Bindery Innovations At PRINT 09
The bindery products at PRINT 09 may have gotten more attention than the printing equipment. IPG walked the show floor and took a look at some of these new products.November 2009 By Bob Neubauer and Erik Cagle
THOUGH PRINT 09 may have gotten off to a slow start, the crowds eventually showed up. And when they did, many of them headed right for the bindery equipment. Nowhere was that more true than at the Standard Finishing Systems exhibit, which was bustling with activity on the third day of the show, even as other booths appeared to be on siesta. Mark Hunt, director of marketing for Standard, thought he knew why.
"Times are tough and margins are tight, so you have to scrub expenses out wherever you can. Our machines provide labor savings," he said, as he led a small group through Standard's booth. "The more intelligence we can build into our folders, the less expertise is needed from the operator. We've baked into the machines all the folder operator know-how."
Manufacturers of bindery equipment were optimistic about PRINT 09. They felt that printers looking to buy would be more likely to look at bindery equipment, both for the labor-saving reasons noted by Hunt and because this equipment constitutes a far cheaper investment/risk in a sour economy than does a multi-million-dollar printing press.
IPG looked at many of the new bindery products on display at PRINT 09. Here are some of them:
Folders and Creasers
Among the laundry list of new products at the Standard Finishing Systems exhibit was the Horizon AF-566T4F buckle-buckle folder, an automated six + four-buckle folder that accepts sheets up to 21.9x34˝. The AF-566T4F includes an intuitive, icon-based 10.4˝ color touch screen, which displays all common fold formats and sheet sizes. Precise stepper motors drive end stops and fold plates to the exact location for the sheet size and fold style selected. Up to 200 custom jobs can be stored in memory. The AF-566T4F is equipped with six buckles on the first station and four on the second station.
For low to moderate volume work, Standard premiered the PF-40 suction-feed folder. It can fold up to 390 sheets per minute and store up to 10 different jobs in memory. It has six preset fold styles and four preset paper sizes. A high capacity delivery conveyor is combined with a 4.3˝ high-capacity feeder.
Among the new products highlighted by Duplo USA was its Integrated Folding System (IFS), which incorporates an in-line knife folder with a DC-445 creaser or a DC-645 or DC-615 slitter/cutter/creaser. This enables users to finish applications in one pass, eliminating the need for a separate folding device. With IFS, the DC-645 uses two knives to create a variety of folded finishes, including step double parallel folds.