Universal Punch: Not as Grand as the Grand Unified Theory, but Far More Productive

Ingenious Universal Hole Punch Pattern is Compatible With Most Binding Methods

By Sean O'Leary, Chief Technology Officer


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For 50 years, particle physicists have struggled to develop what is known as the Grand Unified Theory. This elusive formula would mathematically link together the four major forces of the universe – gravity, strong nuclear, weak nuclear and the electromagnetic spectrum. But despite some sporadic progress over the years – some of which appeared to harmonize these cosmic forces - the Grand Unified Theory remains the Holy Grail of science.
On a far more practical scale, however, Mexico City-based Universal Punch, has announced a breakthrough in the quest for the universal binding punch pattern, a 50 year long search for an antidote to the proliferation of multifarious mechanical binding methods. The imminent rollout of the internationally patented Universal Punch follows ten years of research dedicated to standardizing a single shape that would accommodate all common binding methods (with the exception of comb binding). That includes double wire wire-o, plastic coil, metal coil and Velobind in the whole range of standard pitches: 2:1 , 3:1, 4:1, .2475”, 5:1, 6mm and 2.5: 1. Patterns for 3 ring and 2 ring binding are also included.
The universal hole profile itself is deceptively simple: an oblong shaped lozenge rounded on either end.

Like most great ideas, this sleek solution looks like someone should have figured it out a long time ago and yet they did not until now. That is consistent with the observation of Universal Punch Commercial Director Carlos Lopez, who maintains that the engineering principle at work here is based on none other than Ockham’s Razor:

“The simplest or most obvious explanation of several competing ideas is the one that is most likely to be correct.”
If you ask me, William of Ockham just doesn’t get enough credit these days, another reason why I am especially pleased to report on a ground-breaking innovation that features an Ockham quote in the product literature.

In any case, it works.

Equipped with any of the four desktop machines Universal Punch will be rolling out at Print ’17, a binding operation can produce punch patterns for virtually all of the mechanical binding methods using one machine.

Historically, the evolution of these mechanical binding technologies over the decades underlines both the creative power of the free market, and also the risk that the market can get out of hand. Yet while it may seem that there are more hole patterns and binding elements than are strictly necessary, the fact is that each of them brings a unique set of attributes to the desktop that differentiate it from the others: cost, aesthetics, ease of document page edit or lay flat characteristics.

Fortunately, space limitations prevent a full exploration of the relative merits of each binding methods. But don’t ever underrate Velobind®.

In any case, the ability to tap into any one of these binding methods using a single machine is actually quite a big deal. With this “unified solution” at hand, a small bindery is able to provide a whole gamut of options with minimal capital outlay. The expense of extra punch pattern dies and the time required to change them out is also eliminated.

Of particular interest in this regard is Universal Punch’s model CC2, engineered for copy shops, printers and in-plant operations. The CC2 also includes a pedal electric wire closer and an onboard spiral inserter.

The four new Universal Punches will debut at booth #4156 at Print ’17, Sept. 10 -14 in McCormick Place South. At the same booth, North American marketing partner BindRite Dealers Association will be demonstrating a new Universal Die Module for the BindRite ONYX HD7100 heavy electric punch. The HD 7100 is a 14” electric modular punch that incorporates a quick change die-system. The Universal Die Module will allow the machine to produce the full range of popular binding patterns.
 

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