RBC Adds UV Varnishing, Stitching to Digital Center

Showing off RBC Ministries’ new Standard Horizon StitchLiner 5500 saddle-stitching system are (from left) Dave Wise, Doug Bekkering, Tim Hettinga and Kendell Martin.

To laminate and spot UV varnish book covers, RBC Ministries’ in-plant retro-fitted an Autobond 36 SUV inkjet spot UV machine to run in-line with its new Autobond Mini 36 SD T laminator. Demonstrating the configuration are (from left) Kendell Martin (director of print operations), Randy Sanders and Lynn Dawson.

When Christian publisher RBC Ministries opened a digital print center in 2010, the intent was to bring production of soft-cover, perfect-bound books in-house. So the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based organization installed a pair of HP Indigo digital presses—a 5500 and a 7000—as well as a Standard Horizon BQ470 perfect binder and a Standard Horizon HT80 three-knife trimmer.

“We knew right from the outset of the project that in addition to printing and binding the books, we would also need to laminate and spot UV varnish the covers,” notes Traffic & Production Coordinator Mark Hendricks, who was responsible for setting up the digital print center. “A solution that would allow us to do this in-house was essential.”

So about a year ago the 70-employee printing, binding and fulfillment operation installed an Autobond Mini 36 SD T laminator. Then in September, it retrofitted an Autobond 36 SUV inkjet spot UV machine to run in-line with the laminator, where it is used to spot varnish book covers.

Because LED UV technology uses 80 percent less electricity than conventional UV and produces no ozone, the 36 SUV is environmentally friendly. It also runs cold, removing the fire risk.

With this configuration, the in-plant can produce single or double-sided thermal lamination in one pass with spot UV on one side of the sheet. Hendricks says that he and his team are very pleased with the quality produced using the two machines inline.

“The laminator produces great quality, and we’ve been especially impressed with the accuracy of the registration,” he says. “Another key benefit is that laminating and spot coating inline saves both time and money.”

A secondary reason for creating the digital print center was to move production of RBC Ministries’ 4×6˝ Discovery Series booklets from its Harris M1000 web press, reducing the need to print and warehouse large runs. To enable this, the in-plant recently added a Standard Horizon StitchLiner 5500 saddle-stitching system.

Related story: Digital Print Center Gets Finishing Touch

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