A FormerLine aggregate like the system that will produce books at Hucais in China.
Digital inline finishing is evolving at lightning speed and manroland web systems has new sales of its FormerLine book block solution to report. The first FormerLine system, specially developed for industrial-scale digital book production, will be delivered to the Chinese printing company Hucais. Additional systems will follow in the next two years as part of this order.
The Hucais Group made its name in sheetfed packaging printing and has by now successfully expanded into the world of digital printing. Working in close cooperation with manroland web systems, Hucais defined requirements and business models for digital printing and finally decided on the FormerLine system as a digital finishing solution for its letterpress production.
One FormerLine, Numerous Production Variants
manroland web systems developed the FormerLine system for digital book production on an industrial scale. In China, the system will be customized to the specific needs of Hucais, based on the company’s book production estimates. The FormerLine offers variability, allowing infinitely variable cut-offs from 145 mm to 420 mm. Together with the RS 34 book block stacker from RIMA-SYSTEM, the high-performance FormerLine system can produce stapled signatures or up to 6000 auxiliary-glued book blocks per hour with a thickness of up to 70 mm. Depending on project requirements, Hucais can set up web travel over two or three formers. This makes it possible to produce four to eight pages or eight- to 16-page products. The first production lines will be delivered to Hucais for the offline finishing of pre-printed reels. Later, equipment configurations will also be provided for inline production. In keeping with the preferences of the Middle Kingdom, the FormerLine is fast, flexible, and productive. FormerLine systems are designed for web speeds of up to 300 m/min. With a variable cutoff, the maximum web width is currently 1067 mm in the version with three formers. High efficiency achieved through minimal changeover times both for format and paper changes was a key selling point for Hucais.
Hucais, a Success Story
With printing sites throughout China, Hucais sets benchmarks in packaging printing. From cosmetics and beverages to cigarettes: Hucais stands behind its high-end, innovative products. Developing and implementing packaging according to clients’ specific preferences is a central part of the company’s philosophy. This level of flexibility and innovativeness is what Chen Chengwen, CEO of Hucais, wants to carry over into digital printing production: “We have established digital printing in our company in recent years, starting from our status as a successful packaging printer. Now we need to keep pressing forward with new developments, and that includes smart and future-oriented investments. Digital presses and the FormerLine system allow us to supply our customers with high-quality printed materials. We remain flexible, and can produce efficiently even in smaller runs,” Chen continued.
Eckhard Hoerner Marass, Managing Director manroland web systems, was pleased with the level of mutual trust in the project. It also lets manroland web systems make a clear statement in the market: “We want to use this project to prove how economical it is to produce with the FormerLine system. The objective is to win over further potential customers. In digital finishing, we provide a highly refined alternative that is hard to pass over.”
The integration of processes and production equipment has always been a core competence of manroland web systems. For manroland web systems, process electronics, production planning, and high-end printing technology constitute a single package that ensures smooth production processes at optimum efficiency levels. This strength now also benefits users of the digital print finishing modules FormerLine and FoldLine from manroland web systems. The new FoldLine is the multivariable pin-type folder for ultra-flexible newspaper printing, commercial folded products, and various book signature formats. Networked thinking is crucial to manroland web systems, and it shows - especially in the area of workflows. DigiLink and printnetwork Bridge are software modules that were especially developed to bridge the gap between the formerly separate production worlds of offset and digital printing. This makes the whole process of production planning, printing, and finishing more economical. Short makeready times boost workflow efficiency: under three minutes for format changes and three to six minutes for paper changes.