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  • Perfect Binding Digital Prints

    Our shop are investigating bringing quick-turn-around perfect-binding in-house. At the moment we outsource for binding and almost all of the jobs are thread-sewn. The reason for this is that we've had very bad experiences with perfect bound books falling apart. You see, I'm talking specifically about sheets printed on the NexPress.

    I did a little research, and, apparantely, the pull-strength of perfect binding is severely impacted by the fuser-oil left on the sheet (not to mention the toner, if the printing goes into the spine).

    Having to thread-sew all our books not only slows down the turn-around at finishing but also limits our finished book size and requires folding. Our press can print jogged (nudged) collated sets so it's a shame that those sets can't just be dropped into a perfect binder.

    I've heard of a Morgana machine that has apparantely overcome the digital vs. glue problem. Any comments on this machine or others?

    Have you experienced any problems (or solutions) with binding digital prints? Would like to hear about it.

  • #2
    Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

    I don't handle the bindery needs personally, being a lowly Prepress Monkey only, but we have done several perfect bound pieces on an Indigo 5000, with no complaints or problems. Now, we farm those out to a trade bindery too, so I'd have to inquire what kind of processes they use. I don't think we produce enough jobs to warrant bringing equipment in to handle it ourselves, yet.

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    • #3
      Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

      Perfect binding toner-based color sheets using conventional EVA adhesive (hot melt) is notoriously challenging, even moreso when trying to bind coated stocks (e.g. memory book applications). An alternative approach is PUR adhesive (polyurethane reactive), which is only recently available on fast makeready binders designed for shorter-runs (like the fully automated Standard Horizon BQ-470 four-clamp binder -- in the interest of full disclosure, I work for Standard). Nordson has also retrofitted some short-run quick set-up binders like the Standard Horizon BQ-270 for PUR. You can check out the BQ-470 at http://www.sdmc.com/products/bq470_p...binder,p2.html.

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      • #4
        Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

        Now, I don't know much about binding; does PUR glue require specific drying times and temperatures? If we used PUR would we also have to invest in conveyor belts etc. for the drying?

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        • #5
          Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

          PUR has a longer set-up time than conventional hot melt. Some PUR adhesives let you three-knife trim almost immediately (2-3 minutes); it's recommended to wait 3+ hours before light handling / opening of the book, to avoid any splay or distortion; page pull tests should not be done for 24 hours, when the bind will have cured completely and achieved optimal strength.

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          • #6
            Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

            Mark:
            I think you are right about the PUR, it is the cadillac of perfect binding adhesives, and usually isn't used because of cost. One thing that isn't being talked about is the notching of the signatures to give whatever adhesive is used some purchase. This is important to help any perfect bound project "stay together" and pass the subway test.
            John Lind
            Cranberry Township, PA
            724-776-4718

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            • #7
              Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

              Hi I too am looking into perfect binding digital print work. Have you found anything else out? We have Kodak NexPresses and want to bind short run jobs. I looked into the Morgana webb site and got the information. My bindery supervisor gave me the number of a Horizon guy to contact. We will see.

              donna

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              • #8
                Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                There were about six machines I was looking at; have the list somewhere, I'll try find it for you.

                We haven't bought anything yet, though. It was reliant on us landing a particular job. I must speak to the sales team, but I think that that deal's gone into limbo; so I won't be seeing any new machines on the floor for a while still, I think.

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                • #9
                  Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                  Donna:
                  You should check out the Standard BQ140, spits out about 100-150 per hour, costs about $14,000. Check out at www.sdmc.com

                  John Lind
                  Cranberry Township, PA
                  724-776-4718

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                  • #10
                    Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                    I am looking for a supplier (suppliers) who can help me fulfill a custom book printing binding project. I need suppliers who have conventional sheetfed offset capabilities, digital black lasering capabilities and the ability to perfect bind narrow (1/8") width spine. Fultill small product quantities on a daily basis.

                    Can any of you make any suggestions?

                    Marti Dowie

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                    • #11
                      Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                      We recently (5 months ago) brought short run perfect binding in house and it's working very well for us now. Maybe our experience might help someone else considering this? Please bear in mind that we are strictly "small time" on perfect binding, with mid hundreds the maximum we do in-house and average run length about 50-200 books.

                      We have one of the newer Xerox machines that doesn't put silcone oil over the sheet. I strongly suspect that you are probably on a hiding to nothing if you use one of the older machines (& possibly NexPress judging by the initial post??). The glue we use is specific for digital print.

                      You need to be careful about having toner anywhere on the glue join as this reduces the adhesion very dramatically. What this means is that you need to make sure that artwork ends well clear of the spine on inner pages of the cover. This is a pain, but well worth knowing. We have successfully bound digitally printed full colour books with pages bled right up to the glue join, but you do have to make sure that the page block is "roughened" very thoroughly.

                      We needed to be _very_ vigilant with our quality control and we had a few early problems, but to be fair that was probably more to do with our own inexperience with perfect binding.

                      We are now sending out quite a few digital jobs a day perfect bound and have had fantastic reviews from our customers, so that goes to show that it is possible!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                        I've seen alot of problems with perfect binding digital prints.Because the problem is with the compatability of the fuser agent and the adhesive I don't think it would matter which perfect binder you went with.The other concern is if you have more than one digital printer.All fuser agents are different.For example the fuser oil for a xerox docutech is not the same as an iGen so it's possible that the glue would work on one and not the other.

                        I'd suggest that you print a bunch of sets of both text and covers (seal them in a plastic bag so the fuser agent does't dissipate) and have the perfect binder company bind them for you.Print your text on 100 lb gloss and your cover on 12pt c2s.If they can get that to hold I'll buy one too.lol.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                          Tim:
                          I just had a good experience binding a digitally printed book, 44 pages plus C1S cover, 5x5 flat size, using a Powis Parker FastBack 15xs binding machine. Costs about $5000. Way way cheaper than PUR, but certainly not as strong in the page pull category. "The perfect is the enemy of the good."
                          John Lind
                          Cranberry Township, Pa
                          724-776-4718

                          These were Indigo prints, by the way, with open space near the binding edge.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                            John

                            Were the text pages gloss?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Perfect Binding Digital Prints

                              Tim:
                              Text pages were 70# offset. Coated text would work fine. I bound a few of those by mistake, and thought, I'll just remove them quick while the binding is still hot....would not come out. Now, I didn't do the subway test on these, but page strength appeared to be more than adequate.
                              John Lind
                              Cranberry Township, PA
                              724-776-4718

                              Comment

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