Watkiss PowerSquare provides a neat solution for Barry printer

Integrated Graphics Ltd is a digital printer based in Barry, South Wales. The company has invested in its finishing department, with the installation of a Watkiss PowerSquare 200 booklet maker. "We did a lot of research, and we concluded that there isn't anything quite like it on the market," says Director Wyn Phillips.

The finishing challenge faced by Integrated Graphics concerned the production of information booklets for a major exporter of surgical equipment. "They are required in multiple languages to various sizes," says Mr Phillips. The company embarked on a search for a production solution that could meet some unusual product specifications, as Mr Phillips explains:

"Firstly we needed to print and finish on lightweight stock outside the comfort zone of most systems. The Watkiss machine passed this test, as did the Océ printer we opted to use in conjunction for this work. The other difficulty we needed to overcome concerned the finished size. The books are small, in order to fit inside the packaging they end up in. This was outside the capability of all the booklet makers we looked at - including the Watkiss - but because of the SquareBack system, we found the answer."

The Watkiss PowerSquare 200 stitches, folds, spine forms and trims in one unit. The resulting books have a square spine, similar in appearance to perfect bound books, but produced far more cost effectively. It is unique in being able to accommodate up to 200 pages in one stitched book, and the added advantage of being able to stack square-spined books proved decisive in this case.

"We realised we could print several books per sheet, bind them simultaneously, and then trim to size afterwards," says Mr Phillips. "To do this, we need a nice neat stack on the guillotine, and you simply can't do that with books stitched in the traditional way."

Another plus for the Watkiss machine was its compatibility with a digital environment. "The other machines we looked at were designed to be attached to collating systems which are better suited to litho printing," says Mr Phillips. "This wouldn't have been right for us, as our digital presses produce collated sets. The Watkiss PowerSquare is available as an inline solution, but we went for the flexibility of the offline version so we can use it on our full range of print when required. It's saved us a lot of money on our outwork bill."