Galloways Printers has installed an Horizon StitchLiner MKIII as part of a five-year plan to redefine its end-to-end print production capabilities. The 6000sph system, supplied by IFS, will allow the Stockport-based company to operate more flexibly and support greater production agility.

‘We are on a journey that will marry hardware and software like never before in our 151 year history,’ explained managing director Matt Galloway. ‘It began some 5 years ago by changing our MIS systems, adding a web to print offering and automated proofing software and a new Heidelberg Speedmaster CX102. The press quickly delivered production capabilities which put us in Heidelberg’s top 15 for CX102 users worldwide.

‘The investments allowed us to move from 30 minute to 45 minute 500 sheet makereadies to five minute and 100 sheet makereadies.  We have become much more competitive on short run work such as brochures. Now our average runs are 3300 B1 sheets.  But that efficiency pushed the bottleneck down the line to the bindery. The StitchLiner will help us manage that while delivering the high quality finish our customers expect. It will also mean that work does not have to go through a separate folding process which leaves our folders to handle other jobs.’

Mr Galloway went on to explain how the StitchLiner will help his company to see results from its five-year plan. ‘2020 should have been a growth year following the investment in the new press,’ he said. ‘We have been lucky enough to see 10% of our work come from new business in the past year and much of this is for short to medium run jobs. With those comes greater customer expectation for fast or next day delivery and the StitchLiner will help us manage that work more flexibly. We hope it will help us attract more new work, too, now we know we can proactively promote the capability and deliver.’

He concluded, ‘Standing still is moving backwards. We wanted to be in a good position to respond to fast changing market requirements. We looked at various systems a couple of years ago but at that time we were still assessing how the business was changing. Then Covid hit. As work continued to come in we refocused on adapting the bindery for a more varied work mix.’