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All-around PUR

Aug 1, 2008 12:00 AM

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With the ongoing trend toward short runs, sophisticated postpress techniques are migrating downstream. Even polyurethane reactive adhesive (PUR), once found exclusively on high-volume perfect binders, is popping up on small-format equipment. RIT professor emeritus Werner Rebsamen wrote in his Drupa 2008 review to the Library Binding Institute (, “On-demand and customized printing are a fact of life, and we as binders need to acquire such technologies in order to offer full services to our clients.” And as PUR becomes more commonplace, more printers are finding it's a natural addition to on-demand operations.

PUR is more expensive than ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) hotmelt and polyvinyl acetate (PVA) cold emulsion adhesives, but it remains the “go-to” glue for demanding jobs, even when coatings, plastics or fuser oil are involved. PUR eliminates ink migration issues and offers excellent end product durability — books bound with PUR lay flat and withstand extreme temperatures.

Drupa 2008 attendees saw several new PUR products, including developments for small-format and short-run work. The following is a collection of information on the latest, along with some usage and safety tips.

Quick setups for short runs

Duplo (Santa Ana, CA) says it has extended its single-clamp, fully automatic DuBinder range in response to customer demand. At Drupa, the company announced a PUR version of the DPB500 for short to medium-run perfect bound books printed digitally or on coated stocks. The PUR binding provides high pull strength and lay-flat durability. The closed tank system offers cost and productivity benefits because it does not require draining after each session.

The PUR DuBinder produces up to 525 books per hour and accepts booklet sizes from 120 × 120 mm to 320 × 360 mm. Geared toward short runs and variable-data printing, it features touchscreen controls to facilitate a 35-second setup between programs.

Circle 171 or visit

A small-format heavyweight

Heidelberg (Kennesaw, GA) debuted the Eurobind 1300 PUR Line at Drupa, a four-clamp perfect binder designed for runs of 1,000 to 10,000 books per job. The 1300 line can be supplied with either conventional hotmelt or PUR technology.

Targeted toward shops producing small and special editions of high-end print products, the Eurobind 1300 PUR Line is equipped with a high-performance spine preparation station. An innovative glue-gun system ensures reliable application, evenly applying a thin film of adhesive regardless of its viscosity, temperature and pressure. The amount of adhesive used is reproducible from booklet to booklet. The fully automatic three-way trimmer Eurotrim 1000, supplied together with the Eurobind 1300 PUR as a complete solution, enables professional adhesive binding all the way to the trimmed final product.

The Eurobind 1300 PUR runs at up to 1,300 cycles/hr. It accepts blocks up to 45 mm (1.77 inches) thick and up to 300 × 360 mm (11.81 × 14.17 inches) in size.

Circle 172 or visit

New accessories ease operation

The Standard Horizon (Andover, MA) BQ-470 four-clamp binder, featuring interchangeable EVA/PUR adhesive tanks and high automation, now has two new accessories. Operators can use the SI-470 digital caliper to measure book thickness and automatically transfer this data to the binder for automated setup. A new PM-470 premelt tank enhances operator convenience and allows for longer runs between adhesive replenishment.

The BQ-470 produces up to 1,350 perfect bound books per hour, with four clamps that travel on a vertical elliptical track. A 10.4-inch LCD touchscreen provides stepper motor-controlled automation. The machine can bind books up to 2.5 inches thick, to hit a sweet spot in short-run, professional-quality book production. “We're using the BQ-470 with PUR to produce top-quality books,” says James Wertz, Printers Bindery Service Co. (Dallas). “The automation lets us change over fast and easily, and the binder has been rock-solid reliable. It's been a great investment for us.”

Circle 173 or visit

Better digital books

C.P. Bourg (New Bedford, MA) launched the new BB3002 PUR binder at Drupa, which incorporates Nordson PUR applicator and melter technology. The line has been designed to resolve book strength issues caused by limited EVA glue adherence on digital color printed media. Its 3-cylinder glue tank equipped with a side-gluing device and its scoring unit reportedly enable it to produce winged books of durable professional quality.

Touted as the most efficient perfect binder available in the industry for cutsheet and signatures, the Bourg Binder BB3002 features full automation and touchscreen controls, as well as toolless operator adjustments. It accepts books from 1 mm (0.04 inch) to 60 mm (2.36 inches) thick, sized from 100 × 200 mm (4 × 8 inches) to 395 × 710 mm (15.6 × 28 inches). Acceptable cover weights range from 20-lb. bond to 110-lb. index. The BB3002 runs at up to 500 cycles/hr. and requires a gluing temperature range from 239°F to 356°F.

Circle 174 or visit

Entry-level bookbinder

Kolbus (Cleveland) offers the compact, 7,000 cycles/hr. KM 600 perfect binder as an entry-level machine for professional bookbinding. The Kolbus Copilot system aids with automation and extends to the ZU 832.A gathering machine and HD 143.P three-knife trimmer, which can be added to create a full finishing line. The KM 600 features an angled lift feed, rugged clamping system and swivel-mounted milling unit for easy tool changing. It can include 21 or 27 clamps and has a new integrated nozzle glue application system with Copilot nozzle-specific parameter display capability.

Circle 175 or visit

High performance, small footprint

Wohlenberg's compact, 2,000-cph Quickbinder offers fully motorized regulation of all functions for setting block thickness (up to 2.75 inches) and cover formats (up to 12.6 × 16.9 inches) to apply hotmelt, cold glue and PUR with separate processing of spine and side gluing. Tom Welby, vice president, perfect binder products, Colter & Peterson (Paterson, NJ) says, “The Quickbinder includes a universal rotary cover feeder for processing of 4, 6 and 8-page covers. It also has a gauzing station for production of book blocks or special brochures in one working process. Plus, the new Navigator graphical interactive user interface makes it easy to operate.”

Circle 176 or visit

High-precision melter

Nordson Corp. (Westlake, OH) recently introduced its new line of VersaPail bulk melters, designed to provide outstanding precision in the application of hotmelt adhesive from 20-liter or 5-gallon pails. Particularly suited to reactive adhesives such as moisture-cure PUR, VersaPail bulk melters only melt the top surface of the adhesive, allowing the remaining material in the pail to stay solid. This reduces thermal stress and protects the bonding characteristics of the adhesive. The system's hydraulic passages also are designed to eliminate dead spaces where undesired curing could result.

Available with a variety of pump types and sizes, VersaPail melters allow operators full control via touchscreen, with messages and indicators for each activity and machine status condition. For applications that require continuous operation, Nordson's automatic changeover system can link two bulk melters together to eliminate the downtime associated with pail changes. Other features:

  • Single-side access for controls and pail changes.

  • A choice of automatic or manual aeration

  • Variable-speed motors.

  • An adjustable pressure control valve for greater accuracy, as well as optional automatic pressure control systems.

  • Pail centering and clamping for more precise pail positioning and control.

  • Modular, non-stick axial and smooth melt platens.

  • Four additional temperature channels for control of sprayguns, heaters, etc.

Circle 177 or visit

Merging hotmelt makers

Valco Cincinnati Inc. has made strides since acquiring Melton, which it is combining with Valco's U.S. hotmelt equipment company, Shure-Glue Systems. Merging the two companies will streamline the hotmelt brands into one solution.

At Drupa, Valco highlighted the MPUR series of hotmelt slot coat applicators, designed specifically for use with PUR adhesives. The sealed systems offer reduced maintenance costs, and a zero-cavity module prevents premature adhesive cure and eliminates buildup. Standard coating thicknesses range from 0.3 to 1.5 mm with pattern widths up to 720 mm.

The new Shure-Glue/Melton B Series hotmelt unit is suited to PUR adhesives and features a variable-speed gear pump and 24 or 42-liter tank.

Circle 178 or visit

Denise Kapel is managing editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at

UV speeds curing

Henkel AG & Co. (Düsseldorf, Germany) has cut the time it takes for PUR adhesive to cure through the use of UV. Henkel's system reaches 80 percent cure in 15 minutes with UV lamps integrated in the binder. Triggered by either microwaves or electrodes, the lamps can be installed on virtually any perfect binder, though the system is best suited to models with two gluing units. See
Circle 170 or visit

Check your temperature

National Adhesives (Bridgewater, NJ) offers these guidelines for determining when to step up from 250°F or 350°F adhesives to PUR:

250°F benefits

  • Safer operating conditions.

  • Lower energy consumption.

  • Less maintenance and downtime.

  • Less paper wrinkling on cross-grain stock.

  • Less odor.

When to use 350°F adhesives

  • The books you're making are large and heavy.

  • Line speeds are sustained at high speed.

  • The process requires full spine strength immediately after the binder exit.

The PUR advantage

  • Extreme requirements for durability and strength.

  • Extreme temperature requirements.

  • Extremely long shelf life.

  • Difficult to adhere coated papers.

  • Spine adhesive is exposed to ink.


Safety first

PUR is made from volatile materials, though generally at a very low VOC rating, so adequate ventilation is important even at ideal operating temperatures. Always use a ventilation system, check it regularly and keep it clean. You can test the air in your shop using a meter dose inhaler (MDI) device, which samples the air via a special paper that is immediately analyzed to show the MDI level. An indirect method is to gather air and paper samples for analysis at a laboratory testing facility. See for more information.

In case of a spill, follow these steps:

  • Ventilate the area.

  • Wear proper protective equipment.

  • Shut down any nonessential or malfunctioning equipment.

  • Monitor the amount of MDI in the area.

  • Keep personnel away from the area until it has been established that the MDI levels are safe.

Always be sure to wear protective gear:

  • Heat-resistant gloves.

  • Long sleeves and pants.

  • Eye protection.

  • Safety shoes.

Source: National Adhesives
(Bridgewater, NJ)
“Undercover” newsletter.

The highest end

Muller Martini (Hauppauge, NY) demonstrated the new Corona C18 perfect binder at Drupa, which produces softcover, PUR-bound books at 18,000 cycles/hr. The company credits this record-breaking speed achievement to the use of the VPN book spine nozzle.

When used in conjunction with the ZTM 3697 gathering machine and Orbit three-knife trimmer, the Corona C18 provides a highly automated binding line for greater productivity in the production of magazines with varied inserts, as well as catalogs, directories and books. The new ZTM 3697 features enhancements such as an air cushion to ensure signature stability at high speeds, while Orbit offers servo-driven SmartPress technology to speed output by allowing the air between sheets to escape completely.

It's for PUR (not for maybe)

Seaboard Bindery (Woburn, MA) installed a Muller Martini Pantera perfect binder earlier this year. “The Pantera satisfies our short- to medium-run needs, binding high-quality books with traditional hotmelt and PUR glues,” says Frank Shear, president. “We cover the gamut from very short-run, on-demand work to high-volume commercial binding. With the addition of the Pantera, we estimate our binding business will grow 20 percent this year. And we expect greater gains as we make use of all of Pantera's functions.”

The Pantera perfect binder, which is manufactured in the United States at the Muller Martini plant in Newport News, VA, runs at up to 4,000 cycles/hr. It can handle a broad array of different-size jobs and can be configured with up to 28 feeder stations. Pantera also can be equipped with a drum cover feeder and an optional crash feeder station for hardcover book production. High binding quality on the Pantera is ensured through advanced technology in the backbone preparation and glue application areas as well as the advanced nipping station, which puts a sharp and square back on the finished book.

Circle 180 or visit

Muscle Bound Bindery adds PUR capabilities

Muscle Bound Bindery (Minneapolis) announces its latest service, PUR adhesive binding, will be available starting in early September 2008.

Muscle Bound added PUR capabilities to provide its customers with the strongest adhesive option available for difficult stock, cross-grain stocks and heavy ink coverage. PUR bound products offer superior page pulls that are well-suited to products enduring repeated use.

“We want to be as flexible as we can and give our customers the best adhesive to fit each one of their individual projects,” says Mike Welsch, president, Muscle Bound Bindery. “If they're looking for heavy usage books that are built to last, then we're going to offer PUR adhesive binding as another alternative.”

Muscle Bound will add PUR capability to its existing equipment to produce softcover as well as hardcover PUR books.

Muscle Bound Bindery's services include perfect binding, side-sewn case binding and Otabind layflat adhesive binding. The company also provides complementary finishing services such as folding, cutting, drilling, shrink-wrapping, laminating and gluing and attaching.


Find it online

Read more about PUR in our online archive at