New Perfect Binders Make Their Debut at Hunkeler Innovationdays
We haven't seen the introduction of new perfect binders from major finishing vendors in some time. But the recent Hunkeler Innovationdays event in Lucerne, Switzerland, proved to be the perfect venue to introduce some new technology. Both Muller Martini and Meccanotecnica showcased new perfect binders with new technology.
Muller Martini has provided its SIGMA digital line for many years now, but its new Vareo binder represents some new thinking on the process. Until now, multi-clamp binders were fairly similar in their basic design. The clamps were attached to a single chain drive so that they all had to move and stop at the same time. Thus, processing time for book block milling, nipping, and other operations, was roughly equal for each book.
The Vareo uses three clamps that are driven by their own servo motors—allowing the clamps to run and stop independently. This allows operations such as nipping to be set for each book, or permits over travel for longer covers. Not only does this drive higher book quality, it means higher throughput for the binder. Complete format changes can be done in about a minute with the Vareo's automated controls. The Vareo also hosts an integrated, easily switchable EVA hot-melt and PUR nozzle system, plus a optional barcode-based cover-to-book block matching system.
Muller thinks this capability, along with the machine's speed of up to 1,350 finished books per hour, will make this the ideal digital short-run binder, but the company is pitching it to its traditional offset customers as the ideal binder for both worlds.
Meccanotecnica has long been a leader in high-speed book block sewing systems for hard-cover books. But in Lucerne, it introduced the new Universe Inline perfect binder. This system is designed to link up with its renowned Universe high-speed sewing line. The binder is somewhat unique in that it uses a pressure belt system instead of the traditional binder clamps to press and transport the book block.
It features integrated back-gluing, gauzing and end-paper application stations to produce a book block that's ready for the casing-in operation. This machine is a great addition to Meccanotecnica's sewing systems, and (as far as I know) is the company's first binder offering.
The encouraging news here is that book finishing technology is far from being exhausted. The major players are continuing their research and engineering development into new technology and finishing processes, and that's a good thing for us all.