Clays invests in manroland Goss

Clays, the UK’s largest book manufacturer has ordered a manroland Goss Lithoman IV Book press, configured for coldset, which is capable of producing around 50m books per annum. 

Clays, based in Bungay, Suffolk, is the UK’s largest book printer.

Clays, which is based in Bungay in Suffolk, produces over 150 million books per year, specialising in monochrome paperbacks and hardback books in any quantity and in a wide range of sizes. The company, which can trace its roots back over 200 years, started in London before acquiring the print business of Charles Child in 1876 and relocating to Bungay. In 1986 Clays was acquired by St Ives but, following a strategic review, was sold in 2018 to the Italian book printing company Elcograf, which produces monochrome and colour books as well as catalogues and magazines, and is itself part of Gruppo Pozzoni.   

Since then Clays has been on somewhat of an investment drive. In 2018 Clays bought a manroland Goss FormerLine digital book block finishing system. In 2019 the company added a Fujifilm Jet Press 750S and a HP PageWide T490HD web press as well as a series of Muller Martini finishing equipment.

The new press has a 1260mm web with and 1105mm cylinder circumference. It can produce 48pp sections of 2-up book signatures at up to 37,000 imp/h, as well as changing jobs on the fly at full speed. As such it will be handle the longer runs, freeing up Clays’ existing digital capacity to help the company grow its short run work.

It will be fitted with the DynaChange functionality designed to allow non-stop production and reduce waste. The two-unit press will automatically change plates on the non-printing unit which will run up to speed and change print forms on the fly at full press speed. Lower run lengths can be produced with lower press speeds to allow time for the printing unit ramp down, automatic blanket washing, automatic plate changing, pre-inking and automatic printing unit ramp up. The press will also benefit from a host of inline closed loop systems including manroland Goss’s Inline Density Control and inline cut off control dynamic to ensure optimum print quality. 

The press includes a five-year service level agreement. Ian Smith, operations director at Clays, added: “We are commissioning our latest binding line now, in time for a busy autumn, and then look forward to working with manroland Goss in the months ahead to bring this fantastic investment to life, with the press arriving in Summer 2022.” 

Paul Hulley, Clays CEO, commented: “This investment demonstrates our strong confidence in, and long term commitment to, the UK book market. Over recent years we have concentrated investment in digital technology in response to market changes. Now, with advances in technology, we are focused on updating our litho press hall, which still produces the majority of our volume. We are making an unprecedented series of investments across printing and binding; this is a very exciting time indeed for the business.” 

You can find further information on Clays at and on the press from

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