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Binding, Creasing Equipment Helps Create Works of Art

February 2014 By Bob Neubauer
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Hidden deep inside New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) is an art studio of a different sort—a graphic arts operation responsible for producing high-quality printed pieces in support of the iconic museum. With a four-color Ryobi 784 EP perfecting press, as well as Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 and C6000 color printers, the busy 11-employee in-plant prints projects the MET's quality-conscious designers can be proud of.

To maintain that reputation for high quality, the in-plant recently made some additions to its arsenal of bindery equipment, adding a Sterling Digibinder Plus from Spiel Associates; a Graphic Whizard knife creaser; and a gatefold attachment for its MBO B21 folder.

The Digibinder perfect binder was installed in November, after it became clear that the in-line perfect binder on the C8000 was not meeting the in-plant's needs.

"The 8000 could not perfect bind the size of booklets that we needed to bind," explains Richard Peterson, manager of Office Services at the 144-year-old museum. "We do a lot of 812x512˝ [booklets], and it just couldn't do it."

The Digibinder Plus is able to bind these booklets—mostly programs for museum fund­raising events—without difficulty. The operator simply places the book cover on the nipper table, then puts the book block in the pneumatic clamp. Both the clamp and nipper adjust automatically, binding books as thin as two sheets up to a 214˝ maximum thickness. A roughing blade roughs and notches the spine, and twin glue rollers ensure an even glue application. A third metering roller smooths out the glue.

Though Spiel Associates says the Digi­binder can bind up to 240 books an hour, Peterson contends his in-plant is even more productive.

"I think we probably average more like 300 an hour," he says. "We did about 800 in a little less than three hours."

Typical run lengths range between six and 800 books, he says.

"We use this for a lot of padding also," he adds. "Memo pads, note pads, things like that."

The in-plant added the Graphic Whizard knife creaser last spring to combat the problem of toner cracking on the folds. First the shop tried a rotary creaser, but the quality was not good enough. Jobs that required scoring in multiple directions had to be sent out. The Graphic Whizard creaser can handle both the quality and directional flexibility.

"It is working beautifully," Peterson says. "The creaser allows us to perf and score all in one pass and in multiple directions, and that in itself paid for the machine in our first year of use.

"We don't crack anything in the folding process now," he adds.

As for the new gatefold attachment for the in-plant's MBO B21 folder, Peterson says simply, "We had a big demand for gatefold work." This was mainly in the form of tourism brochures.

"What we spent on that versus what we would have spent outside having it done paid for [the attachment] over and over again," he says. "And that's what we're all trying to do, right?"



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