Henry Ling eyes digital growth

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Henry Ling

Book and journal specialist Henry Ling has installed the UK’s first Canon ProStream 1000 high-speed inkjet in a £1.5m spend targeted at driving digital growth across its trade book business.

The Dorchester-based family business installed the ProStream last month, and with the training now complete is now poised to go into full production.

“We were looking for the next step in quality and the 1000 offers exceptional quality,” said Henry Ling managing director Helen Kennett.

“We’ve been monitoring the inkjet market for several years and were looking for something that would give our existing customers improved quality and also bring us into some new markets as well.”

The twin-engined perfector offers 1,200dpi across 40-300gsm standard offset coated, uncoated and inkjet optimised reels up to 556mm wide. Launched three years ago, it’s capable of 80m/min, which broadly equates to 6,800 B2sph.

Earlier this year Canon launched a faster sibling using the same core technology, the ProStream 1800. The 1000 is field upgradable to 133m/min specifications of the 1800.

Kennett said that while the business “decided we didn’t need that speed initially”, the speedbump offered by upgrading to the 1800 spec might appeal in the future, and it gave the business even greater confidence about the future proofed qualities of the investment.

The new ProStream was additional capacity for the circa 90 staff, £9m turnover business which runs a trio of Heidelbergs and has a digital arsenal made up of a Canon ColorStream inkjet web, Canon cut sheet devices and an HP Indigo 7000 series.

In terms of the timing of the digital expansion, Kennett said that the business has remained operational all through Covid and maintained “good levels of business” although there had been challenges.

“Our policy has always been one of continual investment, and that has always stood us in good stead,” she said.

“Obviously these are difficult times for everybody, but we still felt it was the right thing to do for our business to carry on moving forward.”

To support the firm’s growth strategy in the trade book sector by offering higher frequency, shorter runs, it has also recently expanded its sales team.

Stuart Rising, head of commercial print, production printing products, Canon UK, said: “We believe the ProStream 1000 is a great fit to enable Henry Ling to meet the future market requirements of the book trade. We always strive to ensure our customers find the best products and seek to become an integral part of their ongoing print journeys.”