Emerald Press takes crash folding in-house

Monday, 24 July 2017
By Print21

(l-r) Emerald director Mike McDiarmid and bindery tradesman Steve Knight with the new Horizon SmartSlitter.

Family-owned and operated offset and digital printer Emerald Press says its double purchase of a new Horizon SmartSlitter and a Horizon MKU-54-T mobile knife unit from Currie Group is already saving on time and money.

The new machines, ordered at PacPrint, went in a couple of weeks ago and are up and running at the company’s Castle Hill facility, 30 kms north-west of the Sydney CBD. 

“Currie Group sent their Horizon expert Rob Peterson and Sydney field service engineer Tyson McDivitt and the installation was seamless,” says Emerald Press co-director Mike McDiarmid, who runs the business with his brother, Shaun McDiarmid.

The Horizon MKU-54-T mobile knife means almost all of Emerald’s crash folding work now stays in-house.

“We were subcontracting out crash folding work to trade binderies at significant expense and these things are time sensitive,” says McDiarmid. “With the way the direct mail market is now, the control of delivery times is imperative.” 

[Crash folding is the process of folding a saddle stitched booklet or document down to either DL or A5, so that it can be inserted into an envelope for posting.]

“The new mobile knife unit links directly to our booklet maker, a Horizon StitchLiner, which enables us to crash fold in-line. The knife unit is also compatible with our existing folding machine, a Horizon AFC-566FKT folder, which increases our folding capabilities.  So now we’re stitching, crash folding and delivering on the same day, without relying on outside services. There’s very little of this kind of work that we need to send out now.”

The new Horizon SmartSlitter has added crucial speed to Emerald’s operation, McDiarmid says.

“We bought a Horizon creaser/folder five years ago at drupa and have been impressed with its production capabilities. We viewed the SmartSlitter as a perfect complement with its businesses card slitting and ‘stop perf’ capabilities.

“It’s a very clever machine. They’ve improved the registration system, which makes it very accurate. The versatility of the SmartSlitter, with its creasing, cutting and perforating capabilities, both horizontal and vertical, makes it a no-brainer for us when it comes to producing digital work quickly and accurately.”

The Horizon SmartSlitter is an all-in-one sheet processing system that can slit, gutter cut, edge trim, cross-cut, perforate, and crease all in a single pass. Perforation and creasing can be performed in both horizontal and vertical directions in the same pass. 

“We love it and have been using it daily since its installation,” says McDiarmid. “The touch-screen operation is also very user-friendly and the barcode scanning software enables the machine to set itself without user input. Keeping up with technology is an important part of our market strategy and, in the digital market, speed and accuracy are crucial.”

Currie Group MD Bernie Robinson says: “For business card printers, the Horizon SmartSlitter works really well. It can cut 21 cards out of an SRA3 sheet at a rate of 15,000 cards an hour. It will perforate at a similar speed, and again it is all controlled by a barcode with the machine setting itself.”

Emerald’s relationship with both Horizon and Currie Group have been essential factors in the growth of the company, which now employs 24 long-term staff members. “Horizon is an excellent, innovative company that responds to customer feedback,” McDiarmid says.

“I’ve known David Currie and Bernie Robinson and Currie’s NSW manager Richard Watson for over 20 years now and they’re mates as well as business associates, so it’s more than the regular supplier/user relationship. I trust them. They always present a good deal and follow up with excellent support.”

The Emerald Press plant at Castle Hill.

Emerald Press has been supplying offset and digital printing services for 30 years, with clients that include many of Sydney’s large-scale corporate entities and government institutions.

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