A new book press capable of printing non-stop is the latest in a round of investment at UK specialist Clays following its acquisition by Pozzoni Group’s Elcograf in 2018.
The country’s largest book printer will install a new manroland Goss Lithoman IV Book press at its production site in Bungay, Suffolk.
The coldset press – with the German maker’s DynaChange zero-makeready feature – will be capable of producing 50 million books a year, about a third of Clays’ Bungay output.
The project is the biggest so far in an on-going multi-million pound investment programme – accelerated since the acquisition – which has included litho and digital presslines, both mono and colour, along with binding and finishing equipment . The press will substantially increase capacity for B-format books, while absorbing existing work which had been produced digitally, freeing capacity for growing very-short-run work.
The press will have a web width of 1260mm and 1105mm cylinder circumference to produce 48pp sections of two-up book signatures at up to 37,000 impressions an hour, and can change jobs “on the fly” at full speed. The latest DynaChange functionality allows nonstop production and a significant reduction in waste.
The two-unit configuration allows plates to be changed automatically on the non-printing unit, which will run up to speed changing print forms without slowing. Shorter runs can be produced at lower press speeds to allow time for one printing unit to ramp down, wash blankets and change plates, pre-inking before ramping up again.
Quality will be controlled by a host of inline closed loop systems including manroland Goss’s IDCm inline density control and ICCD inline cut off control dynamic.
Clays chief executive Paul Hulley says the investment demonstrates “strong confidence in, and long-term commitment to” the UK book market.
“Over recent years we have concentrated investment in digital technology in response to market changes. Now, with advances in technology, we are focussed on updating our litho press hall, which still produces the majority of our volume,” he says.
“We are making an unprecedented series of investments across printing and binding in what is a very exciting time for the business”.
Edoardo Cuomo, who is Clays deputy chief executive and CEO-elect , says the transformational investment provides a “step change” in capacity and alongside other extensive investments already made, positions Clays as a leading player for the foreseeable future.
“From the start of this project we have been very impressed by what we can achieve with investment in litho technology,” he says. “The fact that this press can produce 50 million books a year substantially underpins our existing service commitments and puts powerful additional capacity behind our growth ambitions.”
Operations director Ian Smith says Clays is currently commissioning its latest binding line, “in time for a busy autumn”, and looks forward to working with manroland Goss in the coming months ahead to bring the “fantastic investment” to life.
The press itself is due to arrive in the summer of 2022, and will be supported by a five-year service level agreement to ensure the highest level of performance is maintained.
Deputy sales vice president at manroland Goss web systems Sixten Zapf says development of the press calls on “all our experience in coldset technology” to develop the press with Clays, having developed a partnership during the installation of a Formerline digital book block finishing system, added to existing HP PageWide inkjet webs.