Halstan celebrates its centenary anniversary with a rebrand and capital investment

30 October 2019

This year, Halstan is celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of its sheet music, book, journal and educational printing business. Established by Harold (Hal) and his brother Stanley Smith (Stan) in North London in 1919 the company was originally founded to engrave sheet music. One hundred years on, Halstan has grown to become a trusted manufacturing and technology partner to publishers worldwide, under the careful control of third and fourth generation family members Christopher and Rupert Smith, the grandson and great-grandson of Harold.

Reaching such a significant milestone is cause for celebration, however the group’s on-going focus is very much on innovation to ensure it meets the ever-changing needs of its customers.

Managing Director Alan Harbison said “From market research and talking to our customers, we have discovered that many publishers are seeking zero inventory as the holy grail of just-in-time inventory management. The first stage of this journey is normally an Auto Stock Replenishment model. Therefore, through investing heavily in fully automated workflows, the latest inkjet print technology plus complementary automated finishing, combined with our highly skilled workforce, we are well-positioned to be, an integral part of publishers’ supply chains”.

Halstan has installed Canon’s VarioPrint i300 inkjet printing press, which sits in a new space that Infotrends1 call the ‘zone of disruption’. The details of the new book press are impressive. It is capable of producing up to 10 million pages per month and is certified to FOGRA2 standards. Harbison added “The versatility of the press is unmatched. Publishers can use their preferred papers, mix different stocks in the same book, mix mono and colour pages throughout the book and we can print just a single copy to a few thousand cost effectively. I am very pleased that the press has been running consistently since August and has outperformed our initial targets, which is really exciting for the coming year.”

The major consideration for Halstan when investing in this particular inkjet system was its environmental credentials. As the press uses water-based pigment inks there are no plastics or hazardous contaminants and the press has a certified 100% de-inkability score3 which ensures maximum recyclability.

Within Halstan’s 12,000sq.m facility just north of London, the company also has short run digital and long run litho production plus an in-house book bindery, which is able to offer several niche products alongside traditional stitched and perfect bound books. These include PVA cold glue lay-flat bound, short-run automated thread-sewn and Ota-bound books. In addition to London, Halstan also has manufacturing sites in Frankfurt and New York, enabling an international service to its customers.

With the strategic acquisition of the software house Pindar Creative eight years ago, the group is able to offer a range of innovative solutions to publishers in respect of workflow, content and data management, and automated catalogue page building.

Halstan will be marking its centenary by hosting its customers and suppliers in London on 1 November, and a party for its staff later in the month. 1 November is a significant date in Halstan’s history, as it was on this day in 1919 as records show this was the company’s first entry into the founder’s original sales ledger.

The event will be held appropriately at the prestigious Stationers’ Hall, the home of The Worshipful Company of Stationers’ & Newspaper Makers who were the original guardians of copyright.

For more information on Halstan, please contact Rupert Smith rcsmith@halstan.co.uk
Please address correspondence to Halstan 2-10 Plantation Road Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP6 6HJ, United Kingdom or visit https://www.halstan.co.uk/ for further information.