David Spiel

By Erik Cagle Senior Editor In one of many hilarious episodes from the long-running animated hit television series, "The Simpsons," bartender Moe Szyslak is hammering a crayon up Homer Simpson's nose to restore his less-than-Hawkingesque intelligence level to subpar standards. Don't ask why. During the hammering, viewers can witness Homer's digressing intelligence as the crayon is pushed deeper into his brain. At one point during the hammering, Homer mindlessly blathers, "de-fense, de-fense," but the deeper, more acceptable (and thus dumber) level Moe reaches with the crayon (it's called a "Crayola Oblongata") causes Homer to utter, "Extended warranty? How can I lose?" We'll not debate the merits of parts

by David Spiel A customer calls and says that he wants to buy a three-hole punch, but I tell him that he really does not. To avoid the risk of falling into an Abbott-and-Costello routine, I explain to him that a drill uses rotating drill bits to drill through paper and a punch uses reciprocating male and female dies to push through paper. A solid punch pin pushes paper through a female hole and the waste exits below. A drill cuts the paper while spinning and the waste is ejected up through its hollow shaft and exits through the top. What's the difference? Speed, accuracy, versatility

BY MARK SMITH Adhesive binding has long been a benchmark of quality for finishing, but equipment costs and setup times traditionally had kept the process in the realm of long-run and/or higher end projects. The prevailing trend now in "perfect" binding systems is increasing their flexibility to handle shorter runs. This is true for all levels of equipment, but particularly for the relatively new product category of units designed to work in conjunction with digital printing systems. A related trend is the industry's move to computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) that is trickling down to postpress operations in general. Unlike prepress and printing, though, digital

BY CHRIS BAUER Just ask a manufacturer of spiral wire or plastic coil binding equipment the advantages that their products have over other finishing techniques, and you will get a laundry list of answers. Sure, some of the benefits they will give you will be self-promoting marketing speak, but this kind of horn tooting has to be expected. But, on the other hand, some of the attributes spiral wire and plastic coil binding gear give to a finishing specialist certainly are practical for some applications. "Undoubtedly, the greatest advantage of spiral binding is that when opened, the book lays flat," explains David Spiel of Long

BY ERIK CAGLE Whatever fat existed in the adhesive binding portion of the postpress workflow has long since been trimmed away. The days of the long run are long gone. On-demand environments are everywhere, and inventories are kept as low as possible. Makeready times must make a NASCAR pit crew green with envy, and the machines must be easy to use, as quality help, like substance in this year's presidential election, is nowhere to be found. Through it all, customers are still asking for lower prices—frantically waving table-top machine money while standing in front of the floor- model machines. They can't be blamed;

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