Monotone installs Tasmanian-first Horizon finishing
Venerable Hobart printing house Monotone Art Printers has invested in a suite of new productivity-boosting Horizon finishing equipment from Currie Group.
Monotone, a 106-year-old printer based on the Emerald Isle, has 13 staff and, according to production manager Stu White, offers a broad range of services to direct and trade customers.
“We run sheetfed offset and digital equipment; we do trade finishing, folding and binding for other printers in Hobart, as well as laminating. We’re pretty much a one-stop shop,” he says.
Looking to upgrade from existing machinery, Monotone has invested in a new Horizon StitchLiner Mark III – the first one in the state – and a Horizon CRF-362 creaser/folder. White tells Print21 that each piece of kit has expanded the company’s capabilities.
“The StitchLiner gives us now the ability to run A4 landscape-orientation booklets – nobody else can do that in Tasmania at the moment. Our productivity gain has been pretty substantial, thanks to ease of setup.
We also went for high-capacity stackers, so the number of times we’re reloading on longer runs is less now, which speeds up our production – the machine’s now running uninterrupted for longer periods of time. Makeready time is much less, and the speed we can run the machine at is greater as well. It’s giving us a significant increase in productivity,” he says.
He adds that, while the CRF-362 isn’t doing anything new, it has improved on what the old machine was already doing.
“It can perforate – previously we would have done that on a press – and it lets us more accurately crease and fold jobs depending on requirements. It can do it in one pass, as opposed to multiple passes which we would have had to do on our old machine,” he says.
Monotone has a long-standing relationship with Currie Group, including the purchase within the last four years of a new Horizon perfect binder in addition to the most recent installations.
“Since that installation we literally haven’t had a problem with a job we’ve bound – it’s been a great acquisition. They’re a reputable brand, easy to deal with, and Currie Group’s technicians have the answers to pretty much every question we throw at them.
“Currie Group is top-notch. They know their products as well as anyone could know their own products. Nothing’s a problem. When you’ve got entwined with them, you don’t need to go any further than looking at what they have to offer.
“They’re easy to deal with, from the managing director all the way down to the guy doing the installation and training,” says White.
Though the StitchLiner and the creaser/folder have only been installed for a couple of months, White sees a bright future for them.
“We can do work that we previously couldn’t, and on a couple of instances we’ve been able to use the extra capabilities of the machinery. We’ve had a lot of interest in it, and I can only see those extras being used more and more as people become aware of them and see the finished results,” he says.
Bernie Robinson, managing director at Currie Group, said the StitchLiner Mark III was a big step up from Monotone’s previous StitchLiner 5500, installed in 2003.
“The owner, Caroline, decided she wanted a Mark III, and they’re happy with it. We’re happy to have them as a continuing Currie Group customer,” he says.
Robinson describes the relationship with Monotone as a long and fruitful one, and believes it will continue long into the future.
“Our relationship has evolved since the first StitchLiner went in; they also installed a Horizon BQ-280 perfect binder a few years ago. It’s a product that goes without any problems.
“The thing with the Horizon equipment is it never breaks down, so we never hear from the customer – we keep in touch from our end to see how they’re going instead.
“Monotone is great to work with as a customer. We’re happy with the relationship; they’re happy with us, and with the product. Two happy companies,” he says.
The company may be Monotone – but with the new Horizon equipment, business will be more vibrant than ever.