Wikipedia defines lean manufacturing as a “production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination.”
This “lean” philosophy is alive and well in most pre-press and press rooms, but many short-run book binderies remain islands of inefficiency. Standard partner Horizon has mounted an effective response to this problem, developing a steady stream of innovative, increasingly automated binding and trimming solutions. Still, customers who aspire to take full advantage of high-speed roll-fed or cut-sheet digital presses for production short-run softcover book manufacturing have found that complementary binding solutions remain stubbornly labor-intensive... until now.
Standard Finishing Systems, together with partners Horizon and Hunkeler, will unveil a new lean book manufacturing process at Print ’13 that solves many of the challenges inherent in short-run, roll-fed and cut-sheet book production. The new Smart Binding System drives labor cost out of the equation by producing variable format books of different thickness within a continuous-feed or cut-sheet print stream, with fully automated changeovers and minimal touch points.
The space-efficient platform is comprised of several new Horizon finishing technologies that have been uniquely combined with existing, proven modules. Workflow plays a critical role too, taking post-press finishing requirements into account during job planning and imposition to insure smooth production. Intelligent readers mounted throughout the system also monitor and control the finishing process in real-time, contributing to overall efficiency, flexibility and top-quality results.
For Print ’13, production begins with 20” wide rolls. Standard collaborated with Canon Solutions America and Screen USA to develop the book applications and pre-print the rolls. Each roll contains three different titles, and each title has a different format and page count. Three trade titles were pre-printed on the Océ ColorStream 3900 Inkjet Press, with matching color covers printed on the Canon imagePRESS C7010VPS. Three educational guidebooks were pre-printed on the Screen TruePress Jet520 Inkjet Press. Five, ten and fifteen copies of each title were arranged on each roll in sequence to simulate the real-world, where short-run production quantities vary up and down by title.
The Hunkeler UW6 unwinds the 20”-wide pre-printed roll, which is then cut into parent sheets on the Hunkeler CS6-1 rotary cutter before entering the Horizon AF-566F folder for conversion into 12-page signatures. The folded signatures are then intelligently gathered (different quantity for different books), spot glued, and pressed in the new Horizon BBS-40 module. The gluing process forms a unified book block, to prevent any skewing as the book block travels to the perfect binder.
Book blocks next enter the heart of the Smart Binding System, the all-new Horizon SB-09V (V for variable) nine-clamp perfect binder, which can automatically changeover between different book thicknesses on-the-fly, driven by information that is read upstream and transmitted to the binder. Readers in the SB-09V also double-check that each book is married with the intended cover. The SB-09V has been quality engineered for reliability and performance, with the ability to produce up 2,000 professional-quality books per hour.