Variable booklets + extra data matched components - help

Graeme NZ

Active member
Hi all,

We're starting to dip our toes into variable booklet making.

The run volumes can vary wildly, from 20 booklets to 200,000 booklets.

Let's say we need to produce 20,000 16 page A4 (i.e. 4x SRA3 sheets) self cover saddle stapled booklets. The artwork has full edge bleed. Each page of the booklet is personalised and contains commercially sensitive information, so integrity is very important.

I'm mainly curious how you complete the finishing of the booklet component whilst making sure each personalised untrimmed sheet ends up correctly collated, trimmed and finished? The finishing equipment would need to be able to verify each sheet (using a barcode) is the correct one for that booklet. I assume the finishing gear would be in-line with our print gear, but I'm happy to be convinced otherwise.

Moreover, the file workflow presents unique challenges as well.

We use XMPie, which makes imposition for saddle stapling a challenge. At this stage I'd envision XMPie outputting a single 320,000 page SRA4 PDF (I know the page count is stupidly high, but humour me), split the PDF further using our own splitting tool to create 20,000 16 page SRA4 PDFs, then somehow impose each individual PDF for print on an SRA3 sheet. Does anyone know of a batch imposition tool? Or an add-on to XMPie that has this functionality? If nothing exists our developers could create our own tool in-house, but that's something I'd like to avoid.

Otherwise I guess we'd set up the artwork pre-imposed in XMPie and output a 80,000 SRA3 page imposed PDF, but that can present it's own challenges with regards to the variables within the artwork, so I'd prefer to stick with the above plan.

Sending the 20,000 PDFs to printers isn't a problem, we already have the tools, or can easily build them if needed.

As for our print gear, we have several Konica C8000's, Konica C1100's and black Konica 1200's. As we are a mailhouse the only print finishing gear we have are folders, perfs and a guillotine.

Thoughts?
 

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