June 27, 2019
2018 was a heavy capital year for Friesens and this continues in 2019. Some equipment is already installed, and other equipment has been ordered and is scheduled for installation later this year. Let’s begin with the big news.
Friesens is expanding. We will be adding 35,000 sq. feet to the west side of our existing Industrial Park location. Space will be used for additional equipment and to reconfigure our existing space. Our current plan is to move cover decorating and the Book Perfect Binder into this space. It will also have enough room to add another binding line (HC or SC). In addition, the space will include two additional truck bays, more washrooms, a maintenance area, and a baler room. We hope to be in the addition by the end of the 1st quarter, 2020.
This move will also free up some much-needed space at our One Printers Way location. The third hardcover line was installed in April and has been in production since early May. The images below show the third hardcover line running its first book and a wider view of the Industrial Park facility, with the softcover line in the foreground and the three hardcover lines in the background.
A new sheeter from BW Papersystems has been ordered and should arrive in late June or early July, with installation to begin in August. The floor prep work has begun.
We have also ordered a smaller folder that will allow us to more efficiently and accurately prepare softcover flap jobs for the Perfect Binder. The new machine from Petratto will score, fold, and glue the flaps in one pass. The folder is scheduled to arrive in August.
We continue our investigation and testing of digital presses and finishing equipment and expect to decide on future investments by the end of summer.
We are also spending more time investigating robotics, artificial intelligence, cobots (collaborative robots), and other forms of automation that will allow us to improve our operations.
As you can see, there is a lot of activity in the capital and building front. I hope you find this as exciting as we do.