02 September 2020 Print Companies

TJ buys Canon cutsheet inkjet for colour books

Padstow book printer gains a fresh image and impetus with £1.5 million investment.

TJ Books will take delivery of a Canon iX3200 HD inkjet press next month, the culmination of a three month shake up at the Padstow book printer.

The company has consolidated all operations in its main factory, bringing digital printing, litho printing and finishing under one roof. The investment in the Canon cutsheet press, Ricoh Pro C9200 and Pro C7200 five-colour machine and DuSensecomes two and a half years after a management buyout of book printer TJ International led by
Andy Watts

The launch of the new identity has been accompanied by a new website, a focus on internal efficiencies and expansion into short run production of high quality colour books. Watts says: “There have been two main drivers to what we have done: increasing efficiency and service levels with existing work and part was to take us into a slightly different area of work with high end inkjet.

“We have colour in litho and colour toner and we had colour inkjet, but only for uncoated stocks. The iX enables us to print HD colour on coated stocks and to be more flexible in format than is possible with the Canon ColorStream.

“We have quite a few customers that would like us to print short run colour books, but either the technology wasn’t available to them or the price point was wrong. And there is an ability to onshore production.

“We already do this in mono books, now we are adding the full colour experience to that.”

It is also reducing work in progress and creating the capacity to respond rapidly to publishers when required. The trend is towards reducing risk for publishers by enabling them to cope with lower inventory levels and to cut carbon footprints by eliminating shipping from printers in the far east.

TJ Books has made full use of government assistance during the lockdown, including furlough for up to 50% of its staff and CBils to keep the business in operation while helping to fund the £1.5 million investment.

This was on course before the lockdown occurred and includes a reduction in headcount by 23 to 122. “That’s not down to Covid-19, but is part of the investment project,” says Watts. “All the government help has been vital and we have made full use with this investment.

An EFI MIS system will be in operation by the end of the year, providing transparency and visibility over the entire business.

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Andy Watts

Andy Watts

Andy Watts
bought into TJ International in 2018 and has reshaped the business into TJ Books with investment in digital presses, improving efficiency and service levels for customers and the introduction of short run colour book printing.

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