03 February 2019 Print Companies

StitchLiner investment supports John Price plans

Growth in digital and online printing has led John Price Printers to invest in a Horizon StitchLiner to handle shorter runs.

John Price Printers is boosting its digital print arm, adding a StitchLiner from IFS and a Heidelberg Versafire to replace an older digital machine.

The StitchLiner will work with both digital and litho sheets and will be more adept at handling short run work than the company’s Muller Martini stitching line.

Director David Harris explains: “We had a Muller Martini but when it came to scheduling work we needed to plan it in order – A4, A5 and A5 landscape. If we wanted to make any changes set up would take 45 minutes. This was viable for longer runs but not shorter jobs. We were getting bottlenecks and so we decided it was time to invest in an alternative device.”

The company runs three Komori litho presses, including a ten-colour B2 perfector originally installed in premises in Digbeth, close to the centre of Birmingham. It now occupies a more suitable factory in Bilston, near Wolverhampton. “We choose the StitchLiner because of its flexibility and speed of makeready,” says Harris. “Changing from A4 landscape to A6 would have taken an hour on the Muller. Now it takes three to four minutes.

“We complete print runs from 10,000 down to 50. Before we might have had to interrupt the longer runs to complete a short run job. Now we can set up the Muller and let it run and run.”

And there will be an increasing volume of digitally printed short run jobs. The company launched two new websites towards the end of last year, one focusing on straightforward digital print work covering folded single-sheet jobs to banners and the other with a focus on promotional printed products for exhibitions, clothing and the like.

And there is a further impact on the business with the introduction of the StitchLiner MkIII. “We had three or four staff leave recently including a couple from key areas in the bindery,” says Harris. “With the easy to set up and run StitchLiner we don’t think there is any need to replace them. With that in mind and the increased production flexibility we think it will pay for itself in three years.”

The StitchLiner MkIII runs at 6,000cph and is opened through an icon based touch panel interface.

By Gareth Ward

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David Harris

David Harris

A new Horizon StitchLiner MkIII will improve the ability to handle short run jobs at John Price Printers which have been growing thanks to continuing investment in digital printing and now on websites to promote digital print services.

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