drupa 04 Report Binding & Finishing — Building Better Binderi
For example, Muller Martini—the 900-pound gorilla of postpress publication assembly and finishing—showed a high-speed perfect binder operating in conjunction with a Delphax press producing short-run books. In fact, the entire Muller Martini booth was packed with JDF-enabled equipment, ready to take advantage of the interconnectability emerging from CIP4 protocols and broad collaboration among suppliers.
Another large-scale postpress supplier now ready to move downmarket with automation is Kolbus, where Drupa-goers saw book assembly makeready time cut dramatically. The larger manufacturers—those that typically support large publication printers such as Banta and Quad/Graphics—are clearly responding to the demands of these early-adopting companies for JDF-enabled machinery to be used in next-generation plants.
At the recent R&E Council Binding, Finishing and Distribution conference in Chicago, held just before Drupa opened, the move toward dramatic integration of postpress functions into the manufacturing process was apparent, and the equipment seen at Drupa clearly supports that trend.
Trend II: Gearless and Shaftless Technologies Are Increasing Finishing Flexibility. The application of digital technologies is dramatically changing the way other finishing operations are done, as well.
Take the diecutter introduced at Drupa by Omat, an Italian producer of flexographic presses. The new Omat diecutter, which operates in-line with a press, utilizes stepper motor technology to eliminate diecutting cylinder changes. The diecutter has one 24˝ cylinder set, which accepts magnetic dies. To effectively change the diameter of the cylinder, the operator dials in the correct repeat dimensions, and the cylinder rotation speed is changed with every impression to correctly align the dies as the material passes by at a constant speed.
For example, if the repeat is 18˝ rather than the 24˝ cylinder, the 6˝ difference is compensated for by quickly advancing the die cylinders with the servomotor, resetting them to produce an 18˝ repeat. This is just one example of the use of servo-motors and stepper motors in postpress equipment. As in the pressroom, bindery equipment is quickly becoming gearless, shaftless and digitally controlled. This permits greater positioning control, and eliminates gear backlash and drive train wear.