Collators — Freedom of (Much) Choice
Prosystem's Maxima now has an easy-to-operate touchscreen computer control system. The system affords control of most major machine functions from one central location. Information including help screens, production and maintenance history can be accessed.
Ease of setup is a major consideration, notes Dennis James, manager of press planning and management for A.B.Dick. Variables such as the need for tools to change sizes and the time needed to switch between standard sizes impact the bottom line.
"Labor is the majority of the expense of the job," James says. "If it takes a lot of time or tools to make adjustments for stock changeovers, it limits the ability to be flexible in the kinds of jobs run. It also limits the amount of profits the job will yield."
A.B.Dick's latest offering is the Watkiss Auto SpineMaster. The system provides stitched spines that have the appearance of a perfect-bound product. It produces 1,400 easy-to-handle booklets per hour and is adjustable for different book thicknesses up to 1⁄4˝ thick.
In addition to automation, ease of setup and selective collating, collators that can accommodate the widest variety of material, from lightweight paper to heavy chipboard, are highly sought after, according to Hans Max, president and CEO of MBO America.
MBO offers the Theisen & Bonitz line of collators. The new T&B Flex collator features two operation models, with collating, stitching, folding and trimming functions on the right side of the machine and collating only on the left side. The collators feature excellent sheet separation, touchscreen control, missed sheet detectors at each station, double sheet detectors, automatic missed sheet repeat and automatic run on/off. The T&B 304 stitch, fold and trim model offers a face trim and is equipped with head and foot trim knives.
Ergonomic issues can come into play when deciding between a short-run vertical collator or a deep-pile horizontal model, according to Donald Schroeder, vice president of sales for C.P. Bourg. Volume/applications generally dictate the variety of collator needed.