Fourteen months after announcing its HP T300 Inkjet Web Press investment, Webcom is spending a further $8 million to add an HP T350 on its production floor for the company’s BookFWD platform.
The new HP press, scheduled for a March 2012 start-up, brings Webcom’s total inkjet investment, including frontend and finishing technologies, to around $20 million, while doubling the platform’s capacity to two billion annually. Webcom claims the move makes it North America’s second largest book manufacturer in terms of inkjet printing.
“Not only do these commitments demonstrate our responsiveness to the needs of publishers today, they also exhibit Webcom’s flexibility in taking on the challenges of tomorrow,” stated Webcom President and CEO, Mike Collinge.
Webcom’s new $8 million investment also earmarks funds for software and frontend investments to help with issues like order processing, file preparation and proofing. “Much is happening behind the scenes to strengthen the overall process from beginning to end in order to improve productivity, reduce redundancies and ensure timely delivery,” said Gabe Preczner, VP of Operations at Webcom. “It’s all part of our broader vision to balance inkjet and offset capabilities that are supported upfront, with ordering and file management, and on the back-end with new bindery systems.”
The HP T350 inkjet press is a 4-colour press that reaches a speed of 600 feet per minute (fpm), while the company’s existing T300 press hits 400 fpm.
“We’ve seen a 31 percent increase in the number of orders as run lengths continue to shift in favour of a short-run model and as colour solutions are introduced,” said Gerry Cronin, Digital Product Manager. Webcom’s BookFWD production model, introduced to publishers last year, focuses on how publishers print and manage their inventories of books, catalogues and directories, which involves offset, toner and inkjet processes.
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