Describe your company
St Francis Press is a four generation old firm which was established by late Thomas Putherikal in 1926. It was established to print religious books on a simple hand treadle press. Over the years, the print technology on our shopfloor has evolved. Currently, our press floor is equipped with Ryobi 920 and Heidelberg SM52 four-colour offset press and we cater to the commercial print segment.
When and why did you invest in the Horizon machine?
We invested in the machine in the first week of February 2018. We were already using Horizon’s four-clamp binding machine and the folding machine and were satisfied by both the service and output. This was an important reason for us opting for the Horizon booklet maker (SPF-200).
What does the machine do?
We use this machine to complete 90% of our booklet jobs. This machine is ideal for small to medium run booklet works like registers, catalogues, magazines, and prospectus.
Why did you choose this particular machine?
The in-line booklet maker enables full automation and quick turnaround to cater to the commercial print segments’ requirements. In addition, the machine is user friendly and supports a wide variety of booklet formats.
Did you look at any other similar machine?
Not really, I think this machine is unique in terms of its capabilities and outputs.
What features of the machine do you particularly like?
Besides improved productivity, I was fascinated by the machine’s ability to make automatic lateral movements on its platform once the dimensions are set. Also, we cater to a lot of weekly magazines with short to medium runs, with a very short turnaround time. And this machine helps us to cater to these requirements effectively.
Is there anything you wish it had that it doesn’t?
I think a three knife trimmer instead of the edge trimmer would have resulted in a better finish. Plus I wish it supported all the existing booklet formats.
How fast is it?
The maximum speed of the machine is 4,500 books per hour for booklets of A5 size. We have been able to produce 21,000 booklets in an eight-hour shift.
How much time or money has it saved?
Even though a direct financial return from post-press is difficult to gauge, I would say the SPF-200 has helped us save significantly on time and manpower. Today all the folding, creasing, gathering, stitching processes individually for the booklet making is done automatically by SPF-200. Once the pages are loaded and dimensions are set, the machine takes care of further processes. This has clearly resulted in at least two-third of time and manpower savings plus increased productivity.
Would you say that it offers value for money?
Yes, it does offer value for money for its faster turnaround and increased productivity.
What about the pre- and after-sales service?
The pre- and after-sales service support has been good. Plus the interaction with the team has been enlightening.
Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after?
There were a few teething issues initially, but it was very well taken care of by the ePrint Machinery’s support team.
Who do you think is the machine right for?
The machine is right for the print firms which deal with a lot of small to medium run booklet works like catalogues, magazines, and prospectus.
Under what circumstances would you invest in another such machine?
If the market demand grows we would definitely invest in another such machine.
Value for money ****
Om Prakash, managing director of ePrint Machinery, says, “The SPF-200 series features high productivity, fully automated changeover and user-friendly operation. It supports a wide variety of booklet formats, ranging from CD to A4 landscape which can be performed automatically through the 10.4-inch colour intuitive touch screen display. The fully automatic changeover is suited for efficient small lot production without test wastages.
St Francis Press has many weekly magazines with short and medium runs, which has to be delivered in a very short time. With no wastage and quick changeover the booklet makers helps them in meeting their requirements. The collator also enable a criss-cross delivery and folded forms which can be collated for perfect binding.”