By investing in Muller Martini’s new hardcover book block solution with an endsheet feeder, the Vareo perfect binder, and the InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer, Charlesworth Press in Wakefield, is automating production of the product in which it specialise: personalised children’s books in runs of one copy.
The company, which was founded in 1928 and employs 50 people, started out as a conventional offset printing plant for books and magazines, but entered the digital segment seven years ago. Charlesworth Press is now one of the world’s leading producers of personalized children’s books – for children worldwide and for big name brands such as Wonderbly.
Using its website, children or their parents can design books themselves and create their own story with first names, surnames, and personalised dedications for children. ‘If a child opens the book and sees his or her name there, of course it’s a special experience,’ said Lee Hewitt, operations director at Charlesworth Press.
To automate production of the products – which are printed using an HP Indigo – the innovative English company is set to commission a Muller Martini endsheet feeder/Vareo perfect binder/InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer in line trio as well as a Kolbus casing-in machine EMP 513 and a Kolbus casemaker DA 260 to replace the previous off line solution of another manufacturer.
‘That will allow us to kill six birds with one stone,’ said Lee. ‘First, our workflow will be significantly improved because manual interventions will become virtually redundant. Second, barcodes will ensure that the cover and content always match. Third, we will now be able to offer our customers a much wider range of sizes. Fourth, the quality of the end products will be enhanced thanks to the high trim quality of the InfiniTrim. Fifth, we will be able to produce both softcover and hardcover books using the same system. Sixth, it is not only an ideal solution for books in runs of one copy, like our personalised children’s books, but also for jobs with higher run sizes.’
Charlesworth Press, which also uses a Muller Martini Bravo for saddle stitching and a Kolbus KM 473 Ratiobinder for perfect binding, makes books with a run size of one copy. However, it also produces up to 10,000 copies per title in the hardcover segment and up to 15,000 copies per title in the softcover segment. The VBA/Vareo/InfiniTrim trio can manage that with ease thanks to its high flexibility in terms of both hybrid production (offset/digital) and run sizes.
‘In the future, we will be able to produce over 35,000 personalised books per day,’ said Lee, who is delighted by the high capacity of the new equipment.