This post was written by our intern, Alice, who recently joined Sarah and Flo on a trip to one of our printers, CPI, to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole.
Last week Sarah, Flo and I met at the train station, ready for a day trip to one of our printers, CPI. We got the train to Chippenham, so the journey wasn’t too long, and were kindly collected from the station by James, who Channel View has been working with for about 10 years. James drove us over to CPI’s Melksham factory, which is one of 17 factories spread over 7 different countries.
Firstly, we sat down for a brief overview of the printing process and how their printers work. It was great to get a detailed description of the difference between printers and James showed us examples of what they can do, as well as giving us a mini presentation. After tea and a chat, we left the office to see first-hand what goes on in the factory. We began our tour with the plain paper rolls, ready to go – these are huge and fill a large portion of the first factory room, so we were very surprised when James told us how quickly they get through them! The rolls are then set up on the printer, which they go through at an overwhelming speed. The inkjet machine prints an entire book at a time, one after the other, on the roll. Once the paper has the text printed on it, it is then folded into its book form. It was amazing seeing how precise and fast the machines were – little need for human hands! The books are then glued and bound, before being trimmed to size. If it is a hardback book, it then carries on to a final stage where the cover is added and, if necessary, a jacket is added as well. It was all very exciting – thanks to everyone in the factory for letting us be nosy!
After the grand tour, we collected our account manager, Katie, from the office. We then all drove to Lacock, an amazing village owned by the National Trust, where we had a wonderful lunch and more of a catch up. There was just time for an ice cream (it was a very hot day!) before heading back to Bristol. It was overall a great trip and so interesting to get an insight into the journey our books go on before they arrive at the office.