Adhesive Binders — Tightening the Belt
One mistake that Spiel believes customers make is in acquiring an automatic cover feeder to go with their single-clamp binders. It is roughly a $10,000 expenditure, he notes, that doesn't do a thing for productivity. "Everyone loves [a process that's] untouched by human hands, but sometimes it's faster to touch things," Spiel states.
Glue on the Side
Spiel Associates markets the Sterling Minibinder, which can output 350 books per hour with one operator or upwards of 500 per hour with two operators. Among its features is the popular side-gluing mechanism for hinge covers.
J.M. "Mike" Murray, president of Brackett, notes that two variables have affected the perfect binding and pad manufacturing industries over the past 10 years. Technological advances have enabled printers to move up the capabilities ladder. He says quick printing work is now done in small offices with laser printers, which enabled the quick printers to move into two-color work previously reserved for the medium-sized printer. It set off a chain reaction in the industry, and manufacturers needed to address these changes.
Secondly, at the high end of the printing spectrum, the larger printers became more competitive, making speed, automation and various efficiencies hallmarks of successful companies.
"The type of machine we used to sell to the small- and medium-size commercial printers is now sold to quick and instant printers," Murray notes. "The large companies are now requiring all new technology that gives them the higher volume, lower cost, more efficient type production. For that we have to add additional design. We must invest much heavier in R&D and do more one-to-one type projects and applications.
"We have to develop smaller, more multifunctional, less complicated equipment to go into the office environment," he adds. "We find that in the office environment, rather than having bindery or graphic arts people operating this equipment, you now have computer and office staff individuals who are not necessarily mechanical. Consequently, the equipment must be fool-proof and user-friendly."