press with other improvements to gain efficiencies.
Carnell adds: “All our investments are geared towards improving our service to customers. We’re increasing our capacity, shortening lead times, improving reliability and eliminating single points of failure. We’ll be looking to recruit 30-40 new members of our team over the coming months.”
Route 1 has ordered a second Truepressjet 520HD just weeks after starting operations on its first of the inkjet presses. The company considered the litho options before choosing the second roll fed machine along with peripherals from Tecnau and Horizon StitchLiners and binder from IFS.