Digital Finishing: Different Paths to Success
"We have a very flexible bindery in terms of trim size capabilities," adds Chinai. "We dynamically bind quantities of one and up using JDF/JMF/barcodes, so our multiple binding lines can utilize the automation inside the machines. Everything is driven by our MIS and ERP systems. This creates much higher throughput for all of our different trim sizes."
King Printing was the first book manufacturer to install four-color inkjet (Screen Truepress Jet web press), and all of its postpress is supported by fully variable cutoff systems. Its lines are also designed to handle four-color inserting. If all of the stock in a job is the same, printing and inserting is handled using selective inserting in-line.
How does King Printing decide which book to bind on which lines? "The variables of each product and the TAT determine the selection," explains Chinai. "What is the trim size, run length, final bind style? Generally, if it's shorter quantity, it's geared towards the Muller Martini. For hardcover, we focus more on Kolbus. We really like their automation for short-run changeovers."
King Printing uses JDF at the machine level rather than the central MIS system level. "There is still technology that is not at the level it needs to be," he says. "Many binding lines don't have the capability to accept job messaging for fast makeready. But, as runs get shorter, the value of investing in more automation becomes more critical."
What makes King Printing unique? Its ability to produce "every type of binding style" in-house: mechanical to sewn, foil stamped softcover, gatefold, hardcover, spiral wire, plastic coil and saddlestitched. "We can even produce a title where it's been split three ways: spiral-bound hardcover back, softcover edition and hardcover edition (including short-run hardcovers)—all done simultaneously," according to Chinai.
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