Printondemand Worldwide heads for colour books and extra automation with Muller Martini and Xerox investments

The Peterborough digital printer believes there is huge potential in printing colour books on a Xerox Trivor inkjet web press and using the UK’s Muller Martini Infinitrim to finish them.

Printondemand Worldwide has installed the UK’s first Muller Martini Infinitrim variable three-knife trimmer. The unit was recently declared winner of the Stationers’ Innovation Excellence award. At the book printer’s Peterborough factory, the Infinitrim will operate inline to two Muller Martini Vareo binders, all arriving in the last few weeks.

The finishing equipment will deliver finished books or blocks for hard case binding from jobs printed on what is the second Xerox Trivor inkjet press in the UK and the first in a book printer. Along with Screen TrupressJet 520 inkjet, this runs a web into a Hunkeler Bookline which delivers the blocks to be dropped into the binders.

The investment is part of the continuing drive towards automated book production at the company where managing director Andy Cork believes that automation can delver same day delivery if required.

“Why can’t I get a book the same day? If we work on optimising the manufacturing, there’s no reason why the vision cannot be realised. The need to challenge the current perception of what is possible,” he says.

The installation of the finishing equipment brings that a step closer, while investment in the Trivor paves the way for colour book printing using the Xerox High Fusion ink. This is able to give high impact colour on standard book papers and Cork believes it opens the way to increase production and reduce unit cost on colour books.

He took samples of the same job printed on litho presses, on cut sheet digital and with the inkjet press to the London International Book Fair this year and found that few could pick the difference between the technologies and all found the inkjet sample acceptable.

This will enable publishers of colour books to receive the same supply chain savings that mono books have achieved in the recent years thanks to digital and especially inkjet printing.

The company has printed colour on Xerox iGen and Ricoh Pro C9100 presses, but these are relatively slow and costly compared to inkjet. The Xerox Trivor comes close to matching the quality of sheetfed colour which will remain the premium colour offering for the business.

The opportunity, says Cork, is there, with inkjet printing in good quality on standard papers that publishers use. He says: “If I can print with inkjet on this type of paper, it becomes a game changer for books.

“We want to be printing colour. That is where there is a massive untapped market.”