Book printer Clays has installed a Contiweb CD-N non-stop unwinder to feed its HP PageWide T-260 press, an investment that is expected to add more than 800 hours of uptime per year.

Bungay, Suffolk-based Clays prints around 150 million books every year, mainly for trade publishers, but also serving independent publishers and small start-up businesses. It bought its first CD-N unwinder for a then-new HP PageWide T-490HD web press in 2018. Seeing the productivity gains and waste reduction achieved, the decision was made to also retrofit an existing 26-inch PageWide T260 mono press with the Contiweb CD-N unwinder, which was integrated in October 2021.

The Contiweb unwinder can splice a fresh reel of paper to an expiring reel without having to stop printing. It can splice to papers of different web widths, coatings and weights, which is useful for short-run, fast-changing jobs. The unwinder can also send a signal to the press when a splice is coming so that the press can lift the print heads, reducing waste and avoiding the need to reprint unusable signatures printed over a splice.

‘We have a CD-N unwinder on one of our bigger HP presses already, so we’ve seen the benefits the system can bring, particularly to uptime,’ explained Andrew Lawrence, Continuous Improvement, Technical and Project Manager at Clays. ‘The press runs 24/7 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’ll be saving somewhere in the region of 840 hours a year.’

‘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.’

Contiweb has also launched an online calculator for printers to assess potential time savings the CD-N non-stop unwinder could bring on Canon, HP, Kodak, Ricoh, Screen and Xerox digital web presses.