UK book manufacturer Clays has ordered a new printing press which will have the capacity to produce roughly 50 million books a year.
The company has bought a Manroland Goss Lithoman IV Book press for its facility in Bungay, Suffolk, where it currently produces more than 150 million books a year. The addition of the machine is part of the organisation's multi-million investment since it was bought by italian printers' Elcograf in 2018.
It is expected the press will attract growth opportunities and provide the company with extra capacity, particularly after the pandemic year, which saw a number of production peaks, sales director Vicky Ellis told The Bookseller.
The new press will provide substantial additional capacity for B-format books while also absorbing the existing volume of titles produced digitally. It will be equipped with the latest "Dynachange" functionality, which allows non-stop production and helps to reduce waste.
Paul Hulley, Clays c.e.o., 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."
Clays deputy c.e.o. Edoardo Cuomo, who will succeed Hulley next year, commented: “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 press can produce 50 million books per annum substantially underpins our existing service commitments and puts powerful additional capacity behind our growth ambitions."
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