With its investment in a 1/1 version of the KBA RotaJET 130 from the flexibly expandable L series of digital web presses by Koenig & Bauer, the Finnish company Bookwell Digital Oy is treading new paths in book production. “With this new press, we will be able to print small job runs in a highly efficient digital process, and can react quickly and with outstanding print quality to short-term market needs,” says managing director Juha Manninen. The ordered KBA RotaJET 130 can print more than 500 million single-colour A4 pages every month. Put into the perspective of book manufacturing, this means that Bookwell Digital Oy will be able to produce several million books per month. The high-volume press is scheduled to enter full production in Juva/Finland in mid-2017.
Bookwell Digital: A young company with traditional roots
Bookwell was founded in the small town of Porvoo in the south of Finland more than 150 years ago. The company produces and distributes high-quality books with Scandinavia, Great Britain and Russia as the most important export markets. Up to 13 million books are printed each year by a total of 208 employees at locations in Porvoo and Juva. Last year, Harri Nyman and Juha Manninen purchased Bookwell and founded the new company Bookwell Digital Oy in Juva. Their next objective is thorough restructuring of the book production activities. Juha Manninen: “We will continue to print hardcover and softcover books, but production will be much more flexible and supply chain orientated, avoiding warehousing. We are convinced that the KBA RotaJET will help us to develop new market opportunities, and that it will change the landscape for book production in Finland and Scandinavia.”
From the paper reel to a finished book
All RotaJET L series presses share the same hardware platform and thus permit on-site expansion in one or more steps from the narrowest web width of 777 mm up to a maximum of 1,380 mm, as well as upgrading from 1/1 to 4/4 printing. The RotaJET 130 for Finland will run with a web speed of 300 m/min. The combination of precision machine engineering, cutting-edge inkjet head technology and KBA RotaColor polymer inks is the key to exceptional print quality (1,200 dpi). The paper is supplied to the two inkjet printing stations by an automatic KBA Pastomat reelstand in combination with the reel transport system KBA Patras M. Optimally matched IR/hot-air dryers and the intelligent web guiding over two central impression cylinders, without the need for turner bars, guarantee crease-free production in high print and register quality, even on thin stocks. The RotaJET 130 at Bookwell is to be linked directly to an automated finishing line to realise the efficient inline production of ready-for-sale books.