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Clays maximises digital printing uptime with Contiweb non-stop unwinder

Print Solutions


Contiweb has announced that Clays has installed a CD-N non-stop unwinder. The system is expected to save more than 800 hours of uptime annually on the HP PageWide Web Press T260 mono press line at Clay’s Bungay, Suffolk site.



‘We have a CD-N unwinder on one of our bigger HP presses already, so we have seen the benefits the system can bring, particularly to uptime,’ explained Andrew Lawrence, continuous improvement, technical and project manager at Clays. ‘The press runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and approximately 10% of that time is spent changing paper reels. With the zero speed splicing we don’t have to stop the printer to change the paper, so we can reclaim the majority of that time back. We will be saving somewhere in the region of 840 hours a year.’


Clays prints 150 million books every year, mainly for trade publishers, but also serving independent publishers and small start up businesses. With the book market continuing to thrive, this number is only set to increase. Production capacity, speed, and reliability are consequently crucial to the company’s business.


It purchased its first CD-N unwinder for a new PageWide T490HD web press in 2018. Seeing the productivity gains and waste reduction achieved, the decision was made to also retrofit an existing 26 inch PageWide Web Press T260 mono press line with the Contiweb CD-N unwinder, which was integrated in October last year. ‘Although the T260 is a smaller press, productivity is still critical,’ Andrew added.


The Contiweb CD-N unwinder can splice a fresh reel of paper to an expiring reel without having to stop printing. Able to splice to papers of different web widths, coatings and weights, the system is very useful for short, fast changing jobs. The unwinder can also send a signal to the press when a splice is coming – even if it recognises a splice made by the paper mill – so that the press can lift the print heads, reducing waste and eradicating the complication of reprinting signatures made unusable by printing over a splice.


‘We re delighted to announce this milestone installation with Clays,’ said Robert Bosman, sales director at Contiweb. ‘It affirms Contiweb’s position as not just a supplier for web offset printing equipment, but also for digital inkjet, an important move for the company. I am also pleased to see Clays, such a huge player in book production, reaping the benefits of Contiweb technology.’



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