Part two of two
Digital print and finishing equipment go hand in hand with automation. As volumes get shorter, margins get smaller. With an efficient and effective production workflow, digital book manufacturers produce short runs cost effectively, while reducing reliance on skilled labors and averting supply chain issues.
From print engines to finishing equipment and workflow solutions, many vendors support automated book production.
C.P. Bourg technologies enable its users to produce personalized, variable content and customized ultra-short products with zero waste. It has the ability to directly integrate its finishers inline with production marking engines and operate them as part of an automated workflow, yet it can offer its customers the flexibility to also operate the same finishing equipment offline or in dual mode, finishing stacks of output from other engines with intelligence. As a result of the technology’s ability to integrate with multiple digital printers the previously labor intense and time-consuming process of producing book or booklets has now been reduced from hours to just minutes.
The C.P. Bourg preparation module (BPM) eliminates several time-consuming processes such as preparing media in multiple sizes, manually setting up machines, and trimming finished jobs. It offers bleed/trim, crease, cut, and fold functionalities in either two- or four-up pagination process. BPM eliminates many costs, increases profitability, and shortens turnaround times through an innovative streamlined process that utilizes just one sheet size for all books and booklets.
Also, the Bourg Sheet Feeder (BSF) combines the best of offline and inline finishing with its unique dual-mode capacity. The BSF enables multiple printers to share the connected inline perfect binder for maximum finishing asset utilization.
Canon Solutions America
Canon presents a variety of solutions for on demand book printing and publishing, including an array of high-speed, high-quality production inkjet printers, workflow solutions, and finishing options.
Production print presses from Canon Solutions America allow users to produce more high-quality books, periodicals, manuals, catalogs, and other publications.
Fastbind has manufactured perfect binding EVA machines for decades, adding PUR capable models supporting both EVA and PUR glues that the operator can switch as needed.
The company recently introduced a new line of manual and semi-automatic EVA/PUR perfect binders to address the short- to medium-run soft and hard cover production market with the ability to switch between the glues as needed.
The company also introduced two new products for the hard cover production market. The first was its A46 semi-automatic hard cover case making machine, as well as a new casing-in sheet that gives all print shops with existing or new soft cover perfect binders the ability to bind hardcovers.
Print providers can add a Fastbind hard cover case making machine from the H32Pro to the A46 semi-automatic case maker to create a custom-printed hard cover, enabling print shops to utilize an existing soft cover perfect binder and the new casing-in sheet to complete the hard cover book into a finished product.
“Fastbind has always concentrated on the short- to medium-run book manufacturing market and continues to do so today. Our products are high quality and low cost, allowing print shops to add new, high-margin products and address growing markets such as school yearbooks, guest sign-in and memory books, photobooks, children’s books, custom three ring binders, menus, and other book products in both soft and hard cover formats. The introduction of our perfect binding models that support easily switching between EVA and PUR hot melt glues allow print shops to take advantage of the low cost and ease of use of EVA glue while being able to switch to PUR on an order by order basis,” says Kent Dalzell, president, FastbindUSA.
Rapid imposition creation requires intelligent software that can dynamically select suitable signatures, assemble them, choose the optimal sheet size, or reel width, and the most suitable press—offset or digital—that an organization operates. InSoft’s Imp software’s hand-crafted logic delivers precise layouts every time.
According to Santosh Mulay, VP, business development, InSoft Automation, InSoft enables users to generate cost-based, print-ready imposed layouts for array of jobs on a range of printing devices.
As a single source for white paper manufacturing solutions, Konica Minolta offers a variety of workflow enhancements including prepress software for imposition and inline as well as near line finishing options to automate cutting, stacking, and finishing to reduce manual intervention and overall labor requirements. Paired with the KM-1e LED UV Inkjet Press, the company offers a totally automated solution.
The AccurioJet KM-1e is capable of producing large volumes of book pages on standard lithographic-grade offset stocks with the look and feel of offset printing and permanent ink that won’t smear, run, or rub off. The KM-1e also produces rich, colorful book covers on heavy coated papers and even book cover fabrics.
Konica Minolta offers digital embellishment solutions for adding three dimensional UV coatings and spot treatments as well as foil effects, popular in paperbacks and other book manufacturing. From text pages to embellished covers, Konica Minolta can help with every step of the book manufacturing process.
Morgana’s parent company Plockmatic provides machines for automated inline production. These products produce wire-stitched books of up to 224 pages. Output can be finished inline with a square-back look, similar in appearance to perfect binding, including text on the spine of the book.
Stitching wire can even be provided in color to closely match the color of the print on the spine of the publication. The product combines a cost-effective binding technique with the total security of bind that comes with a saddle-stitch product.
The Morgana DigiBook is an innovative PUR binding machine designed and built for today’s market requirements. It is easy to use via a touch screen panel with icon graphics that allow the programming of all precision operations in just a few seconds, including start-up and shut down. Glue application is direct and hermetically sealed, without odor or toxic fume emissions, therefore not requiring extraction fans. The polyurethane glue is delivered via 2kg cartridges in a simple and waste-free manner. PUR is able to bind different substrates in one publication.
Where real perfect binding is required, Morgana’s DigiBook products offer automation regarding the addition of the book cover. The DigiBook 450 is equipped with a patented closed gluing system, the spine and side gluing is applied by a slot applicator for the utmost quality and accuracy. The product comes as standard with an automatic cover feeder to give increased production of up to 450 books per hour. “The cover feeder can also be equipped with an optional scoring attachment which eliminates the need to pre-crease covers,” shares Wendy Baker, marketing manager, Plockmatic.
Muller Martini offers a range of finishing equipment for digital book manufacturing environments. Among this is extensive list is the Vareo PRO, a perfect binder for print finishing specialists and printing plants that use conventional printing modes or are engaged in digital printing.
The three-clamp perfect binder with a mechanical performance of up to 1,350 cycles per hour can be loaded manually or automatically with book blocks. Whether for medium, short, or ultra-short runs, right down to runs of one copy, the Vareo is an all-rounder and stands for outstanding binding quality. The first book can be sold, even from book blocks consisting of individual sheets.
The SCREEN Truepress Jet520HD Series, with both full-color and mono-only high definition models, supports book applications requiring high definition, 1,200×1,200 dpi, and the ability to print to standard coated offset papers without the requirement to prime or coat for inkjet.
Additionally, the company’s Truepress Jet520NX Series supports book applications that do not require coated stocks at higher print speeds and more efficient economics.
Standard Finishing Systems, along with its manufacturing partners Horizon and Hunkeler, offer a variety of products to digital book manufacturers. Each of these manufacturers offers a range of book production systems that can stand on their own, and become even more powerful when combined to provide complete end-to-end solutions. Hunkeler produces front-and back-end equipment for nearly all of today’s high-speed, continuous digital print engines as well book block building solutions for short and longer runs. Horizon is binding and finishing products are uniquely suited to bridge the gap between offset and digital print requirements. Horizon and Hunkeler’s solutions become even more powerful when combined to provide complete end-to-end solutions.
Standard Hunkeler book block production systems cover the full range of roll-to-digital book production inline to the printing press or as a standalone roll-book-solution. For example, the CS8 Rotary Cutter combined with the LS8 High-Capacity Stacker produces cutsheet book blocks with one-, two-, or three-up output. The Hunkeler Flyfolder combined with the CS8’s DynaCut—variable length cutter—feature and the SD7 star wheel delivery system can produce variable book sizes and page counts, on the fly, for complete production flexibility for short-run and book-of-one production. In addition, the PF7 Plow Folder offers the highest book block production output with automated format changeover from job to job for longer run requirements.
Standard Horizon binding solutions cover the complete range of book production from book-of-one run lengths up to thousands with solutions for PUR or EVA binding. For shorter run and book-of-one requirements, Horizon offers single- and four-clamp binding solutions with production rates from 400 to 1,300 books per hour. For example, the Horizon BQ-500 Perfect Binder can produce books with page counts ranging from 12 to 1,500 with automated set-up and thickness changes. Additionally, Horizon offers Smart Book Binding solutions in combination with an unwinder and cutter for complete roll-to-book solutions. For higher production and longer run requirements, Horizon also offers computer aided binding systems lines.
Bob Flinn, director of business development, Standard Finishing Systems, points out that while Horizon has long been recognized as a leader in the production of short-run, soft cover books, recent product introductions are allowing its solutions to expand and greatly improve book block preparation for short-run hard cover binding. First, the GF-500 Gauze Feeder is an inline gauze applicator that cuts the gauze to spine length and adjusts the cut width to match variable spine thickness on the fly while maintaining consistent wrap-around and head-to-foot registration. The GF-500 will process glue tacked, sewn, or loose-sheet book blocks with variable thickness from book to book. Additionally, the newly released ESF-500 End-Sheet Feeder can be run inline with the binder or as a standalone system that will append single-fly or folded end-sheets to the front and the back of a book block prior to milling and binding together with the gauze application.
Hunkeler and Horizon continue to upgrade and fine-tune their solutions to offer more automation and higher productivity. With increased levels of automation, print providers can easily manage the labor shortage while expanding capacity and taking on new applications. With higher productivity, these solutions can keep pace with high-speed digital presses and eliminate bottlenecks in finishing, which allow print providers to bring even more work in house.
“Automation, ease-of-use, and reliability—these three attributes are hallmarks of both Hunkeler and Horizon, and our customers consistently report that our solutions meet these expectations and beyond,” states Flinn.
The RICOH TotalFlow BatchBuilder is an upstream tool for managing workflow. It simplifies and automates the production of short-run digital jobs for midsize-to-large commercial print providers and in-plants. Users can set up rules to organize and batch incoming jobs. Oftentimes, book printers receive multiple different orders for the same title to be printed the same exact way without realizing it.
With TotalFlow BatchBuilder, book printers can send one file comprising of all quantities from every order to the printer. By using up to 100 job-specific attributes, jobs that are similar will be printed and finished together, which streamlines ticketing, scheduling, routing, and other tasks. It can be challenging for book printers to keep up with the sharp increase in demand for one-off print jobs, short-run jobs, and personalization.
Additionally, a high volume of small jobs can overwhelm staff members and the workflow systems that manage production without the proper tools. RICOH TotalFlow BatchBuilder can simplify and automate several steps in short-run digital and book production to increase efficiency and profitability, enabling book manufacturers to meet business demands and grow at the right speed.
The RICOH Pro Scanner Option—which is available for the RICOH Pro VC60000 and RICOH Pro VC70000 continuous-feed inkjet platforms—accelerates and automates the printing process directly by reducing the actions required by an operator, even completing many tasks autonomously.
By collecting information that can be utilized to power increased productivity, the Pro Scanner Option constantly drives user efficiency. And, with the addition of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Pro Scanner Option collects information directly from user’ technology to drive accuracy and efficiency and discover patterns that power smarter, more automated production.
The unique benefits of investing in a Xeikon digital press based on SIRIUS dry toner technology especially developed for the graphic arts sectors include excellent investment versus capacity ratio, superior image quality, market-leading speeds, widest application and substrate range, unequalled sustainability, full rotary printing, variable repeat length, no fixed sheet or frame, high uptime, and output stability, driven by Xeikon’s X-800 digital front end, maximum overall equipment effectiveness, and best-in-class total cost of ownership.
With over 30 years of experience in all things digital, Xeikon offers an extensive range of solutions and services, which includes its online advisory service Transform. Its experienced staff advises and supports graphic arts printers in their search for digital opportunities.
All of the Tools
An automated digital book manufacturing line offers improved productivity, efficiency, and productivity, all while reducing labor and supply chain concerns. The right tools can help book manufacturers reach the goal of zero-touch production for short runs.
Read more on book publishing in part one of this series, as well as the May print issue.
Read part one of these web series, Modern Book Manufacturing
May2022, DPS Magazine