A first for Warwick Printing with Ashgate’s new KASfold KF640 bookletmaker

Warwick Printing Company Ltd in Leamington Spa is one of the first printers to take delivery of Ashgate’s new KF640 bookletmaker and trimmer with the squarefold inline unit. It is the first hand fed 640mm sheet length bookletmaker, designed to work with digital and litho output.

“We have a KASfold 3000 hand-fed bookletmaker, which serves us well for shorter runs but is limited and is unable to produce A4 landscape booklets,” said Paul Young, Director. “Our Xerox Versant 80 digital press has the facility to print a longer sheet which meets the growing demand for short run, A4 landscape books. Before we bought the KF640 we had to manually stitch the booklets which was rather time consuming.”

The company looked at buying a more automated finishing system. ”We were originally looking at an investment of £30-40,000 for the more automated systems, but we found that these would still be unable to produce A4 landscape books which we required,” Paul continued. “We had also previously considered adding the squarefold unit to our KASfold 3000 though decided against this at that time.”

While deliberating which future course to take, Paul had a conversation with Lewis Price, Managing Director of Ashgate Automation. “Lewis mentioned to me that Ashgate would be introducing a KASfold bookletmaker in early 2018 which would be capable of producing A4 landscape books at a more attractive price.”

It is the first sub £16,000 bookletmaker and trimmer which produces a maximum booklet size of 320m x 320mm and more common sizes like A4 landscape and 12” x 12”. It will handle a maximum sheet size of 640mm x 320mm which means that SRA2 sheets do not require pre-trimming of the short edge on a guillotine prior to producing an A4 landscape booklet.
“It’s a robust, compact machine which, with the 640T trimmer and squarefold unit, fits well in our digital department where space is at a premium. It produces high quality books and allows us extra options for finishing booklets,” Paul added. “It is a manually operated machine but for the shorter quantities we do, it’s ideal. It has the versatility of finishing booklets from A6 to A4 landscape.” The company has kept the KASfold 3000 as a back-up machine. “Like the KASfold 3000 it is simple to use and quiet in operation. Features include heavy duty 44 gauge staple heads using 44/6mm and 44/8mm staples and a high speed fold knife system which eliminates marking.

The squarefold in-line unit, supplied by Ashgate, which sits between the bookletmaker and the trimmer, is proving very beneficial and, according to Paul, does not noticeably slow down production. “We don’t use it all the time but some of our 48 page magazines are quite ‘springy’. The squarefold unit is by far the most efficient way to give them a professional, perfect bound look with the security of a stapled finish. Like the KF 640 it finishes booklets from A6 to A4 landscape, giving them the quality we require. From experience we know that Ashgate gives us honest advice. We are also pleased with the quality of their engineers and speed of response,” Paul commented. “Although it is still early days, this investment, will give us the opportunity to expand our short run booklet and magazine business as well as producing more personalised and laminated books.”