The single-clamp machine, supplied by Intelligent Finishing Systems, was bought to meet a growing demand for short-run reports and perfect bound books. One of the first jobs was a 7,600 run for Oxford University’s Brasenose College.

“We used to send finishing to local firm Overload but that stopped trading, which left a bit of a hole in our capability,” said managing director Ben Burrows. “We wanted to respond immediately to short-run requests. The quality of the kit is very, very good, nice square backs and fast.

“But I also wanted to be sure the quality of the Horizon matched the quality our customers were used to. We didn’t want a compromise in the quality of the book or for our customers to notice any difference between jobs,” said Burrows.

He also liked the intuitive touch screen set up of the 500bph system, which cost around £30,000, and the variable software enabling the single clamp to be pre-set for the next book block in the job queue.

Burrows’ 12-staff company was launched in 1890 by his great grandfather Harry Burrows. Clients include Oxford colleges, medical and IT sectors and local businesses, helping the business to clock up an annual turnover of £800,000.

Other kit includes a Xerox 770 bought two years ago and litho machines including a five-colour Sakurai 575, two-colour Heidelberg MOZP and a two-colour Speedmaster 52 B3 machine.

The investment in the binder prompted Burrows to consider the provision of online ordering, he said: “A lot of our customers still like us to go and see them but with an online service we can also cater for those that prefer to upload work themselves.”

“The new addition gives us flexibility on price and turnaround times. Minimum order costs were creeping up and we had to consider transportation times to and from the finisher. Now we can more easily offer a same-day service.”