Northend boosts finishing with Horizon spend

From left: Northend operator Daniel Littlewood and production manager John Marples with the StitchLiner MKIII

Northend has streamlined its finishing operation after installing a Horizon StitchLiner MKIII with VAC-L600H tower collators.

The Sheffield-based business, which was created following a merger of Northend Creative Print Solutions (CPS) and My Print Partners (MPP) last April, took delivery of the machine, which was supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS), in December.

“We took six months after the merger to review operations and see where investment needed to be made,” said Northend production director Richard Green.

“Our Muller Martini binding line was getting old and taking longer to make ready. The StitchLiner MKIII was the perfect solution. It ran quicker, was faster to set up improving planning and also used a smaller sheet size on magazines resulting in 10% savings on some paper.”

The 6,000sph system includes the new high capacity VAC-L600H collators and their 130mm deep trays. They are more than double the depth of the 55mm trays on 10 station collators, which equates to 2.3 times less down time for loading and greater uptime.

The collators can handle a wider range of substrates than previous models, enabling greater flexibility, while their intelligent operation allows them to feed digital work that has been printed in page order.

“When we did the first demos it completed five jobs in a couple of hours, previously one job took three hours on its own,” said Green.

“The fact we no longer have to fold sections saves us a lot of time freeing up capacity. It also helps us get the jobs out the door faster.”

He added: “We have had Horizon systems before, we know they can complete high quality work reliably and consistently with maximum uptime.

“We also know and trust IFS. When it came to replacing the Muller Martini we wanted something to match that and the StitchLiner was ideal.

“We have a monthly job that was taking 20 hours to finish. The new StitchLiner will take just five. That showed us just how much of an impact it would have on other jobs. It will give us some production space and allow us to reduce overtime.”

45 staff work at £5m-turnover Northend, which produces litho work on a five-colour RMGT (Ryobi) 925 LED-UV press and digital print on a Ricoh Pro C9100 and a Ricoh Pro C7100. Late last summer the business also took on a Cellcoat Emerald 52 thermal laminator.

Working from 1,858sqm premises, the company serves commercial and B2B clients as well as design agencies.