Finishing — Caught in a Bind?
Selective perfect binding is a highly desirable, but expensive proposition, according to Ralph Box, executive vice president of Muller Martini. A prime example of versioning, selective binding is particularly important for monthly publications such as Ladies Home Journal, which cater to a range of demographic markets.
According to Box, selective binding investments are cost-prohibitive for many printers. "Printers rarely produce monthly magazines without a selective binder," he says.
Box recalls a time when owning a saddlestitcher was out of reach for many companies, but is now a viable investment. He doesn't see that happening with the selective perfect binder. "I can't see the price of perfect binding going down because of the requirements to produce that type of book," he says.
The emphasis on solutions for shorter runs, faster makereadies and quicker job turnaround was the task presented to Duplo U.S.A. Its reply, notes Marketing Director Jennifer Gattis, was the world's first automatic-setting stitcher/folder, the Duplo DBM-250.
Automatic setup and changeover are crucial because they save time, enhance productivity, reduce waste and increase profits, according to Gattis. With today's demand for shorter run lengths, it's now questionable to operate a bookletmaker that takes the traditional 10 to 15 minutes for changeover every time a new job is produced. In contrast, the DBM-250 boasts job changeover speeds at under 1 minute.
Backed by the automatic setup, Gattis points out, printed pieces are not wasted, which can be critical on short runs from a financial standpoint. The automatic-setting feature is also vital, she says, because the quality of the finished booklet is no longer dependent on the skill level of the operator. "In today's workplace, many employers cite finding qualified employees as one of their major business challenges."
Flexibility is especially important, she adds. The equipment needs to be able to produce a wide variety of applications produced on a range of paper stocks—including NCR, coated, 10 point, etc.—so that fewer jobs need to be done by hand, outsourced or even turned down. Gattis notes that bindery equipment is also being required to work both off-line and in-line with printers and high-speed copiers.