KSP accelerate Case Making innovation with latest Horauf BDM 20 install

In response to increasing demand and a commitment to reducing lead times and costs, KSP are delighted to announce the successful installation during December 2020 of our Horauf BDM20 German high-speed case making machine with on-line rotary board cutting.

KSP move into the Premier League of Case Making

One of only two in the UK and capable of running at speeds of up to 60 per minute, this investment firmly puts KSP into the Premier League within the Book Cover, Case Making, Folder and Ring Binder manufacturing industry. Combined with KSP’s ‘can do’ attitude to any scale of project, this is the latest investment since bringing in-house the manufacture of these products in 2005. From humble beginnings, we can now produce more in a minute than we could initially do in an hour; now that’s what we call progress!

Reliability you can count on

With the ability to run hot or cold glue systems to tackle most book cloths, as well as coated and uncoated cover materials, our Horauf incorporates an online integrated rotary board cutter to enable us to make a diverse range of products, including a 3 piece cover from a single piece of board.

Other features include an integral viscosity control system that continually monitors the glue to ensure consistent high-speed running, and counter stacker with return conveyor. Incredibly, all features are designed to deliver consistent, high volume production with a single highly skilled operator; meaning we can manufacture and deliver products at the very best prices, and return those savings to you. Proven renowned German engineering guarantees this highly efficient machine will help us to continue to excel in our promise to provide the fastest turnarounds with improved quality and consistency.

A few of the innovative products we can now manufacture at speed:

  • Book cases
  • Book covers (soft and rigid spines)
  • Ring binders, including paper over board ring binders (eco-friendly and cost effective)
  • Lever-arch files
  • Game boards
  • Cake Boards
  • Box components, including slipcases
  • Duplexing of sheets to other papers and boards

Unparalleled flexibility

From a technical point of view, the Horauf can run cover materials ranging between 100 to 300 microns, with a minimum open case size of 105mm x 170mm and maximum of 380mm x 680mm. The machine can also handle any board thickness between 1mm and 3.5mm. Additionally, the Horauf can produce a two-piece book cover with a soft flexible spine.

Horauf Bdm 20 Casemaker Specifications

  • Speed: 60 cases per minute
  • Minimum Case size open: 105mm x 170 mm
  • Maximum case size: 380mm x 680 mm
  • Board thickness: Minimum 1 mm – Maximum 3.5 mm
  • Board cutter (Space between boards): Minimum 6mm – Maximum 90mm
  • Spine Width: Minimum 6mm – Maximum 80mm
  • Hinge width: Minimum 5mm – Maximum 15mm
  • Distance between front & back cover: Minimum 16mm – Maximum 120mm
  • Thickness of rigid spine Minimum: 1mm – Maximum 3mm
  • Thickness of flexible spine Minimum: 0.30 mm – Maximum 0.6 mm
  • Thickness of cover material Minimum: 0.1 mm – Maximum 0.3 mm

A beginners guide to screen printing

The screen printing process

Put simply, screen printing is the process of pushing a liquid ink through a woven mesh (formerly silk) onto the surface of the material placed under the ‘screen’ – which is where the process’s name originates. The versatility of the process suits items of all shapes and sizes, and has been around in a recognisable form in China since the Song Dynasty 960–1279 AD. The process as we know it today advanced rapidly once a photo-chromatic method of stencil making, which was developed in the early part of the 20th Century. While the fundamentals are similar, things have moved on quite a bit since then!

The screen is a frame of either wood or aluminium, over which a woven mesh is tightly stretched. In years gone by, we used silk for the screen; which is where you will have heard the term ‘Silk Screen Printing’, but this has now been replaced with a more modern, higher performance material. Areas of the screen are then ‘masked off’ – which is effectively a reverse stencil of your design to allow ink to pass through the screen onto the final material in some areas, and not in others.

The screen is then precisely positioned on the item to be printed, and ink is smoothed across the screen, usually with a polyurethane blade called a ‘Squeegee’, similar to a window cleaner’s tool. The ink passes through the areas not masked off to form your final design. Only one colour can be printed at a time, so designs with multiple colours require absolute precision alignment. Finally, the ink is either left to dry or forced dried depending on the inks and materials used.

Why use screen printing?

One of the primary reasons to use screen printing is the ability to print an ink which has been manufactured to perform a specific function. Long term outdoor durability, high reflectivity, even a special silver ink that’s electrically conductive for printing circuit boards – the possibilities are endless. Ultimately, the ability to coat or rather ‘screen print’ onto almost any material or surface with specialised inks is what makes this process so versatile.

Ink manufacturers have developed inks to print onto just about anything whether that be glass, fabrics, wood, plastics, carbon fibre to name just a few. Inks and colours can be made to precisely manufactured to match corporate colours or specific Pantone specifications. They can be made gloss, satin or matt, transparent or highly opaque, and can be formulated to achieve incredibly high levels of adhesion to achieve long lasting print in very challenging environments. When it comes to long-term durability, the high quality screen printing and specialised ink knowledge that KSP Print Group can supply you is hard to match.

Pros and cons of screen printing

With the advent of digital printing over the last 30 years, many things that were screen printed are now digitally printed and with good reason. Digital printing is comparatively quick and cheap to set-up ready for print – and those saving can be passed onto you, whereas screen printing involves more lengthy manufacturing processes.

Although digital is advancing all the time, the inherent nature of the process means the inks are more transparent, and to achieve the overall image it relies on all 4 colours being overprinted onto each other, which means they are much less opaque than an average screen print ink.

As a general rule, screen print is used when excellent ink adhesion, long-term durability, absolute colour accuracy or high ink opacity are important factors for your printed item.

KSP know screen printing – in-fact it’s the area of print we founded our company on back in 1985. We continue to invest and develop in this process, and deliver innovative screen print production and manufacturing from our print works based in Oxfordshire. You can rely on the expertise of our friendly team, so get in-touch and let us help you achieve the very best result for your next screen print task.

Screen, Digital or Litho – what’s the right print process for you?

When determining which print process to use for your print job, we know things can get a bit confusing! Screen print, litho print, digital print… each have their best-given applications depending on your requirements, and that’s before we get into ‘finishing’ like folding/lamination/manufacture, but we’ll save that for another post!

Many factors influence which print process we decide to employ to get the best result, and KSP are ideally placed to offer you a diverse range of end products that we manufacture in-house. But before we can get started, we thought it would be useful to give you a checklist of things that we’ll need to know. Don’t worry if you haven’t got every bit of detail or are a little unsure; we’ll be happy to talk you through everything.

Your print specifications checklist:

  • Quantity required
  • Dimensions
  • The end use of the product
  • How long has it got to last
  • Material preference
  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Your budget (price/quality/timescale factors)
  • Timescales
  • Do you need help with design/engineering?

KSP have been producing Screen, Digital and Litho printed products since April 1985, so we have a wealth of knowledge to be able to advise you on the best print process and materials for your job. You can count on our wealth of experience – there’s not much we’ve not produced over the years, but we appreciate that everyone’s requirements are different!

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but here’s a breakdown of the main print processes, along with some of the considerations we’d take into account when advising which to use:

We’d usually recommend screen printing when the following factors apply:

  • Much higher opacity ink or special ink finishes
  • Excellent quality of ink adhesion to the substrate
  • The longevity of the end product
  • Most suited to single or limited number of colours
  • Print runs generally shorter (although not always!)
  • Pantone or specific colour matching is critical
  • Light colours are required onto dark materials
  • Light fastness for outdoor use is critical

We’d generally recommend digital printing when the following factors apply:

  • You require a small amount – down to just 1 item (but can be thousands!)
  • Very quick turnaround required
  • Very accurate colour matches aren’t required
  • More artwork variations are required

We’d generally recommend litho printing when the following factors apply:

  • Larger quantities
  • Print reproduction is paramount
  • Unit cost has to be low
  • Item to be printed is flat

Don’t worry if some of this seems complicated or confusing – that’s what the team at KSP are here for! We will help you select the most appropriate print process, so get in-touch to find out how we can help you get the very best out of your next print job.

Dying trade or 5,000 year old print process that still can’t be surpassed?

We at KSP believe not. Unlike so many of our competitors who have rushed to ditch the traditional screen print process in favour of less skilled and the ‘at the touch of a button’ digital print processes, we’ve not only kept screen print at the heart of our business but we’ve invested heavily in it to ensure its long term survival as a process that simply can’t be replaced.

As these screen printed Lexan Polycarbonate membrane overlays prove, some applications simply demand more durability, brighter and higher opacity inks, superior ink adhesion, precise colour matches, all coupled with very high-tech embossing and finishing processes that create products that can only be achieved by screen printing.

So whilst others have let all these skills go, here at KSP our highly skilled workforce still have all the experience necessary to give our clients the combination of the traditional and the modern print and finishing processes all under the same roof. 

So you answer the question;

Screen printing, dying trade or 5,000 year old print process that still can’t be surpassed?

We’ve absolutely no doubt. When it comes to some critical and demanding applications, there’s no substitute for the traditional screen print process.

So for all your screen print needs, contact us and we will guide you through the process and let us surpass your expectations.

POS Digital Print and Finishing at it’s best!!!

Asked to produce 400 quality plastic ‘whirly gigs’ at ridiculously short notice,  Matthew Graham of Dreamcell, Graphic & Website Designers of Kent turned to Google and in turn came to us.

Nervous about a tight deadline, choice of the right materials, quality of print and intricate cutting, KSP guided Matthew through the process at each stage. Estimates produced within hours, samples printed and dispatched next day and the final job produced on time and beyond the client’s expectations, Matthew’s fears were all allayed.

A combination of attention to detail all the way through production, extensive experience in flatbed UV curing digital printing and precision CAD cutting onto polypropylene by staff who really care, all combined to deliver the experience he’d been hoping to find.

Matthew’s words to us on completion of the project…..

‘It’s great to work with suppliers who are so friendly, helpful and efficient. Estimates, samples and proofs all delivered by return, and the job completed on a fantastic turnaround, and to the right quality-plus a lifesaving catch from the studio on a potentially expensive typo. It’s always nice to feel we’re all hauling on the same rope. You’ve all been great to work with…I wish we still did shed loads of retail POS so we could lavish KSP with huge lucrative orders! Still you never know what the next phone call might bring…’

Praise indeed from someone we’d never had contact with 3 weeks before!!

With a wealth of expertise and an appetite to deliver beyond our clients expectations, get in touch with us and let us exceed yours and your clients expectations too!


KSP Prove Commitment To ISO 9001 and ISO 14001: 2015

These Internationally-recognised standards for Quality and Environment help KSP prove their commitment both to the environment and to providing excellent service.

Cliff Smith, the consultant who visited KSP on behalf of QMS, praised their preparation saying: “Both the Managing Director, Mr Woodcock and his Marketing and Internal Processes Manager were very enthusiastic about making both Standards work for them to obtain maximum benefit. In line with ISO 9001, they had implemented systems that helped them review the whole customer ordering process, allowing them to easily identify any potential issues and proactively manage customer satisfaction.”

He added “Their commitment to the environment was commendable. They’re focused on promoting and implementing environmental improvements to meet their customer needs and also for personal satisfaction. This was evident in the way they minimised waste by maximising raw material yields and actively recycled polypropylene, cardboard etc.”

On the processes they implemented, Cliff added “ Mr Woodcock and Ms Vink had put stringent processes in at every stage, especially at final inspection. I think that this is an SME that implements large company practices and controls.”

Is it who you know or what you know?

Which is best Old School or New School?

At  KSP Group we know some very important people who appreciate what we know and want us to apply our ‘Old School’ printing methods onto their ‘New School’ products.

Over the years many printing processes have changed and modernised but screen printing  has remained pretty much unchanged.

Ink is still squeezed through a mesh, even on something as unique as the side sills for a £1.1m super-car.

At KSP we developed a way to clamp the odd shaped sills and made a bespoke screen holder to allow us to print the logo onto the raw carbon fibre sill prior to them being lacquered and sent to the manufacturer for assembly.

So next time you see one of these beautiful cars have a closer look as every one of them has a little bit of the ‘KSP touch’ on them.



KSP Group Complete Acquisition of Buckingham Screenprint!

As the owners of an already long established screen print company, we viewed the chance to acquire Buckingham Screenprint as the perfect opportunity to gain a firmer grip on the screen printing market and add to our already extensive client base who require this traditional but still very sought after specialist print service.


The merger was completed earlier this year when Buckingham Screenprint was moved into our already well established 9,000 square feet Banbury based manufacturing facility. This has proven very successful and we are now able to offer an even larger wealth of knowledge and expertise to our joint client base.


Over the last 15 years we have also invested heavily and embraced the current trends in digital printing and finishing equipment to enable us to serve the screen and digital print requirements and bespoke needs of clients from many different markets.

Unlike many screen print companies who were quick to follow the trend of ditching screen print in favour of the new and trendy digital printing processes, KSP has continued to strengthen its position as a specialist screen printer  whilst at the same time making multiple investments into digital printing and finishing to complement our screenprint facilities.

Some things can only be screen printed and KSP are committed to being able to provide the very best facility to meet our client’s demands.

The world may be divided but you still need dividers….tabbed dividers to be precise!

When a client was in trouble and up against a ridiculous schedule we stepped in to save the day.

On a Friday afternoon when we receive the request, “We need 14 tabbed dividers, an intro sheet and 2 covers, all printed overall CMYK onto polypropylene and we need 200 collated sets by Thursday next week, what can you do?”

“Not a problem for us” we respond. We confirm the price and schedule and the client hands it over to us and can enjoy a peaceful weekend knowing that their request is in safe hands.

First step is to print dividers and intro sheet onto 500 micron white polypropylene then the front covers go onto 1200 micron for that extra stability.

No problem for our Jetrix KX7 flatbed printer with its 3.1 metre x 2.5 metre bed which prints every printers nightmare, black tints flawlessly!

Time is against us so how do we stay ahead? Easy!

Rather than spending hundred of pounds on cutting formes, we utilise our DYSS X7 CAD cutting system to tab cut the dividers whilst the next sheets are still being printed.

Nicely cut in perfect register and ready to drill.

We finished the job ahead of schedule and delivered it to the clients offices a day early….after all they still had hours of work to put all of the text together with the dividers.

So the advantage of using KSP and our wide array of printing and finishing equipment led to less stress and their client being completely satisfied.

Boxing Clever!

box-1KSP decided to venture into rigid box making after being treated like small fry by the UK‘s largest rigid box maker.

We found on average you were having to wait 2-3 days for quotes because you are only looking for 100 – 500 boxes and not 10,000?

So we took matters into our own hands and decided to utilise our in house die cutting, mounting, spot UV and countless years of POB experience with the purchase of our new HM-40 Box Corner Pasting Machine to ditch the big guys and do it ourselves… with amazing results!

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