Ingram Books–The Speed of Lightning

“Publishers will no longer have to worry about unprofitable print runs and warehousing costs,” says Michael F. Lovett, president/CEO of Ingram Book Group, parent company of Ingram Book Co. “With on-demand technology, you print to meet your demand—whether that demand is one copy or one thousand.”

And Lightning Print, charged with the appropriate equipment, is set to keep up with demand—and live up to its name.

“We opted to separate the printing and binding equipment,” relates Brewster. “When an order’s sent to the printer, the file goes to the color cover printer and, at the same time, a book block is printed. Then they meet at the binding operation.”

Bar codes located on the cover and book block are read by a document verification system supplied by Inspectron and integrated into Duplo’s Quadrimax perfect binder, to ensure that the cover correctly matches the text.

Speeding the process further is the fact that the Quadrimax requires no changes in set-up to account for thickness variation. “Because the application is on-demand, book thickness will vary from one title to the next,” says Paul Steinke, technical marketing manager for Duplo. “Our machine is able to do this application in a productive manner without taking time for setting up and changing title to title.”

And printing and binding a book can take less than a minute. “It may not go that fast,” Brewster explains, “as clock time may be different than labor time; but clock time is probably less than a minute.”

And how do LPI books stack up against their offset-manufactured counterparts? “You’d have a hard time [distinguishing between the two] unless you knew exactly what to look for in a paperback book,” notes Brewster.

According to Brewster, the pilot period will extend through the next three to six months—enough time to refine any kinks in production— and seize the publishing industry by storm.

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