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Mid Island Bindery — Bucking Bindery Trends

March 2008 By Cheryl Adams
Managing Editor
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WHAT IS this strange-looking thing? Bob Geier wondered aloud, when a customer stopped by (circa 1987) and handed him a small, round piece of plastic. “I’d never seen anything like it before,” recalls Geier, owner of Farmingdale, NY-based Mid Island Bindery. “The customer said it was a compact disc, and that it was going to be huge someday.

“That was a milestone year for us,” Geier notes. “We worked hard with our customer to produce the books that accompanied every compact disc at greater speeds then they were currently being produced and hold all the specifications required by the final assembler.”

Mid Island produced sleeves and books for compact discs until 2004, when the client closed its New York plant. But in 2005, an opportunity arose with another existing customer, Coral Graphics, that wanted to expand into the printing of books and packaging for the multimedia market in Louisville, KY.

Into the Niche

“Aware that we had almost 20 years of experience in this area, they asked if we would be interested in developing a close working relationship in this venture,” Geier explains. “We agreed, and with Coral Graphics putting together a state-of-the-art printing facility and Mid Island creating Next-Tek Finishing, a state-of-the-art finishing plant, we were able to meet the critical demands of this industry.”

Suddenly, Mid Island Bindery had grown into a two-facility, two-state operation. When many trade binderies across the nation were closing their doors, Mid Island’s reputation of meeting customer’s needs had enabled its growth as one of the most modern, high-tech facilities in Louisville and one of the last true trade commercial finishers in New York.

Next-Tek has become a relied on finisher for the multimedia printing companies located in the Louisville area, Geier asserts. When the facility opened in 2005, there were 15 employees. Today, there are 80.

Business was booming back at the Farmingdale facility, as well. And 2004/2005 became another milestone year. It was then that a customer brought in another unusual project: a 680-page, plastic spiral-bound book. What’s most unusual about the project is its run length: 250,000 copies.

Run Lengths of 250,000

In today’s market place, where everyone is forced to pinch pennies to get by, why wasn’t this project sent to the least expensive bindery, even if it was out of state? The answer is simple enough: Most plants can’t handle mechanical binding run lengths of 250,000. With digital and on-demand printing all the rage, most are simply not set up to handle such lengthy runs. Not nowadays, anyway.

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