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January 2002

In the world of saddle stitchers and bookletmakers, machinery is king.

"The emphasis is on the equipment," reports Ron Bowman, vice president of sales and marketing for Rosback.

Ease-of-use, automation, reliability, flexibility, versatility and productivity are just a few of the advances touted by saddle stitcher and bookletmaker manufacturers these days.

Many of these innovations have come as a result of the growing industry trend of putting relatively unskilled employees in the bindery, while still demanding that the products they produce be as perfect as possible, reveals Bowman. Rosback offers the Setmaster Stitch/Fold and Trim bookletmaker, an in-line or off-line unit with dial adjustments, up to four stitching heads, in-line folders and face trimmer.

"Customers are looking for a machine that will do any job their clients bring them, so the [equipment] has to be versatile. They want to turn jobs without delay, so it has to be reliable. They also demand fast and easy job setup," says Donna Hall, advertising manager for MBM Corp. Features such as air feeding, detectors for misfeeds and doubles, and operator LCD control panels are just a few examples of some of the new innovations found on bookletmaking machines.

According to Hall, MBM has found a way to address all of these customer demands with its DocuVac air feed finishing system. The air feed feature allows for faster production rates, as well as the ability to handle all types of paper stocks without marking. The detectors help maintain accuracy and reduce downtime. The LCD control panels address the growing need for operator-friendly equipment.

Printers and trade finishers also demand features such as the stitch/staple method, staple leg length and automatic size adjustments, states Steve Cutler, postpress product manager for A.B.Dick.

Low Maintenance Model

A.B.Dick offers the Watkiss BookMaster featuring a low-impact stapling mechanism, which ensures virtually maintenance-free operation. The main wearing parts are included in the staple cartridge instead of the staple lead and are replaced every 5,000 cycles when the cartridge is changed. Cutler says that more than 1 million cycles can be run before maintenance is needed.

"The BookMaster's staple leg length contains 22 sheets and produces a well-formed staple," he reveals. "The pushbutton, automatic adjustment changes paper sizes faster, more accurately and easier. It costs more, but setup time and operator skill requirements are greatly reduced."

In today's world of lean running shops, ease-of-use is important, stresses Jose Alvarez, marketing coordinator at Duplo USA. "Ease of operation reduces the need for skilled labor, subsequently lowering labor costs. Unskilled workers with minimal training are capable of operating the equipment," he explains.


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