drupa 2012 - Finishing is Rolling Along
Because job runs continue to get shorter, the binder almost certainly has to have the ability to setup each clamp for a different book thickness. And that’s what was evident at drupa. Both the “traditional” binder manufacturers and the digital postpress vendors showed this concept. Since the vast majority of book production is soft-cover perfect bound, the market is there for these machines. Cover matching is typically guaranteed via barcode systems.
The overall impact of these roll-to-bind machines will be the capacity for continuous short-run book output with very little labor involved. The good news for printers is that they now have lots of choices. But...these machines do not come cheap. The combination of the unwinder, sheeter, multiple folders and the binder (and other various necessary peripherals) push the final price well past a half million dollars in most cases.
Printers investing in continuous digital print will not have much of a choice, however. To switch to digital print without also redesigning the bindery workflow could be a dangerous course.