Ovato invests $1m in digital book printing

Ovato Book Printing (formerly Griffin Press) is investing $1m in new digital book printing technology, transferring its print-on-demand equipment from its Adelaide site with the Ovato print factory in Clayton, Melbourne.

The Clayton site will include the latest Konica Minolta digital printing devices, including two of bizhubPress 2250s, along with the Tecnau DocuSheer roll feeding systems for the book blocks, and the AccurioPress C6100 colour solution for producing covers. 

Ovato says the combination of new equipment will enable a faster and more streamlined workflow, upgrading its printing capacity from 500 books a day to 5,000.

The presses can facilitate both reel and cut sheet inputs, reducing downtime between print runs and allowing for quicker delivery times to customers.

The focus on print-on-demand comes as book publishers face growing cost pressures and demand for shorter runs and faster turnaround times, with success resting on the ability to react and pivot quickly.

The print-on-demand (POD) model involves printing smaller quantities, more frequently.

An industry-wide shift to this model is in part being driven by Amazon’s entry into the Australian marketplace – the platform fines publishers and booksellers that are unable to satisfy orders made on its site – and a need to reduce warehousing and distribution costs and ageing stock. This is a significant change for the industry and means that the Griffin team now receives weekly requests for print runs with a five-day turnaround time or shorter, rather than a few large runs each year.

“The new devices will allow our team to cut our turnaround times in half, providing customers with faster speed to market and minimising stock warehousing”, says Adrian O’Connor, CEO Print & Distribution, Ovato. 

“As a highly customer-focused organisation, this is extremely important to us. We’re committed to using the best technology to help Australian publishers meet customer demand in a changing landscape and achieve their objectives.”

Book publishing is seeing a rise in Australia, with unit sales of print books up 2.5 per cent over the January through September period compared to last year. Publishers are looking for ways to meet increasing demand, made possible by rapid online shopping and delivery processes, without sacrificing profit.

“With this investment in technology, we can offer a full range of printing services to meet the requirements of any publisher – big or small.”

Sue Threlfo, general manager, Production & Industrial Print, Konica Minolta said, "Konica Minolta is excited to be working with Ovato Book Printing on its new print-on-demand offering. This solution is the first of its kind delivered in Australia, which speaks volumes of the skills and expertise of the team. We also see further opportunities to assist Ovato Book Printing with other digital solutions as our relationship continues to grow.

“This partnership with Ovato Book Printing plays an important role in helping Konica Minolta attracting other print suppliers. Ovato’s adoption of new technologies and services will help inspire the wider printing community as they seek guidance on how to achieve success. We are looking forward to supporting innovation within the industry as our relationship with Ovato strengthens and grows.”

Following the relocation of its print-on-demand service from Adelaide to Victoria, Ovato says it will create five new roles at Clayton, with no job losses at Adelaide.

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