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Allied Bindery : Quality Creates Confidence

March 2012
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While binding is only 10 to 15 percent of the cost to manufacture a book, its value is immeasurable. Allied Bindery, of Madison Heights, MI, has always endeavored to make receiving that full value effortless for its customers. Allied's primary goal is to produce a high-quality book, and a close second is to allow for flexibility. Being an early embracer of hot melt polyurethane (PUR) adhesive for spine gluing has helped it achieve both.

A trade binder in business since 1989, about a decade ago Allied noted an increased variety of paper stock coming in from printers. While traditional ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) adhesives were capable of handling many stocks, Allied recognized that PUR adhesives could accommodate virtually any stock. Combining that adaptability with PUR's tolerance for extreme temperatures and excellent layflat properties, the shop decided to make it the standard on one of its two Kolbus binders.

The Kolbus KM470 binder came with a wheel pot applicator. The wheel pot was adequate for PUR adhesive application, but the open system resulted in daily residual adhesive waste, as well as extensive maintenance. In addition to labor-intensive, daily startup and shutdown processes, wheel pots require regular maintenance and refurbishing to stay in good working order. And, the open wheels were susceptible to contamination and foaming of the PUR, both of which negatively impact adhesive binding properties. Additionally, application control isn't very precise, requiring over application of adhesive to ensure minimum coverage.

After some thorough research, Allied realized it could improve production efficiency and reduce waste and maintenance by using an extrusion application system. Working with Henkel, their adhesive supplier, Allied identified the Nordson BetterBook solution to meet the need for a closed extrusion system. The Better- Book solution incorporates a Nordson bulk melter and hose with its EP48V slot applicator to protect the adhesive from air/moisture exposure, while providing maximum application control.

"Some customers were initially concerned that PUR use would significantly increase the cost of the bookbinding process," says Ed Doyle, managing director of Allied Bindery. "But, while PURs are more expensive than EVAs, use of the PUR extrusion application solution allows a 50 percent reduction in the volume of adhesive needed for proper bonding. And, the low-maintenance system also helps to reduce some labor overhead costs. The net result of PUR use is less than pennies per piece for a longer-lasting, finished book."


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