Star product: TCS Premier 435 Auto

By Simon Eccles, Monday 11 September 2017

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A cost-effective and versatile automated hotmelt perfect binder.

star-premier-435-auto

What does the machine do?

Terry Cooper Services’ Premier 435 is a single-clamp perfect binder for hotmelt glues. The 435 number is the maximum glue length of book spines in mm. The integral cover creaser can also be used as a standalone creaser for other types of sheet. 

Premier is the brand name that TCS uses on most of the products that it imports and sells exclusively in the UK. Originally it was used with the TCS guillotine range but TCS increasingly uses the Premier name on other machines to denote its own level of quality and service. 

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?

The introduction was in May. The 435 is a more automated version of the smaller manual-feed 420 binder, which was introduced a few years earlier. 

“The market we’re aiming at basically is digital printers, copy shops, small litho printers and inplants,” says Dean Stayne, TCS sales manager. “It’s mainly for digital work, though we’ve just put one in that’s even being used with KBA offset presses.

“We’re going to sell this on price. It has similar features to the Horizon BQ-270 for instance, but a much smaller price. Normally when you get a machine and it’s expensive, you know you’re getting good features. We’ve got good features but it’s not expensive.”

How does it work? 

The Premier 435 takes hand-loaded book blocks comprised of folded sections or loose leaves, jogs them to align them in the clamp, then mills and notches the spine edge. Glue is applied and then the cover is attached and nipped. There are gluing rollers for the spine and sides (to about 5mm). 

“The clamp station is set at a slight angle so the pages fall forward together and then are jogged, then it squeezes,” says Stayne. “When the clamp closes, it detects the thickness of the book, which sets the side gluer wheels to open up to that thickness.”

The cover feeding station takes up to 90mm stacks. It incorporates creasing matrices. “Each cover will be creased where you’ve set it up for and taken to the clamp station,” Stayne continues. “The book block will go on top of the cover and then it’s squeezed together in the nipping station and held for however long you set it for, and that’s how the book is perfect bound.”

Cover feeding can be single or automatic, Stayne adds. “On a single, one-book mode, you will put it in the clamp and that will set the machine, then it takes the cover in. If it’s going to be the same book size all the time, automatic mode speeds the process up as the cover’s already in.”

The creaser can handle long cover sheets up to 674mm, allowing for the formation and application of wing books (covers with flaps). 

For creasing-only mode a catch is undone and then the cover feeder swings through 45 degrees to handle sheets separately to the gluing unit. 

“We call it a two-in-one machine, a perfect binder with a creaser,” says Stayne. “You are looking at £10,000 these days for a creaser. You can do that on the same machine.”

The glue is hotmelt only with no provision or plans for PUR options. However Stayne says that the first customers have been attracted by showroom demonstrations of Planamelt R, a relatively new high strength hotmelt adhesive that has almost the same pull strength as PUR. “It’s a bit more expensive than EVA but less than PUR,” he says. “We’ve now won two orders by doing two different types of samples for customers that originally would have needed PUR.”

How does it differ from previous models?

The original Premier 420 remains on sale. It is smaller, with manual cover feeding. 

How fast/productive is it?

The Premier 435 can handle 350 to 400 books per hour depending on size and number of cover creases, Stayne says. 

What is the USP?

Mainly the combination of size and automation for the price. The ability to use it as a standalone creaser is also emphasised. 

How easy is it to use?

The machine is controlled by a 7in colour touchscreen with icons and on-screen prompts. Up to 99 jobs can be set up in memory and recalled by job name or number. There’s no need for networking. 

What training and support is on offer?

“We install and train using our own technicians,” says Stayne. The warranty is 12 months in-house for parts.

How much does it cost?

Price is £18,995 installed. 

How many are installed?

Three by the end of August. What’s the sales target? “I can’t tell you that, my gaffer’s listening!” says Stayne. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Max binding thickness 58mm

Max cover size 675x435mm

Min cover size 130x260mm

Cover pile height 900mm

Max throughput 450cph

Glue melting time around 35 minutes

Dimensions 1,870x1,710mm 

Weight 500kg

Price £18,995

Contact Terry Cooper Services 0115 970 2248 www.terrycooper services.co.uk


ALTERNATIVES

Duplo Dubinder DPB 500

Similar in spec and applications to the Premier 435, for slightly smaller max-sized books but slightly faster throughput. Duplo includes a book thickness measure that rejects books that are missing pages. 

Max binding thickness 51mm

Max book size 360x320mm

Min book size 120x120mm

Max cover size 360x696mm

Min cover size 120x250mm

Max throughput 525cph

Footprint 2,790x928mm

Weight 695kg

Price From £44,600

Contact Duplo International 01932 263900 www.duplouk.com

Horizon BQ-270V

The single-clamp BQ-270V is intended for the same sort of work as the Premier 435. Its maximum book size is smaller all round, but the throughput is a little faster. It can be networked via Horizon’s pXnet system and run as part of a JDF workflow.

Max binding thickness 50mm

Max book size 320x320mm

Min book size 135x105mm

Max cover sheet size 320x660mm

Min cover sheet size 135x230mm

Max throughput 500cph

Footprint 2,430x910mm

Weight 900kg

Price Around £27,800 

Contact IFS 020 8997 8053 www.ifsl.uk.com


USER REVIEW

“The Premier is simple to set up and makes production much smoother. It is more economic. The quality is very high too. We also liked the fact it is very like PUR, which will make the bind much stronger”  

Susan Smith Director, Higham Press

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