Coil Binder Makes In-plant a ‘Hero’

Kevin Burns, Print Services team leader at Harford County Public Schools, demonstrates his in-plant’s Coilmaster Jr. coil binding machine.

Each school year, the Harford County Public Schools, based in Bel Air, Md., gives every pupil a student planner—a book in which they can write down homework assignments and where parents and teachers can communicate with each other.

The district, which consists of 53 schools, traditionally purchased the planners from an outside vendor. Part of the reason this job was being outsourced was that the district’s in-plant only had a manual coil binder, and it could not keep up with the high-volume project.

That all changed when the shop -purchased a Coilmaster Jr. coil binding machine from Spiel Associates.

“We knew that if we printed it in-house, it would significantly reduce the cost,” notes Kevin Burns, Print Services team leader.

So last year, the in-plant tackled the planner project, printing and finishing 26,000 books. The in-plant was able to save the district about $30,000 by doing this job in-house, Burns boasts.

“It wasn’t hard to justify the purchase to the district,” he says. “It has made us a hero, actually.”

The school district’s in-plant is a totally digital shop, featuring two Xerox Nuvera 288s, a pair of Xerox 4112s and a DocuTech 260. The shop has four full-time employees, with a part-time person added in the summer to help with the student planners.

“Now that we have this capability, our customers are seeing that we can do more jobs that they had been purchasing outside,” Burns says. “Thanks to our bindery, we are able to handle more business.”

In addition to the student planners, the in-plant uses the Coilmaster Jr. to produce a variety of coil-bound books and budget materials.

“We have greater capabilities and are finding more uses for it now,” Burns points out.

Burns has found the Coilmaster Jr. to be very easy to use, and notes that Spiel Associates offered a training program on how to use the machine and how to adjust for different sized coils.

Burns adds that he chose the Coilmaster Jr. because it could handle round holes, while competing machines were only designed to handle oval holes. He also remembers watching two different coiling machines being demonstrated at a trade show.

“That was the tipping point,” Burns says. The Coilmaster Jr. seemed easy to use and the demonstrator was “just rattling through the books,” he recalls. Meanwhile, he saw a competing machine continually “bind up.”

“It was a clear choice,” he concludes.

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