Engineering firm Kettering Timsons returns to printing press manufacturing as book sales skyrocket

World Famous Engineering Company Kettering is back in the printing press manufacturing business after increasing global book sales.

The year they celebrated their 125th anniversary, Timsons Engineering Ltd announced a joint venture between the company and CPI UK – a major UK book printer.

The new venture, Timsons CPI Ltd, will see Timsons making the presses and CPI printing the books using machines made in Kettering at their factories and foundries on Bath Road and Water Street.

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Timsons Engineering Ltd announced a joint venture between the company and CPI UK

Giovanni Piazza, Director of Timsons Engineering Ltd, said: “On this very special anniversary, we are delighted to announce the creation of a joint venture between Timsons Engineering Ltd and CPI UK.

“The creation of Timsons CPI Ltd cements our strategic alliance of decades of experience and expertise in manufacturing some of the best printing presses and printed books in the world.

“Building on our strong relationship, Timsons CPI Ltd will manufacture new web offset printing presses and associated equipment for the book manufacturing industry.

“Some of the best printing presses in the world were built by Timsons employees here in Kettering.

Frames are made at the Timson Foundry

“This new venture will complement the existing businesses of Timsons Engineering Ltd and CPI Books, helping them secure their long-term prospects for the benefit of their respective clients.”

The first project of the new company is to modernize an existing press in order to increase the printing capacity of CPI UK in order to support the growth of the UK commercial book market.

Physical book sales continue to grow with over 200 million printed books sold in the UK alone in 2020 – the highest number since 2012 – a trend that continues into 2021 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Mr Piazza added: “After years of underinvestment, the book printing market is supported by an increasingly older fleet of lithographic presses, and given the continued strength of the book market, it There is a definite need for new web offset lithographic presses to support the global publishing market and secure its manufacturing base for the future.

The T48 press

“Thanks to Timsons CPI, the renewed ability to manufacture new Timsons printing presses is great news for bookmakers and publishers.

“Timsons is proud to be at the forefront of training and learning programs. The joint venture will complement our existing operations and allow us to continue in this direction in the future.

Timsons Ltd. was founded in 1896 by Mr. Arthur Richardson Timson, who first repaired shoe machines in the basement of his parents’ house in Kettering.

After repairing shoe machines, Arthur Timson began manufacturing according to his own designs.

The new presses will be used for the booming book trade

He also began selling, repairing and producing bicycles – which had become very popular by the 1890s.

This led to the development of the “ketterina”, a one-speed motorcycle with a small De Dion engine.

In 1907, the company also entered the printing machine market and after his son Ernest joined in 1920, Timsons established its reputation as a leading manufacturer of web presses, letterpress printing and gravure printing. Arthur Timson died in 1954.

Timsons CPI Ltd is a joint venture
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