Flexpress has installed a Horizon BQ-500 perfect binder from IFS, one of the first in the UK, to help manage an increase in demand for book printing.

‘Book printing demand has been growing and we felt our existing equipment was struggling to cope, particularly at times of peak demand,’ explained managing director Steve Wenlock. ‘The Horizon BQ-470 and Horizon BQ-480 PUR have always had excellent reputations so the opportunity to install the latest variation was too good to miss. Plus, our experience of Horizon equipment, such as our StitchLiner MK III, has always been very positive.’

The machine, which builds on the aforementioned BQ-470 and BQ-480, boasts a 12.1 inch colour touchscreen, 21 automated sections, memory storage for up to 999 jobs, pre-installed variable software capability and variable thickness production of 5mm up to 800bph.

What particularly attracted Flexpress was its speed and practicality, as Mr Wenlcok explained, ‘Apart from the fact it’s considerably quicker than the machine it replaced, we liked the fact the BQ-500 has the ability to add extra functionality, such as end paper feeders for case bound books, as our need demands.

‘We didn’t look at any other alternatives because we are familiar with and have confidence in Horizon binders. We knew it would meet our needs, so didn’t feel we needed to consider anything else. Basically, we can get more production from the same amount of time which enables us to take on jobs we’d have struggled with previously.’

The BQ-500, which was pre-installed with Horizon’s cloud-based iCE LiNK workflow, will be surrounded by other Horizon products, with Flexpress’ Leicester premises already home to a StitchLiner MKIII, a BQ-280 PUR single clamp perfect binder, an HT-30C three-sided trimmer, a CRF 362 creaser folder and a AFC-566 folder. 

Mr Wenlock stressed that the investment hasn’t been made with an eye on new horizons. ‘We’re not chasing different markets,’ he concluded. ‘Our existing trade market has plenty of opportunity and rely on us to provide quality products reliably and cost-effectively. This installation means we’ll simply be able to do this on a slightly bigger scale.

‘The full return on investment won’t be fully known until our plans to expand capabilities in other areas of the business are realised. We are, though, anticipating it will be a significant component in a strategy that will see us double in size over the next few years.’