By Melissa Donovan
Small in-plants to larger commercial print providers need binding—whether it be in the form of perfect, case, mechanical, or stitching/stapling. Machines are available for the entry-level finisher, all the way to the experienced user looking to create one-offs to high-quality, medium runs.
Most books need binding. Anything from manuals to hardcover self-published small runs, textbooks, photo albums, personalized photobooks, and school packets find their way to bindery. Regardless of the application, the binding solution must match the capabilities of the print provider.
There are a number of solutions to choose from. This article studies the newest binders on the market, and features that make them stand out, and who they suit.
“We sell our binding and finishing products to corporate and institutional in-house printing and fulfillment centers, commercial print service providers, and various marketing service providers. Customers typically produce short-run books and booklets by the thousands daily, on demand, and often in a competitive environment,” says James Tressler, director of marketing and branch operations, C.P. Bourg.
The company’s newest binder is the Bourg BB Adventure Perfect Binder. It is a compact polyurethane (PUR) perfect binder for soft and hardcover book production. A single-clamp binder comes up from a cold start within 13 minutes to produce books up to two inches thick with spine lengths from 4.7 to 17.7 inches at up to 200 cycles per hour.
A tried-and-true product from C.P. Bourg is the Bourg BME Booklet Maker. It is a stitch-fold-trim booklet maker that produces top-, edge-, and corner-stitched documents up to 30 sheets and saddlestitch and finished booklets of one with up to 120 pages. Finished book sizes range from CD covers to 14.5x11.75 inches.
Duplo USA Corporation
Duplo recently released its first collating and saddle stitching system, the DBMi Saddle System. It can be turned on and set up in less than one minute. Width-wise, the machine binds CD-size items to 14x12-inch applications all the way to letter landscape-size booklets.
“The diversity in Duplo’s product line results in a wide client base. In-house printers, bindery shops, commercial printers, quick printers, and religious and educational facilities all use Duplo finishing equipment,” shares Anthony Gandara, product manager, Duplo. The range of bookletmakers includes the DBM-120 model, designed for companies with smaller production requirements, all the way to the DBM-350 and DBM-500 for mid- to high-production requirements. Duplo also offers perfect binding solutions as well as a tabletop unit.
Fastbind offers products for both the commercial print and photo sectors. “While the lines are blurring between the two, we still have products that are targeted toward individual market,” explains Doug Houser, VP sales and marketing, Fastbind. The commercial segment utilizes the Elite series of glue perfect binders for hard or softcover books up to 12x17 inches tall and two inches thick. The Casemaker series, which includes H32 and H36 Pro, allow users to create hardcovers that personalize an offering. Covers are made up to 18x18 inches.
In the photo sector, Houser breaks down the segment again, citing photo album and then photobook makers. Photo album makers require a product that creates and binds a high-quality album that lays flat, these range from two- by two-inches and 18x18 inches in size. Photobooks are more consumer-based, with fewer pages than a traditional album. In both situations, Fastbind’s Casemaker series of binders is ideal.
From the desktop binder to automated products for the commercial trade bindery industry, GBC offers a range of solutions. In addition to its mechanical binding, the company provides stitching and stapling solutions as well.
“The print-for-pay market including trade binderies, retail print centers, franchise printers, and quick printers are a significant market for GBC. These types of businesses are looking for reliable and flexible solutions to meet the demands of their customers,” adds Stuart Nelson, product manager, GBC.
Graphic Whizard offers two perfect binders, which are a fit for those looking for a short- to medium-run solution. The 460A processes up to 450 books per hour, as an electric, fully automatic model. The 320B is an electric, manual push button machine that processes up to 280 books per hour. Both devices are offered with a one year limited warranty and features that are normally available on more expansive models but at a lower price point.
According to Alex Esnaola, director of sales, Graphic Whizard, a range of buyers fit into the 460A and 320B categories. “These binders are designed for use in small in-plant digital book production facilities, but are also used by shops with bigger binders that need a small device to do one offs or short runs because of the simple setup. Other clients are purchasing these machines because they are just entering the perfect binding arena.”
Muller Martini Corp.
Muller Martini prides itself in the vast usage of its SigmaLine scalable portfolio. The products are found in various market segments including trade, paperback, education, healthcare, financial, and professional. “Customers use the technology as both a fully integrated, inline digital book manufacturing system and in a near-line workflow to handle output from various print sources,” says Andrew J. Fetherman, division manager, digital solutions, Muller Martini.
Scalable SigmaLine technology consists of the SigmaBinder; which utilizes lasers to measure book blocks entering the binder for automatic book-to-book machine setup, the SigmaTower that cools books prior to trimming; and the SigmaTrimmer, which trims variable-sized books with zero makeready. The SigmaLine Digital Book Manufacturing System is an end-to-end solution that takes a PDF file and generates a finished, trimmed book without human intervention. The system is able to work in both inline or near-line and interfaces with all major toner and inkjet print technologies.
Muller Martini also provides photobook, yearbook, and traditional tradebook manufacturers with the Acoro perfect binding line, Diamant MC digital hardcover line, and Hoerauf BDM digital casemaker. The Diamant MC is of note, as James Kaeli, division manager, book and publication binding, Muller Martini, explains it features a hybrid configuration to provide both conventional and digital production all in one machine.
Nordon manufactures adhesive application and verification equipment for spine and side gluing of perfect bound books, this includes both ethylene vinyl acetate and PUR adhesives. The PURBlue 4 PUR slug melter was recently developed for the effective, efficient processing of low volumes of reactive PUR adhesives for short-run jobs. The new product is designed for use with two-, three-, or four-kilogram foil-encased PUR slugs in conjunction with the EP48V slot applicator to form a closed system.
The MiniPUR Melter System economizes the use of the PUR adhesive by protecting it from exposure to moisture in the air. It pre-melts the PUR for small binders, minimizing any PUR sitting in a pail or drum and preventing unnecessary waste. “Large, commercial binders still choose the traditional bulk melters as part of the adhesive application process. The recent introduction of the PURBlue 4 and MiniPUR melters brings the same efficient PUR adhesive processing to low-volume users,” explains Rick Pallante, industry specialist, Nordson.
Pro-Bind specializes in thermal binding for a variety of soft and hardcover book applications. For example, the recent re-release of the company’s Pro-Bind 2000, which is U.S. manufactured, provides on demand hardcover bookbinding for short runs and one offs for self-publishing authors, yearbooks, financial statements, insurance booklets with variable covers, and even personalized children books. The goal of the company, according to Jeff Kohn, president, Pro-Bind, is to help digital print users utilize their machines to the greatest extent possible.
The Pro-Bind 2000 offers an auto-shut-off feature, with one-button operation, no warm up is required. It binds multiple documents simultaneously with a cycle time of 30 seconds for softcovers and 60 seconds for hardcovers. A one year warranty comes with the device, which weights approximately ten pounds and offers a binding length of 14.75 inches.
Spiel Associates, Inc.
The Sterling Digibinder from Spiel is a tabletop perfect binder that operates similarly to a floor model. Fully automated, a pneumatic clamp and nipper adjust automatically and a unique roughing blade roughs and notches the entire backbone of a book. This allows for the binding of coated and oil-infused stocks. Twin glue rollers ensure an even glue application. The machine also produces book blocks for hardcover binding.
“Spiel’s array of finishing equipment ranges from case binding equipment, stitchers, creasers, UV coaters, and booklet makers, down to the smallest tabletop punching machinery and plastic spiral binding equipment,” touts David Spiel, owner, Spiel.
Standard Finishing Systems
“Standard Finishing solutions are used by commercial printers, quick printers, direct mailers, and in-plant printers. Most frequently these customers are looking to invest in products that leverage automation for quick setups to drive down labor costs, as run lengths have continued to decline,” states Don Dubuque, senior marketing manager, Standard.
The Standard Horizon BQ-270V Perfect Binder is designed for short-run print on demand and commercial print book markets. Single-person production is achievable with up to 500 books per hour. The binder offers a large 10.4-inch color touch screen as well as a sensor-activated digital caliper system to measure book block thickness and then transfer the data to the binder.
For high-speed continuous feed digital print, the Standard Horizon StitchLiner 6000 Digital SaddleStitcher is complemented by Standard Hunkeler unwinding and rotary cutting technology. The benefit is that customers move from roll to full-color, finished booklets in one continuous process with no intervention. Non-stop booklet production occurs at up to 600 feet per minute and variable sheet-count booklets are produced using barcode scanning or mark reading.
Depending on the application and environment placed in, the right binder is out there for any size and type of print shop. If you are looking for even more equipment, visit our Target Chart section to view the our Binding Solutions chart.