KAS K640 bookletmaker helps Stag Print

To meet the increasing demand for short run sheet fed books, Stag Print Services in Guildford, Surrey has installed a KAS K640 hand fed bookletmaker with a squarefold in-line unit from Ashgate.

This family run printing operation has succeeded over the last four decades by focusing on high quality print production and expanding its range of in-house capabilities for commercial print and printed product packaging, all with a very fast turnaround. 40% of its work comes from trade customers based in Surrey and London who rely on Stag Print to deliver a personalised and professional service, including colour matching and press approval.

Until 2018 the company was predominantly a litho printer. Litho book finishing is still outsourced to Guildford Print Finishers, a local company.

“We have had a small digital machine with an in-line saddle stitcher since 2016 but short run books have not been a big part of our business. However, our latest marketing drive saw a change with a bigger demand for short run digital work, including books up to 1000 copies,” said Sushil Patel, Managing Director.
Last year they purchased a new Konica digital press which greatly increased their digital offering in terms of speed and quality. “We decided to keep the booklet maker offline with this investment because we use the Konica for many other types of work, including print for packaging. “

The company investigated a number of different booklet makers. “I definitely recommend seeing the equipment in action before placing an order. We took some of our more complex jobs to test at Ashgate’s showroom.” said Sushil. He went on to explain that the simplicity of the KF640 was the real deal maker. We wanted a machine that was straight forward to operate and highly reliable. Whilst it is less automated than other booklet makers on the market it allows our operators to easily make minor adjustments for more complex jobs. It also goes without saying that as it has fewer moving parts, there is less likelihood of a breakdown. It offers one of the widest ranges of finish sizes from A6 portrait up to 320 x 320mm, which is one of its winning factors. SRA2 sheets do not require pre-trimming of the short edge on a guillotine prior to producing an A4 landscape booklet.

Stag Print’s run length range from 10 to 1000 books on a real mix of stock including coated, uncoated, 80 to 400gsm weight and pre-creased covers.

Installation has been seamless, training was straight forward and Ashgate’s engineers have been very helpful. “It is still early days but the KAS K640 has already increased our productivity. It is helpful that Ashgate offer great technical support over the phone and call out when necessary,” Sushil added.

“The investment has been complementary to our investment in digital print equipment. For quantities of between 500-1000 we can now produce the books digitally, which has helped free up much needed capacity on our litho press. It is also much more efficient to produce short runs on our digital press. So it is win, win all round,” he concluded.