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Put finishing first

Apr 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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Equipment automation offers the best defense against bindery waste. But even the best bells and whistles need some human help.

“Have a plan,” urges Rob Kuehl, director of product management, Polar, Heidelberg USA, Inc. (Kennesaw, GA). “Gather your data and then look what the marketplace is doing and capitalize on that.”

Steve Calov, Kuehl's postpress colleague at Heidelberg, adds that waste reduction requires an end-to-end view of the entire operation: “Analyze the whole plant from prepress down to postpress.”

According to Kuehl and Calov, management involvement and cross-department communication are critical for achieving maximum postpress efficiencies.

Consult postpress personnel early, says Calov. “Once a job gets to the cutter, it's too late to save waste — you'll have to bale it and sell it. Ideally, bindery people should be involved when the job is being estimated.”

While paper is most the obvious evidence in lost monetary value of a job gone bad, Kuehl says the problem runs much deeper. “There's wasted machine time, makereadies that took too long, wasted prepress time and so on. Rather than working things out in advance with the bindery to save costs, you end up having to work things out with the customer — a tactic that results in higher costs.”

In 2008, Heidelberg unveiled Prinect Postpress Manager, a tool that give users push-button control as well as a real-time view of their finishing departments. Working with other Prinect modules, Postpress manager ensures an efficient overall workflow via job transparency and tracking.

When paired with modern postpress equipment, Prinect Postpress Manager transmits presetting data directly to the machines. While machines are operating, status information is reported back to Postpress Manager, which in turn provides that information in a JDF framework to all users with access to the Prinect software. At the end of a run, the system automatically collects data for cost analysis within an MIS.


Trim and scrap removal

Precision AirConvey (Newark, DE) offers edge trim and scrap removal systems for cutting and evacuating paper waste. A new brochure details how PAC systems capture the waste paper, cut it into confetti and quietly evacuate it into a baler, dumpster or utility truck for easy recycling or disposal at volumes up to 500,000 pieces per day, or more during 24/7 operation.


Bust that dust

Paper and Dust Pros (Grandview, MO) designs, fabricates and installs pneumatic scrap collection systems for bookbinders, recyclers, envelope manufacturers, paper converters, printers and corrugated manufacturers to automatically bale and recycle their paper scraps. The company also buys, sells and rebuilds balers and shredders.


Mobile pile turner

Woodward Jogger Aerators (Brick, NJ) mobile pile turner is self-propelled and battery powered with a built in charger. It transports and turns loads up to 28 × 40 inches.


Magnetic POLAR attraction

Art Bindery (Birmingham, AL) has added a new Polar 137 XT cutter from Heidelberg to replace a legacy model. “We now have four Polar cutters running full-time,” said Dale Schaefer, vice president. “We chose the Polar137 XT with Autotrim so that we wouldn't have to worry about waste removal.”

A large part Art Bindery's business is cutting magnets, which would stick to the magnetic metal of the cutters and cause a build-up of waste. “We spent a lot of time cleaning up waste from the magnets,” Schaefer said. “With our new Polar, waste is removed automatically, saving our operators valuable time and increasing our productivity.“


Take full advantage of automation

How's your bindery doing when it comes to waste? “As a rule of thumb, it should be under one to two percent,” says Doug Stryker, Muller Martini Division Manager, Print Finishing Systems (Hauppauge, NY).

“Getting the bindery involved in the layout is critical,” adds Carmine Festa, Product Manager, Print Finishing. To avoid equipment jams (and attendant waste) the press or folder producing the product must create a consistent lap or fold, ensuring a steady flow of product to the gathering line. Bundling and streamfeeders also can help ensure product consistency for uninterrupted feeding.

Muller Martini postpress solutions offer automated machine set-ups, high operating speeds and a full range of auxiliary equipment to minimize staffing by automating signature feeding and book stacking. Integrating this equipment with a company-wide, integrated, JDF/JMF workflow can further increase productivity when properly implemented.

“Today's postpress technology enables setups to be completed in minutes rather than hours,” says Peter Doyle, Muller Martini Regional Sales Manager. “This is just one example of how the newest machines can increase productivity. To realize the full advantages of the latest high-speed automated machines, printers and binderies need to take a systematic approach to improving their entire workflow through the postpress department.”

Doyle's white paper, “Optimizing Postpress Performance,” provides a blueprint for maximizing postpress efficiencies. Specific topics covered include workflow and material handling; cost of downtime analysis; benchmarking; creating realistic goals; operator expectations; performance metrics; makeready procedures; JDF/JMF integration; and preventative maintenance.

“Operations can save a hour in machine down time for every minute of job planning that they invest in creating good work order/job ticket instructions,” says Doyle. “ Our white paper is a comprehensive planning and reference tool specifically written to assist users achieve greater profits.”


Katherine O'Brien is the editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at

Saving the best for last

Final attendance for OnDemand 2009 hasn't been released, but most industry pundits agree the show drew a respectable crowd. While some vendors opted for scaled back displays (and a few skipped the show altogether), participating postpress vendors didn't skimp on their demonstrations.

“C.P. Bourg, Duplo, and Standard Finishing Systems all had sizeable and well equipped booths,” reports InfoTrends' Jim Hamilton. “And there were quite a few exhibitors with new equipment to show off.” According to Hamilton, Canon's new monochrome imagePRESS 1135 was front and center on the show floor with a lengthy configuration comprising just about every imaginable feeding and finishing option. InfoPrint Solutions showed its new 90-ppm color Pro C900. Konica Minolta was highlighting the expanded gamut capabilities of the new bizhub PRO C65hc (not to mention the new monochrome 95-ppm bizhub PRO 950). Océ showed a two-engine, 130-ppm version of its new color CS Tandem family. Presstek brought not one, but two of its 52DI direct-to-press units, including one with the new UV drying capability. Xerox added a 200-ipm member to its Nuvera EA Perfecting Production System family.

“The products didn't necessarily have to be big to draw a crowd,” Hamilton observes. “RISO's HC5500 was on the show floor in two places, most notably the Pitney Bowes booth where it showcased the new distribution relationship between the two companies. The envelope printing system for Xanté's Ilumina was also popular, drawing crowds to its corner of the show floor.”

For a comprehensive digest of show news, see “What's New at On Demand,” at

On Demand Conference & Expo 2010 is slated for April 20-22 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

For further reading

“Pipe dreams” (April 2007) covers automatic paper recycling systems from Balemaster (; Balers and Stuff (; Air Systems Design (; G.F. Puhl Co. (; Kernic Systems (; and Ohio Blow Pipe Co. (

“Material handling: the bindery's best kept secret” (September 2002) explains how to provide the correct amount of material in the right condition, sequence and orientation at the correct place and time.

In “The Cutting Edge” (November 2008), we profiled Crossmark Graphics Inc. (New Berlin, WI). After adding a 6-color XL 105 press with aqueous coating two years ago, the printer upgraded its postpress operations. Installed in April 2008, Crossmark's Heidelberg Polar P.A.C.E. cutting system a jogger and a Trans-O-Mat system include a stacker and unloader. President Jim Dobrzynski, Sr. and his team are pushing the CIP4 envelope. See