Collating Equipment — Collating Cravings
American Binding markets the S.8845 gathering machine with six to 36 stations. This machine gathers signatures or single sheets in continuous process and it provides a checking system for double or missed sheets on every station. The linear machine is composed by groups of three feeders each. Each group works independently and can be put before or after the carrying hook. If a group is not used, it can be disconnected and set aside.
One of the biggest trends affecting finishing devices, according to Mark Pellman, marketing manager for Baumfolder Corp., is the increased use of coated stocks and the growth of color in short-run jobs on coated stocks from imaging devices other than offset presses. This can cause printers to rethink what type of collator is best suited for their workflow.
"Many customers already own a friction-feed collator, but find that they need a vacuum-feed collator to feed the coated stocks," Pellman notes. "The price difference from a simple, friction tabletop collator to a vacuum feed model is significant. Manufacturers must provide solutions to meet the new imaging processes and inks at an affordable price to the customer."
Printers are faced with the need to be more competitive in the market as digital capabilities increase outside of the "traditional" print shop, he adds.
The new Baum QuickVac air/vacuum collator is said to provide collating capabilities that friction-feed collators cannot for coated and heavier stocks. The QuickVac features a modular, compact, mobile design with either eight-, 16- or 24-bin capability. Numerous functions such as collating with insertion sheets, chips and slips with front and back cover insertion, and alternate collating, increase the productivity of the finishing operation. It handles a variety of stock including coated, art and NCR paper.
According to Ron Bowman, vice president of sales and marketing for Rosback Co., one of the challenges collator vendors currently face is the increase in use of digital printing, which supplies pre-collated materials, and the larger use of the Internet for distributing brochures and manuals—taking work away from the traditional printer/binder.