The Perfect Bind

Finding and using perfect binding equipment can go a little easier with some advice from the experts.

Perfect binding is a growing business for in-plants. Already 39.2 percent of in-plants have perfect binders. Many others are eying them.

Before dropping any money on this equipment, though, it’s important to analyze possible future business, not just current needs, so you’re not stuck with an outdated machine.

“Too often, people buy what they need at the moment and do not anticipate the potential for growth and new business,” notes Steven Calov, Heidelberg’s postpress product manager for stitching and perfect binding. He suggests asking yourself questions like these:

• How often will you use the binder?

• What are your run lengths?

• How fast do you need to turn books around?

• What is your five-year plan?

• What is the potential for growth with the binder?

To help in-plant managers make the right decisions about perfect binding equipment, IPG spoke with some of the manufacturers to get their advice.

Features to Look For:

• When looking at new equipment consider features that allow for easy loading and off-loading, automated setup and changeover to minimize down time between runs—particularly if the run lengths are short—system reliability and a simple, easy-to-learn operator interface.

—Bob Flinn, Standard Finishing Systems

• For a floor model with runs of a few hundred to a thousand, we suggest a 500-cycle-an-hour machine. A user should look for pneumatic clamps, a jogger at the book block feeding position, a milling device with milling and notching, a hot melt tank with glue cutoff for the spine gluing, as well as a disk-side gluing device, paper chip removal, a glue fume absorber, and an automatic suction cover feeder with double in-line scoring.

—Steven Calov, Heidelberg

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