Selling More Print, Working More Efficiently

“We are keenly focused on being as efficient as we possibly can—in the pressroom and in the bindery. That’s the goal, and also the challenge,” notes Bob Quinlan, president of Woburn, MA-based UniGraphic, Incorporated.

With 45 years of operation under its organizational belt, the print services supplier also aims to be a one-stop-shop for its clientele—providing everything from commercial offset and digital printing, to large-format graphics and mailing services. The single missing link was bindery and finishing, which for many years had been outsourced. Collapsing turnaround times and increasing pressure to produce on-demand led UniGraphic to bring finishing in-house—providing better control over the total job, and establishing finishing as a profit center.

“Today, it is not unusual for a client to come to us and say, ‘We need 10 copies of this book, right away.’ And we’re able to accommodate them, thanks to our digital print capabilities and our in-house bindery technologies,” Quinlan explains. “So what used to take a couple of days—sending a job out to be bound—now only takes a couple of hours and can be done completely in-house.”

Piece by piece, UniGraphic has built an impressive and comprehensive bindery and finishing equipment list, including folders, cutters, and automated packaging equipment. A Standard Horizon Collator and Standard Horizon Automated Booklet Maker have proven instrumental in supporting UniGraphic’s thriving short-run business.

Perfect binder addded

Most recently, UniGraphic purchased a Standard Horizon BQ-470 Perfect Binder with both EVA and PUR adhesive capabilities.

“I’d been looking at perfect binders for several years, but until recently didn’t feel that we could justify the purchase,” Quinlan recalls. “But then our short-run on-demand exploded, and we saw our commercial book runs, for example, go from 10,000 books on average down to fewer than 5,000. And that’s been the trend for the past few years; so it made sense for us to bring perfect binding in house, as well.”

The Standard Horizon BQ-470 enables fully automated setup thanks to an intuitive, icon-based LCD touchscreen. It’s equipped with two large application rollers for strong, high-quality binding of books up to 2.55-inch thick. Capable of producing as many as 1,350 books per hour, the perfect binder is outfitted with an advanced rotary suction feed system that allows it to handle a wide array of cover stocks without leaving behind any unsightly marks.

The BQ-470 comes standard with a digital caliper for measuring book thickness; a double-feed-detect sensor; and a smoke extractor for eliminating hotmelt-glue fumes.

“The BQ-470 gives us that competitive binding edge, with a quick-change adhesive system that lets us switch between EVA and PUR adhesives in just minutes,” Quinlan says. “Having that capability in house is a selling tool for us, and we expect [the Standard Horizon BQ-470] to pay for itself in less than a year and a half.