Griffin rolls ahead as booksellers reel

While the country reels with the news that one of Australia's major bookselling groups has gone into administration, Griffin Press is taking a step into the future with the installation of the country’s first HP T350 inkjet web press.

The T350 – launched at GraphExpo last year and an upgrade of the T200 already printing newspapers at O’Neill Data Systems – images a 762 mm wide web at up to 183 metres/minute.

Adelaide-based Griffin says a consideration in its choice was the HP system’s ability to image a rage of standard book papers, resulting in books which look and feel like conventional ones.

The new digital press is being teamed with components from Müller Martini’s Sigma binding line range, which integrates with the press to provide sheeting, folding, gathering, perfect binding and trimming of signatures.

The company says a core element is variable-size signature folder, the first to be able to take advantage of a full range of finishing processes for digital printing.

Griffin has already installed a range of digital printing equipment including Xerox’s ‘book factory’ system in 2008.

On the bookselling front, Redgroup Retail, parent of Angus & Robertson and Borders bookstores and the Supanews newsagency chain, was placed into voluntary administration last week by its private equity fund owners. The group is unconnected with the US Borders chain, which this month filed for bankruptcy.

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