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Success Story in Digital Printing: Digital Finishing Solution FormerLine from manroland web systems at Hucais Group

Altogether 220 visitors gazed at the manifold production possibilities of the system installed at Hucais Group in China

Dongguan, China. On May 28, 2014 manroland web systems and HP organized an Open House at their joint customer Hucais Group. 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 also by 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, as part of this remarkable order, will come up within the next two years.

Kick-off with Kung-Fu Drum-Percussion and Dance of the LionThe event started with a groovy 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, definitely was a must for this memorable inauguration at Hucais as it is also a lucky ritual.

Inauguration-, media- and customer event
Within the scope of the spectacular 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 Hewlett Packard Indigo were following speakers. They all emphasized the good and successful project work with their remarkable key account Hucais. Furthermore the visitors were flabbergasted, when the messages of the event were illuminated via a colossal LED glass ball.

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 pre-printed 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 Mr. Chen, concerning recent changes at the book industry. Thus, within the scope of the subsequent conference, the 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, the 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 – partly significant – possible savings. A modern digital printing system in connection with the finishing system FormerLine produces complete book blocks within one integrated workflow – if required also pre-glued. Therewith, 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, digital 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 therewith clear the way for the new business model in book production: large format digital printing presses linked with workflow and finishing solution 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. No matter if cosmetic-, beverage- and cigarette packaging: Hucais stands behind the high-end and innovative. 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 Chen Chengwen, CEO at Hucais: „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 effective – also 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 convincing 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“, Alwin Stadler, Head of Sales and Business Development Digital Printing at manroland web systems explains. 

One FormerLine – numerous various production possibilities
manroland web systems developed its FormerLine for digital book production on an industrial scale. The system was 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 formers. Therewith 4- 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 pre-printed reels. For future requirements of book printing also 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.

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