Mid Island Bindery — Bucking Bindery Trends

Bob Geier (left) and Bob Russo, partner/co-owners of Mid Island Bindery, show off their new Kolbus perfect binder, which is capable of top speeds up to 15,000 books per hour.

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.

Mid Island was no exception. Initially, it wasn’t capable of binding 250,000 1.3˝-thick books. But keeping the faith with his business philosophy, that “if the customer wants it, the customer gets it” (even if that means adding new equipment to handle the job), Geier was determined to win the work—not once, or twice, but routinely year after year.

“The first year that we produced the project, we bought several manual plastic spiral machines, but we could only produce one-third of the work,” he explains. “We had to outsource the rest to other binderies that produced the job in this manner. The next year, I approached our equipment supplier, Michael Spiel of Spiel Associates. I told him that I wanted to complete the entire job in-house.

“So we purchased a Sterling Coilmaster automatic plastic coil binding system in 2005. Then, we were able to do two-thirds of the job. The next year, we bought another Coilmaster and finished the entire job in-house. And, we did it in four weeks, which was the amount of time given to do the project. We have taken on the project every year and, with our new equipment, we are able to keep it flowing smoothly in our plant.”

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