The latest innovation from Sheffield manufacturer Rollem is PhotoSlit, which has been developed in direct response to market demands for a photobook finishing system that combines high cut quality and productivity with minimum operator skills and maintenance along with the ability to change settings easily between jobs.
Rollem has already received orders for the new photobook system and the first machine to be built was shipped to a customer in Spain during February. Initially, PhotoSlit is being aimed at fast turnaround printers, with digital web-to-print workflows for jobs up to SRA3. However, Rollem says it could manufacture PhotoSlit in other sizes if required, including up to B1.
“Our comprehensive in-house design and engineering facilities allow us to create finishing equipment that meets a very specific need,” says managing director Stuart Murphy. “PhotoSlit is a good example of how we can respond quickly to create a bespoke finishing solution.
“Very often we design and build equipment in situations where other manufacturers will not even consider trying to find an answer. Such systems can give quite a competitive edge to a company in the marketplace and, unfortunately, this generally means we are not allowed to publicise the installation – a bit frustrating when you’ve just achieved a major breakthrough in post-press technology!”
The two-dimensional bleed cutting facility incorporated with PhotoSlit is said to provide the most accurate and narrow bleed cutting in the world. With a gutter size as small as 1.6 mm, PhotoSlit can significantly reduce waste and produce more pages per printed sheet than other photobook systems on the market. The long-life slitting blades should last between three and six months in a normal, busy production environment.
PhotoSlit can handle up to 8,000 SRA3 sheets an hour. The page size range is from A6 to A3 and Rollem says it could make a system capable of handling sheets down to 75 x 30 mm. Each printed sheet is carefully handled individually, with identical processing every time leading to extremely precise registration.
If there is a problem with print image shift within the job, Rollem’s AutoLay system enables the operator to compensate for this. Other features incorporated within the new Rollem equipment include batch counting and remote control. PhotoSlit is independently verified to comply with CE and the latest European machinery directives.
“The standard SRA3 PhotoSlit product costs £55,000 and this includes all that is needed for most photobook pages in an in-line environment,” says Stuart Murphy. “In addition to near-line and in-line PhotoSlit systems, we are able to produce off-line versions, which can be used with our deep pile feeder or shallow pile TurboFeeder, both reliable and robust systems. As with so much of what we create at our Sheffield factory, the end product is generally a solution to a customer’s particular post press need.”