Book making inline/offline/guillotine

Dan2122

Active member
Hi.

We're looking to bring some of our digital print in house to make booklets.
The original thought was to purchase a 2 knife trimmer and a square edge folder to trim all three sides.

I understand an inline trimmer slows print production down, but I ideally want to limit the number of tasks I need to undertake.

Speaking with a few people everyone seems to have different suggestions. Using an offline folder to speed up production (another task) buying a heavy-duty guillotine and cutting down then folding etc (another task).

People seem to think the xerox two edge trimmer and square fold units are not really up to much....

Just wondering what your ideal solution is? How do you create an edge to edge booklet without standing over the machine...
 

pippip

Well-known member
Am I right in think from your other posts that you'll be pretty much running an exact size and spec booklet? If so I'd put that up or a rough spec of what you'll be needing to achieve. Depending on booklet size, no of pages, stock and quantity we can recommend more accurately.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
People seem to think the xerox two edge trimmer and square fold units are not really up to much....

I'm from the camp that prefers offline finishing equipment, as not being tied to one print engine it offers more flexibility, enables full utilisation of click charges (finishing A5 booklets costs double if finishing inline on the press) and good finishing equipment lasts 20+ years, whereas digital press technology continues to be fast moving and the life of a press is closer to 5 years.

Offline finishing equipment in nice condition holds its value and you'll be able to realise it in years to come for way above what it's on your asset register for. Whereas used inline finishing equipment is expensive at the outset, often only compatible with a particular series of OEM's engine/s and carries little residual value.

Inline processes do have their place in some internal print rooms, such as in the financial and education sectors, where the ability for a 'non-print' person to walk up and produce a handful of finished full bleed, trimmed booklets is invaluable.

On a related note, this may be of interest. Someone's likely to pick up a bargain and if we had more space, I certainly wouldn't be posting the link!
 

Dan2122

Active member
Hi.

Looking to run an edge to edge a4 booklet, 250gsm cover full colour, 64-page mono inset on 100gsm. Folded to a4 and stapled. Printing anywhere from 100-500 of the same design at a time.
 

Dan2122

Active member
I'm from the camp that prefers offline finishing equipment, as not being tied to one print engine it offers more flexibility, enables full utilisation of click charges (finishing A5 booklets costs double if finishing inline on the press) and good finishing equipment lasts 20+ years, whereas digital press technology continues to be fast moving and the life of a press is closer to 5 years.

Offline finishing equipment in nice condition holds its value and you'll be able to realise it in years to come for way above what it's on your asset register for. Whereas used inline finishing equipment is expensive at the outset, often only compatible with a particular series of OEM's engine/s and carries little residual value.

Inline processes do have their place in some internal print rooms, such as in the financial and education sectors, where the ability for a 'non-print' person to walk up and produce a handful of finished full bleed, trimmed booklets is invaluable.

On a related note, this may be of interest. Someone's likely to pick up a bargain and if we had more space, I certainly wouldn't be posting the link!
Thanks for the heads up, I certainly do some research on that unit!
 

Dan2122

Active member
I'm from the camp that prefers offline finishing equipment, as not being tied to one print engine it offers more flexibility, enables full utilisation of click charges (finishing A5 booklets costs double if finishing inline on the press) and good finishing equipment lasts 20+ years, whereas digital press technology continues to be fast moving and the life of a press is closer to 5 years.

Offline finishing equipment in nice condition holds its value and you'll be able to realise it in years to come for way above what it's on your asset register for. Whereas used inline finishing equipment is expensive at the outset, often only compatible with a particular series of OEM's engine/s and carries little residual value.

Inline processes do have their place in some internal print rooms, such as in the financial and education sectors, where the ability for a 'non-print' person to walk up and produce a handful of finished full bleed, trimmed booklets is invaluable.

On a related note, this may be of interest. Someone's likely to pick up a bargain and if we had more space, I certainly wouldn't be posting the link!
Guessing with this unit, we would be looking for a guillotine as well? As it doesn't trim all three sides...
I don't know if I'm just lazy but I ideally want to limit the amount of steps as much as possible.
 

crajos

Well-known member
It depends on your workload and quantities, what type of flexibility you need, etc. Here's what I've experienced.

I run a small in-plant (we also service the local community), and took over at a time when the shop was moving from offset/digital with a larger staff - transitioning to a smaller staff and digital-only. For several years we continued to produce booklets with our offline equipment - it worked and most of our quantities are fairly low. I had the opportunity last year to update our color press with an in-line saddle-stitcher (Konica C3080 with the SD-513). This has drastically changed our workload and turnaround time. We're in a position where we can sacrifice the time to run booklet jobs in-line, and the ease of which we can crank them out is quite nice.

So what did we gain/sacrifice?
  • We don't have a collator, so any saddle-stitched books were previously collated by hand. And it was a multi-step process - print, fold, collate, stitch, 3-side trim on the guillotine. We can still do this, but most of our work can be produced in-line now, so we can bypass all that equipment setup and added time, and it doesn't tie up any staff in any of those jobs.
  • Turnaround time is vastly reduced (for our workload). Example - this week, the press was down intermittently for 2 days due print issues, and we had a customer who was hot for some booklets by EOD Wednesday. A tech came out and had us back up and running that morning, and we knocked the booklets out with plenty of time to spare - I didn't have to worry about getting them printed and then performing all the post-press processes on top of that. We could tackle other things instead, and the customer was happy. Direct from press to box.
  • There's a limit to what any in-line equipment can do. Some jobs you'll need to be creative with, others you'll just have to tackle manually. Example - I have a booklet run coming up that will run on 80# gloss cover. I need to crease every sheet - it's a high-profile piece. The press will print, crease, and perform a top/bottom trim in-line, but we'll have to put them together manually. The stitcher unit is only able to crease the cover sheet when binding - it won't crease any body sheets. There's also a limit to how much you can trim off the sheets, and how small a sheet can be utilized for booklets.
  • Once a year we have a run of ~6,500-7,000 booklets. Previously this was a big deal for us (small staff, I'd usually come in one weekend to get covers creased and signatures folded), and I allocated a good chunk of time to get these completed due to hand-assembly and the need to fit in other projects during that time as well. This year was the first that we ran them all in-line, and I was extremely impressed with the speed in which we were able to complete the job.
So for our needs, an in-line was the right answer. Our Konica unit will crease, fold, place up to 4 staples in a booklet, square bind, and perform a 3-sided trim. We run full-bleed booklets all the time. You can also use the slitters, creaser, and folder for other jobs in limited capacity.
 

Dan2122

Active member
It depends on your workload and quantities, what type of flexibility you need, etc. Here's what I've experienced.

I run a small in-plant (we also service the local community), and took over at a time when the shop was moving from offset/digital with a larger staff - transitioning to a smaller staff and digital-only. For several years we continued to produce booklets with our offline equipment - it worked and most of our quantities are fairly low. I had the opportunity last year to update our color press with an in-line saddle-stitcher (Konica C3080 with the SD-513). This has drastically changed our workload and turnaround time. We're in a position where we can sacrifice the time to run booklet jobs in-line, and the ease of which we can crank them out is quite nice.

So what did we gain/sacrifice?
  • We don't have a collator, so any saddle-stitched books were previously collated by hand. And it was a multi-step process - print, fold, collate, stitch, 3-side trim on the guillotine. We can still do this, but most of our work can be produced in-line now, so we can bypass all that equipment setup and added time, and it doesn't tie up any staff in any of those jobs.
  • Turnaround time is vastly reduced (for our workload). Example - this week, the press was down intermittently for 2 days due print issues, and we had a customer who was hot for some booklets by EOD Wednesday. A tech came out and had us back up and running that morning, and we knocked the booklets out with plenty of time to spare - I didn't have to worry about getting them printed and then performing all the post-press processes on top of that. We could tackle other things instead, and the customer was happy. Direct from press to box.
  • There's a limit to what any in-line equipment can do. Some jobs you'll need to be creative with, others you'll just have to tackle manually. Example - I have a booklet run coming up that will run on 80# gloss cover. I need to crease every sheet - it's a high-profile piece. The press will print, crease, and perform a top/bottom trim in-line, but we'll have to put them together manually. The stitcher unit is only able to crease the cover sheet when binding - it won't crease any body sheets. There's also a limit to how much you can trim off the sheets, and how small a sheet can be utilized for booklets.
  • Once a year we have a run of ~6,500-7,000 booklets. Previously this was a big deal for us (small staff, I'd usually come in one weekend to get covers creased and signatures folded), and I allocated a good chunk of time to get these completed due to hand-assembly and the need to fit in other projects during that time as well. This year was the first that we ran them all in-line, and I was extremely impressed with the speed in which we were able to complete the job.
So for our needs, an in-line was the right answer. Our Konica unit will crease, fold, place up to 4 staples in a booklet, square bind, and perform a 3-sided trim. We run full-bleed booklets all the time. You can also use the slitters, creaser, and folder for other jobs in limited capacity.
Thank you for this. I’ll go away and look at the unit you have and see if it’s in our budget. Thanks again!
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Thank you for this. I’ll go away and look at the unit you have and see if it’s in our budget. Thanks again!
Bear in mind the C3080 is a colour press (the current model is the C4080). I touched on this in your other current topic - running tens of thousands of B/W inners with just a CMYK cover on a colour press won't be cost effective. As I've said before, you will pay more than double for a B/W click on a colour press, compared to a B/W click on a B/W press. Furthermore, a 98%B/W to 2% CMY ratio on the colour machine will likely cause toner and developer build-up related problems if you regularly do these volumes at that sort of ratio. This is why the industry standard way of doing this is to post insert the colour covers on a B/W press (look at the KM 1100 or a refurbished Pro 951 or 1052 with PI-502 post inserter)

The SD-513 is KM's flagship booklet maker (and a totally different animal to the internal SD-510 saddle stitcher that is installed in an FS-532 multi finisher) and you'll also need an RU-518m relay unit to support the SD-513. As far as budget goes, very approximately I imagine you should expect to pay around 35k-40k GBP mark for a C4070/C4080 loaded with those options, depending on what controller and input options you choose.

But most importantly, a colour press isn't the right investment if this particular booklet job is your real main reason for wanting to invest to bring that job in-house.
 

crajos

Well-known member
Bear in mind the C3080 is a colour press (the current model is the C4080). I touched on this in your other current topic - running tens of thousands of B/W inners with just a CMYK cover on a colour press won't be cost effective. As I've said before, you will pay more than double for a B/W click on a colour press, compared to a B/W click on a B/W press. Furthermore, a 98%B/W to 2% CMY ratio on the colour machine will likely cause toner and developer build-up related problems if you regularly do these volumes at that sort of ratio. This is why the industry standard way of doing this is to post insert the colour covers on a B/W press (look at the KM 1100 or a refurbished Pro 951 or 1052 with PI-502 post inserter)

The SD-513 is KM's flagship booklet maker (and a totally different animal to the internal SD-510 saddle stitcher that is installed in an FS-532 multi finisher) and you'll also need an RU-518m relay unit to support the SD-513. As far as budget goes, very approximately I imagine you should expect to pay around 35k-40k GBP mark for a C4070/C4080 loaded with those options, depending on what controller and input options you choose.

But most importantly, a colour press isn't the right investment if this particular booklet job is your real main reason for wanting to invest to bring that job in-house.
Ynot_UK is right, black clicks on a color press are typically more expensive. I didn't catch the 'mono' part in your additional post. That said, you can get in-line booklet finishers for mono machines as well, but I would hazard a guess that the 'best' ones are reserved to work only with color units (I may be wrong here).

I agree...don't go all-in on a color machine/accessories if you're just trying to capitalize on a mono job.
 

davidspiel

Well-known member
Dan121 is spot on! Offline is the way to go unless you want to replace finishing equipment every five years. Read my article in the upcoming issue of The Binding Edge on this very topic.
 

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