Saddle Stitching Machines — Saddling the Right Machine
Another capability that was important to Azbill was the optical signature recognition feature on the saddle stitcher. “It is not impossible to make a bad book, but it almost requires human intervention to do it,” remarks Azbill, who notes how the new stitcher has made a positive impact on United Litho’s operations.
For example, the new generation of saddle stitchers run significantly faster. “We are running faster with one machine than we were with our two previous machines. In-line mailing also saves us a tremendous amount of time. It literally hits the binder and is out the door the same day. We’ve cut three to four days out of the schedule,” claims Azbill.
Speed was also a factor in Omaha Print’s decision to purchase a 10-pocket Heidelberg ST 400 shaftless drive saddle stitcher with cover feeder, ink-jet capability, auto stacker and auto preset capabilities throughout the finishing line, according to Gary Smith, Omaha Print COO.
Its purchase is part of an ongoing equipment upgrade to improve the Omaha, NE-based company’s capabilities and efficiencies, while lowering operating costs. Omaha’s motto is: Get there. Faster. So, getting its bindery up to speed was of particular importance if the $15 million operation was going to fulfill that motto.
Makeready Saves Time
The makeready presets on the machines is what drew Smith’s interest. “The preset makeready feature reduces time significantly. Makeready is primarily accomplished with data input at the console to set-up the entire gathering, stitching, trimming and stacking line. Settings are saved for repeat work,” he reports. “The pockets are very flexible to run different configurations. We run at the maximum rated speed of 14,000 bph frequently to reduce production costs and to shorten the production cycle time.”
Omaha’s stitcher operators were also soon up to speed on the machine due in part to the improvements that have been made to the control panels.