directional feeding, intelligent feeding, and a number of other functions that allow for continuous production and enhanced productivity at speeds up to 10,000 sets per hour. The programming, with touchscreen control, also allows for instant recall of previous jobs and the ability to break into jobs as needed for rush work.

According to Cliff Thompson, manager of marketing communications for Streamfeeder, many businesses that historically outsourced collating projects are choosing to bring jobs in-house. As these companies expand their capabilities, they are very focused on the long-term profit-generating capability of the equipment purchased, he contends.

“Flexibility, value, and ease-of-use translate to return-on-investment, so collating systems must be designed to be simple to use, easy to reconfigure and capable of efficiently handling diverse jobs,” Thompson asserts.

Streamfeeder Universal collator systems are built to provide flexibility. Modular design using “plug and play” simplicity makes these systems easy to reconfigure as collating needs change. Component feeders can be removed from the line for standalone feeding applications, then reintroduced to the collator when needed. Typical Universal systems run the gamut from simple two-station configurations to sophisticated systems featuring 30-plus feeders.

Digital printing has revolutionized the way printed material is generated, points out Dennis James, manager of press planning and management for A.B.Dick, (the U.S. distributor for the Watkiss line of finishing equipment) and a high proportion of it needs to be converted into finished booklets. Most solutions to these finishing requirements are handled with the flexibility of collators, with various accessories such as stitch-fold-trim, bookletmakers or stapling applications, he says.

“There has been the attractions of online finishing, where the paper is put in at one end of the machine, and a finished booklet is delivered at the other. However, in many cases this is not the most efficient way to proceed, nor is it the most cost-

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