Seeking advice of speeding up production of notepads

Lorenzo lab guy

Well-known member
We can compose, impose, print and stack trim our customized notepads just fine. The bottleneck is our padding press. We can do about 200 at a time on it, but unstacking and trimming the stacks apart is pretty slow and looks like our current production bottleneck. Let me "note" that each notepad is often for a different customer so that may limit some options or proposed upgrades. We have two pad presses but adding more of those would still have the trim-apart step as a bottleneck. We have looked at something like a Duplo Perfect Binder and that gets rid of the trim-apart problem, but one pad at a time is loaded so I am not sure that speeds things up much, if at all. I am hoping someone has some good advice on this. We did see a circular perfect bind machine but it was way to large to fit in our pretty crammed full shop.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Because there's a lot going on at once and you've got drying time on the padding presses, the whole padding operation can be greedy on production space, which as like us, your space is tight, you probably find yourself moving stacks at various stages to make room for other jobs.

The Duplo DB-280/290 as you know has a 'PAD' option and if you can justify one for its primary purpose (perfect bound books) then I can see the attraction of putting a few ad-hoc pads through it, if you need them on demand when the Duplo is already heated up (that takes 25 minutes from cold)

However before considering the Duplo as a replacement solution for the traditional process, I would be exploring the cost differences.
In the UK 5Kg of padding compound is less than £25 whereas 5Kg of digital EVA glue pellets is upwards of £60. Whether coverage (number of pads produced per 5Kg of adhesive) is similar will depend on several factors of course.

Knocking up a couple of full padding presses and painting compound on them isn't particularly time consuming, and doesn't use any electricity, versus the half-hour warm-up, standby and production stages on the PB machine which do. You then walk away from the padding presses and return when they are dry and, as you rightly point out, the separation and trimming takes time. Although to get the finished edges you currently see, you'll probably still want to trim if you made the books individually on a Duplo PB machine. And of course, the DB-290 is only semi-automatic, so you'll be standing at the machine throughout.

I'd wager the old fashioned way is quicker, much cheaper and provided you're making a decent number of pads at a time (which you've indicated you are) also less hours spent on labour.

Perhaps just look at the times of day you're doing padding. As I eluded to earlier, for us, the frustration is the bench space it takes - therefore now we glue as the last job of the day, separate, trim and clear away first job the following morning. That works for us.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
We're running into this issue as well and I was wondering about the benefits of having doing them one at a time on a perfect binding style machine. We're trying to shift the labor to a different staff member entirely vs. asking our people to constantly be thinking about padding/gluing in the middle of their shift.

The two question I have are:
  1. Is the time it takes to wait on glue drying and then to split them apart is similar or significantly more than the time it takes to sit at the machine and put them in the perfect binder?
  2. Is the resulting product still good with the perfect binding method?

If I can have someone come in just to do pads and they can in a few hours get the job complete done, that would be great. We have someone who comes in to do coil binding for us already and could easily add this to their work flow but that isn't practical for our current process if I have to have them wait on the pads to dry and/or try to find other things for them to do in the hour that the pads are drying before setting up the next pads.

I'm less worried about the specific cost on the glue for the pads.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Whilst we let the compound dry naturally overnight, there are Muro padding presses (if you can find one, as they're no longer made) with fan heater dryers attached to accelerate drying. Alternatively it wouldn't be difficult to adopt this method with an existing padding setup.
 

pippip

Well-known member
I can't really see how a standard printing house could make this procedure quicker other than investing in specialist padding equipment like this
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
@Lorenzo lab guy , we have the same issue in my shop. We'll get orders for thousands of pads at a time. The slicing apart is the big killer (personally, I hate the process of stacking and gluing equally as much!). If you come up with a better solution, please come back and share. We've looked into getting a machine like the one @pippip posted. We were considering this one. We also looked at machines like the Duplo unit you mentioned, but that definitely was too slow. We came to the conclusion as @Ynot_UK ...someone will still need to stand at the machine and manually feed every single pad. They may be able to get into a rhythm on the rotating machine and do it faster than slicing apart each pad. However, with the manual slicing method, we can line up several people at once and divide up the stacks. We also have people work on the separating at their desks if they are just answering phones, catching up on mandatory online training, etc.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
I found this thing on MyBinding's website:


But I wouldn't pay $11k for it. :)
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Yeah, I saw that one too...basically the same as the Duplo Perfect binder you mentioned. BTW, I love the music at the start...sounds like an old 70's vampire movie! :ROFLMAO:
 

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