Digital Finishing Solution FormerLine from manroland web systems at Hucais Group

manroland web systems (Booth 1248) and HP (Booth 1913) organized an Open House at its joint customer Hucais Group in China. Visitors from China, South East Asia, USA, and Australia were impressed by the rapid performance and production flexibility of the digital printing system from HP and the FormerLine, the finishing solution from manroland web systems.

The first FormerLine system that has been developed for digital book production on an industrial scale successfully went into production. Currently the lines 2 and 3 are installed at Hucais Group. Further installations will come up within the next two years.

Kick-off with Kung-Fu Drum

The event started with a Kung-Fu drum performance, which created the perfect mood for the demonstration of the new dimension in digital printing at Hucais. The Chinese Dance of the Lion, a traditional dance in lion costumes, was a must for this memorable inauguration at Hucais as it is also a lucky ritual.

Within the scope of the ceremony, Chen Chengwen, CEO at Hucais welcomed the visitors. Alwin Stadler, Head of Sales and Business Development, Digital Printing at manroland web systems and Gido van Praag and Cathy Xu from HP Indigo were following speakers. They all emphasized the good and successful project work with Hucais. Furthermore, the visitors were flabbergasted when the messages of the event were illuminated via a colossal LED glass ball (see photo).

Afterwards, the visitors went to see the stunning production of Hucais Group. A red carpet lead the group through the different production areas at the printing site in Dongguan, until they reached the industrial book production with two systems for high-volume, continuous feed digital printing. The preprinted reels for these systems are finished to glued book blocks by the manroland web systems FormerLine.

Megatrend industrial digital book production and finishing at top standard

Following the practice, there were technical contributions regarding the viewed systems, further background of the success story and a speech of Chengwen, concerning recent changes at the book industry. Thus, within the scope of the subsequent conference, visitors had the chance to get more information about the megatrend in publishing printing and the latest developments and background stories.

While the number of titles is constantly increasing, single editions of books are frequently going down. This causes an immense cost pressure on conventional offset book printing presses. At small runs, digital printing cannot only keep up with the costs, but even generate savings. A modern digital printing system in connection with the finishing system FormerLine produces complete book blocks within one integrated workflow—if required, also preglued. Compared to conventional book production, costs can be saved significantly. As digital printing enables short and minor runs, one can print on demand what also helps putting the costs for logistics, storage, and overproduction aside. Hence, digitally printed books can be produced and delivered in a flexible and fast way. “Ready for dispatch in two days”—that is reality with digital printing. New, Web-based order systems support the print on demand and clear the way for the new business model in book production: large-format digital printing presses linked with workflow and finishing solutions for industrial production. Hucais demonstrated the success to their customers; some contracts with print buyers were signed during the event. Therewith, the operating grade of the presses is assured.

Hucais, a success story

With printing sites throughout China, Hucais sets the benchmark in packaging printing. Developing and implementing packaging according to clients’ specific preferences is a central part of the company’s philosophy. Flexibility and innovative capacity are the key aspects of success for Chengwen: “As a successful packaging printer, we have established digital printing at our company during the last years. We constantly develop our business and invest in future-oriented solutions. With the digital printing presses from HP and the FormerLine from manroland web systems, we can remain flexible and support our customers with high-class products that are cost-effectivealso for small runs.”

manroland web systems is pleased about the confidence of the customer and about the fact that this project sets a sign in the market: “With this project, we show the cost effectiveness of the production with the FormerLine. This will help us convince further potential customers. In the field of digital finishing, manroland web systems established systems that set completely new standards in productivity and automation for digital printing presses. This simply cannot be ignored,” explains Alwin Stadler, Head of Sales and Business Development Digital Printing at manroland web systems.

One FormerLine – numerous possibilities

manroland web systems developed its FormerLine for digital book production on an industrial scale. The system is especially designed regarding the requirements and the intended book production of the customer Hucais. In general, the FormerLine convinces by its variability, enabled by the continuously adjustable cut-off from 145 mm to 420 mm. Together with the lift collator RS 34 from RIMA, the system produces stapled signatures or up to 8,000 glued and stapled book blocks per hour with up to 70 mm magnitude in a highly efficient way and with great performance. According to requirements, Hucais can choose whether the web runs over two or three forms. Four- to 8-page or 8- to 16-page signatures can be printed and finished to book blocks. The first lines at Hucais are constructed to work with preprinted reels. For future requirements of book printing, configurations for inline productions will be provided.

In keeping with the preferences of the Middle Kingdom, the FormerLine is fast, flexible, and productive. The FormerLine runs with a web speed of up to 300 m/min. The combination of a variable cut-off and a maximum web width of 1,067 mm (model with 3 formers) shows the best performing digital printing press for book production at this time. The high efficiency explained by minimal makeready times, also for format changes, reel changes, and industrial maintenance concepts, furthermore features the FormerLine for Hucais.