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Strong to the finish

Dec 1, 2005 12:00 AM


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Postpress

AMERICAN PRINTER covered a wide range of postpress topics in 2005—everything from punching and drilling to perfect binding, inline finishing and foil stamping. Here are some highlights as well as developments to keep an eye on in 2006.

Inline/nearline on-demand options
Several digital press vendors introduced inline and nearline coaters to protect output against flaking, scuffing and other mail stream maladies. (See “Get Inline,” May 2005.) Xerox showed an Epic Cti-635 inline coater for the iGen3 while Kodak and Xeikon won GATF InterTech awards for their respective NexPress Fifth Imaging Unit and Print Protector.

Besides gloss coating, Kodak’s NexPress Fifth Imaging Unit also gives digital printers the options of spot coating or adding a fifth dry ink color (red, green or blue) to a CMYK-printed piece. The fifth ink extends the gamut and optimizes the NexPress for Pantone Color reproduction.

Xeikon’s Print Protector is a non-UV system that applies a water/wax/silicone oil emulsion on both sides of the digital print. This emulsion dries immediately, forming an invisible protective layer.

At the OnDemand show, Standard Finishing unveiled the ColorWorks 8000 bookletmaker for inline use with the Xerox DocuColor 6060 and 8000. At PRINT, the vendor introduced AFC-544FKT, a folder with fully automated setup, including gap settings for digitally printed jobs. A combined roller and scoring mechanism reportedly prevents marking.

In 2006, Duplo will launch the DF-1000 suction folder. Earlier this year, the vendor announced it is implementing a JDF-based, fully automated finishing strategy for HP Indigo digital presses. The first devices under this strategy are a nearline booklet making solution (PDC Finisher) and a nearline slit/cut/crease device for flatwork (DC-645).

Kodak is teaming with Watkiss Automation to offer Watkiss booklet makers for inline or offline use with the NexPress 2100 plus and 2500 digital presses.

Muller Martini’s modular system for producing books on demand, SigmaLine, garnered an InterTech award. Users can opt for a complete line (an entirely inline system that prints, folds, stitches, trims, collates and binds) or partial configurations that may include a high-speed, roll-fed printer with a perfect binder, cooling tower and trimmer. (See “Real books real fast,” May.) On the offline side, Morgana Systems’ DigiFold, an integrated creaser/folder, helps users avoid marking and spine cracking. Rollem’s Advantage, an air-fed scoring, perforating and slitting machine, also targets digital printers. It’s offered in 24- and 30-inch models.

Cut that paper
In “Now cut that out” (June), experts from Colter & Peterson, Heidelberg, MAN Roland and Perfecta weigh in on machine automation and cutters for use with XXL presses. Colter & Peterson’s new machines range in size from 30 to 165 inches; used and reconditioned cutters go from 20 to 112 inches. Perfecta USA manufactures 30-inch to 88-inch paper cutters as well as three-knife trimmers, perfect binders, pile turners and material handling equipment. Equipment from Challenge, MBM, Baumfolder, Standard Finishing, Vijuk and Schneider Senator also is featured.

The hole story
In “Punching & drilling” (March), David Spiel of Spiel Associates clarifies the difference between a punch and a drill and offers tips for evaluating automatic punches. Rollem’s Larry Corwin describes a drill that can be placed inline with a perfect binder: PB-12 Gantry. The PB-12’s flow-through configuration and lift capacity enable it to keep pace with the binder. At PRINT 05, PB-12 was demonstrated inline with Muller’s Bolero perfect binder. The article also highlights new equipment from GBC, Rollem, Vijuk, MBO, MBM, Challenge, Baumfolder, Lassco, Renz, PDI and others.

What’s new: Bielomatik and Gateway Bookbinding Systems will develop and enhance high-volume automated solutions for plastic spiral binding. Bielomatik has incorporated Gateway’s Plastikoil forming technology in its new P22-48 semi-automatic spiral binding machine. Spiel’s Sterling Coilmaster Junior, an automatic plastic-coil binding tabletop unit, is slated to make its international debut at Ipex 06.

Fun with folders
Rickard Bindery (Chicago) boasts 80 folding machines, according to Carrie Cleaveland’s “Folding, stitching & gluing the impossible jobs,” (February). Folding guru Trish Witkowski (www.foldfactory.com) details new approaches to roll, letter and accordion folds in “Be at bolder folder!” (January). And, for those who have struggled to explain flat vs. finished size or panel vs. pages and other folding terms, there’s Witkowski’s “Know your folding lingo” (August).

The Stahlfolder TH/KH family of buckle-plate and combination folders distributed by Heidelberg won an InterTech award. Key features include modular units, a user friendly touch screen, a constant airstream to control sheets, side guides with digital readouts, and a servo-motor sensor that adjusts roller settings using a single sheet of stock. (See “PRINT 05,” September.)

Expanding your horizons
Riverside Bindery’s Jack Daubert explains “Scratch & Sniff Basics” (February).

Mary Ann Bennett (www.the-bennett-group.com) outlines 10 steps to mailing service success in “Greetings from Mailville” (July).

Solving postpress problems
Mailing specialist Anne-Tisdale & Assoc.’s (Towson, MD) Rena XPS-3000 console system has tripled its addressing productivity. See “A master mailer” (March).

Dry air can wreak havoc in the bindery and pressroom. For Imagine!, an $87 million printer near Minneapolis, an ML humidification system (distributed by Husson), eliminated trip-offs, jams, jogging problems and other production issues. See “Something in the air” (October). In “Beware of dry air,” (October), Eileen Duigan Woods reviews humidification basics and offers a roundup of new products.

Prior to installing its Vijuk 321-T stitcher in April 2005, Des Plaines Publishing Co. (Des Plaines, IL) had no in-house saddlestiching expertise. But thanks to the vendor’s training and support services, it’s been smooth sailing. (“Service and stitchability,” November).

“Do you speak postpress?” (November) describes language barriers in the bindery as well as the inspirational story behind C&R Bindery (Dallas).

Shiny happy finishing
“Fancy finishing” (September) showcases outstanding examples of foil stamping, embossing and holography from The Foil Stamping and Embossing Assn. (FSEA) (Topeka, KS) Gold Leaf Awards.



Integrated nearline solution simplifies digital finishing
Objective Advantage is working with Duplo, HP, Standard, Xerox and other on-demand vendors to enable even novice operators to easily finish digitally printed jobs. Objective Advantage’s production controller, Symbio, reportedly can reduce machine setup times by as much as 25 minutes.

Using PDF and JDF as its native formats, Symbio makes maximum use of standards to link presses and finishing systems. Symbio allows a graphic artist to supply a PDF containing an unimposed one or two-side print item. The production operator is guided through laying out the job for printing and finishing. Symbio produces an n-up PDF sheet and uses JDF to submit the job into the press and finishing machines.

The JDF submission automatically creates the job in the press controller’s queue and supplies the press operator with all the information necessary to print the job, such as the number of sheets and the media to use. The operator simply reviews this information, loads the correct media and prints the job. Once the job has finished printing the press controller automatically informs Symbio and the job can progress to finishing.

Symbio knows the exact layout that was used to place the items on the sheet and uses this information to automate set-up of the finishing equipment. For example if the next job step is to cut and crease the pieces on a Duplo DC-645, Symbio transmits JDF and preview images of the sheet, to Duplo’s DC-645 JDF Connector running on a PC next to the machine. The JDF Connector shows the operator a preview of the sheet, oriented exactly as it is to be loaded into the DC-645. Based on the data supplied in the JDF from Symbio, the application sets the slit, cut and crease positions. The user clicks the start button; the machine sets up and processes the sheets.

See www.objective advantage.com.



PUR: A hot perfect binding option
Many trade binderies and commercial printers are adding polyurethane reactive (PUR) alongside the more familiar ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) hot melt and polyvinyl acetate (PVA) cold emulsion adhesives. PUR’s advantages include:

  • Excellent flexibility and layflat qualities, because the adhesive’s thickness is about one-third that of a standard hot melt.
  • Ability to withstand temperature extremes without glue failure.
  • Bondability to lacquer and UV-cured coatings as well as Mylar and other films.
  • Binding quality that is virtually unaffected by ink migration into a book’s gutter.
  • Page pulls that reportedly average up to 40 to 60 percent better than a traditional adhesive.
“PUR in every glue pot?” (April) highlights binders from Colter & Peterson, Heidelberg, Kolbus, Muller Martini and adhesives from Henkel, H.B. Fuller, National Adhesives, Nordson and Valco. What’s new: At PRINT, Standard introduced the BQ-470 perfect binder capable of binding books up to 2.5 inches thick. Optional interchangeable glue tanks support both EVA and PUR adhesives.

Katherine O’Brien is the editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at kobrien@primediabusiness.com.