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Postpress--The End of the Line

June 2000
Finishing gear filled a few halls at DRUPA, with computerized integration more prevalent than ever before.


Computers have integrated themselves into the postpress world more than ever. From monitoring machine functions to linking with digital workflows, the latest bindery equipment is smarter than ever.

Take Heidelberg's Stitchmaster ST 400, shown in its immense finishing area at DRUPA. Data generated at the impositioning stage of the prepress process can be loaded into the ST 400's press-setting program. Also, feeding, gathering, stitching and cutting are all monitored to prevent time-consuming jams.

Here are some of the highlights from the show.

MBO demonstrated the new Navigator Control-Touch and Navigator Control-Data Manager systems on its T 700 and T 800 buckle folding machines equipped with 15˝ touchscreen color monitors. It integrates the folder into the digital workflow for CIP3, controls sheets from feeder to delivery, and includes an integrated spare parts list, wiring diagram and instructions to resolve problems. Based on a Windows NT 4.0 platform, the Data Manager also provides a service interface for remote diagnostics.

MBO also showed a new buckle folding machine, the T 530, and a combination folding machine, the K 530, both for 20x28˝ sheets. They have electronic speed control and come with optional pile or continuous feeders. The Rapidset computerized makeready system is also optional. MBO showed its T 700 (26˝) and T 800 (32˝) Perfection buckle folders, as well, with a new operator-friendly loading system. Both include MC-Control and the Vivas mark-free transportation system. Also shown was the new MBO ZSF 66 cylinder thread sealing machine.

Duplo launched its new Duplo System 4000 bookletmaker, which incorporates up to six separate collator towers, each with 10 bins. Each bin has a capacity of 2.4˝ and is fitted with its own air blast and suction system for paper feeding. The vertical transport system in the collating towers has been improved, with twin conveyor belts ensuring faster, more consistent paper handling. A vacuum channel feeding system means virtually no adjustments are required when different papers are used. All errors are automatically detected, and a double reject tray system is in place, as well.

Heidelberg's new bindery gear includes the Stitch-expert, which collates, folds and cuts in a single pass. It handles paper formats up to 13.8x20.5˝ and can process up to 4,000 sets of brochures per hour, with a set thickness of up to 22 sheets.

Another new device, the Bind-expert adhesive binder, produces perfect-bound publications at 300 cycles per hour. It processes formats from A6 to A3. The Bindexpert also has an extractor unit for paper dust and trimmings. It supports a maximum binding length of 16.9˝ and a block thickness of 2˝.



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