Clays makes major web press investment with manroland Goss

  • Clays Limited, the UK’s largest book manufacturer has ordered a manroland Goss LITHOMAN IV Book press for its facility in Bungay, Suffolk.
  • The new press will be a coldset LITHOMAN press with the DynaChange zero-makeready feature.
  • The press can produce approximately 50m books per annum.

Clays produces in excess of 150 million books per annum at the site in Bungay, Suffolk. This project is the next and, so far, biggest step in an on-going multi-million pound investment programme, accelerated since the business was acquired by Elcograf in 2018; which includes lithographic and digital presses, both monochrome and colour, with binding and finishing equipment to match. The combined investments set in place transformational changes in capacity, securing Clays’ ability to provide publishers with further improvement in supply chain speed and availability.

The new press will provide substantial additional capacity for B format books while also absorbing existing volume produced digitally, freeing the digital capacity for growing volumes at very low run length. The 1260mm web with and 1105mm cylinder circumference press will produce 48pp sections of 2up book signatures up to 37,000 imp/h and can change jobs on the fly at full speed.

The press will be equipped with the latest DynaChange functionality allowing non-stop production and significant reduction in waste. The two-unit press will automatically change plates on the non-printing unit which will run up to speed and change print forms on the fly at full press speed. Lower run lengths can be produced with lower press speeds to allow time for the printing unit ramp down, automatic blanket washing, automatic plate changing, pre-inking and automatic printing unit ramp up.

Product quality will be controlled by a host of inline closed loop systems including manroland Goss’s Inline Density Control (IDCm) and inline cut off control dynamic (ICCD).

Paul Hulley, Clays CEO, said “This investment demonstrates our strong confidence in, and long term commitment to, the UK book market. Over recent years we have concentrated investment in digital technology in response to market changes. Now, with advances in technology, we are focused on updating our litho press hall, which still produces the majority of our volume. We are making an unprecedented series of investments across printing and binding; this is a very exciting time indeed for the business”.

Edoardo Cuomo, Clays Deputy CEO and CEO elect, said “We are delighted to be making this transformational investment, it provides a step change in capacity and, alongside other extensive investments already made, it positions Clays as a leading player for the foreseeable future. From the start of this project we have been very impressed by what we can achieve with investment in litho technology; the fact that this manroland Goss press can produce 50m books per annum substantially underpins our existing service commitments and puts powerful additional capacity behind our growth ambitions”

Ian Smith, Clays Operations Director, said “From the very outset of this project we were happy partnering with manroland Goss. With the great depth of experience and technical expertise across both the manroland Goss and Clays teams we can be confident of delivering this substantial installation successfully. We are commissioning our latest binding line now, in time for a busy autumn, and then look forward to working with manroland Goss in the months ahead to bring this fantastic investment to life, with the press arriving in Summer 2022”

Sixten Zapf, Deputy VP Sales manroland Goss web systems GmbH, said
“We have called upon all our experience in coldset technology to develop this press together with Clays. Clays and manroland Goss have developed a great partnership that started already in 2018 when Clays purchased the digital book block finishing system FormerLine of manroland Goss.”

John Ellis, manroland Goss web systems UK Managing Director, said
“We are delighted to partner Clays in this next exciting stage of development. We have carried out in-depth analysis of Clays production requirements and followed this up with extensive testing. We have also agreed a five-year service level agreement to support Clays and to ensure the highest level of performance is maintained.”

The image shows a Lithoman printing press, photo: manroland Goss archive

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