What does the machine do?
This book production line makes high-end book binding processes, including end-papering and back-binding, a practical option for digitally printed output with the flexibility to handle soft- and hard-cover binding on a single line.
When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
Developed by Italian finishing equipment engineer Risetec, the unique attributes of the machine came to the attention of Perfect Bindery Solutions partner Steve Giddins. He debuted the machine in the UK at The Print Show in October 2017.
“It is unique in offering high-quality production of both soft and hard cover books for low volumes,” says Giddins, adding that the faster machines in the range also appeal to higher volume offset book printers looking for an alternative supplier now Muller and Kolbus have come together.
How does it work?
Book blocks can be fed a number of different ways to suit the work mix and production processes. Options include automatic feeding of sewn blocks, inline to a digital press via a destacker or hand feeding. For operation with a digital press it is envisaged that the customer will use a system such as Hunkeler’s High-performance Book Block Solution, which folds and cuts from a digital web, temporarily glues the block and then stacks them. Risetec has developed a destacker to enable the automatic separation of blocks for feeding to the unit.
The block is pressed and measured to set subsequent stages to ensure the highest quality finish. The next steps will depend on the configuration of the line and the product being produced. For hard-cover products the first station applies end-papers, with the option to offset the papers up to 5mm from the spine.
“That is an important point,” says Giddins. “It ensures the end-paper folds are retained for binding strength producing a quality book block.”
Separate notching and milling stations prepare the spine for gluing, which can be PUR or hotmelt. Hard-cover books are handled in the backlining/gauzing station. For soft-cover books the cover feeder scores the covers with an optional cover trimmer to handle outsized sheets.
Completed blocks or books are then transferred to a fully automated three-knife trimmer, which can be configured inline or offline. A version of the trimmer is available that can carry out the fore edge trim while leaving any cover flaps or gatefolds untouched. The line can also be integrated with an existing three-knife trimmer if preferred by the customer.
All settings are automated with servo motor setup and computer control. Setup can be via a touchscreen or barcode readers can be used for automated setup and for cover matching.
How does it differ from previous products?
According to Giddins the Risetec’s offering of high-end hard-case functionality such as end-papering and back covering/gauzing for lower production volumes and the flexibility to handle both soft and hard binding fills a gap between machines aimed at the digital print market from the likes of CP Bourg and Horizon and bigger beasts from Muller Martini, Kolbus and Wohlenberg.
How productive is it?
Throughput depends on the number of clamps in the unit starting at 350 cycles per hour for the single clamp model and topping out at 2,000 cycles per hour for the seven-clamp model. For digital on demand work setup and changeover time between formats are as important as mechanical speed. To that end the servo driven setup takes a couple of minutes to change formats, and that, combined with barcode readers and sensors, means operation can be completely automatic.
What is the USP of the product?
Flexible configurations to suit a wide range of different applications and volumes, and the combination of robust build quality and automation.
How easy is it to use?
Risetec has worked closely with the early customers to ensure ease of use and integration into their workflows.
What training and support is on offer?
Perfect Bindery Solutions provides service and support in the UK with training provided by Risetec in Italy.
Giddins adds that a UK customer for a similar machine built as a one-off has yet to make a service call after two years operation, which suggests the build quality and reliability are top notch.
How much does it cost?
Starting price for a single-clamp machine is £95,000, which rises to £450,000 for the seven-clamp version kitted out with all options.
What is the sales target, how many are installed currently?
To date there is only one installation at a Belgian firm. Two seven-clamp machines are currently under construction for delivery later this year, and Giddins says a lot of firms are awaiting the outcome of those installations before committing themselves.
Min format 150x100mm
Max format Standard 380x320mm, seven-clamp model: up to 440x320mm, XL model: 450x450mm
Max thickness 60mm
Speed One-clamp, up to 350cph; two-clamp, up to 1,200cph; seven-clamp, up to 2,000cph
Price £95,000-£450,000 depending on configuration.
Contact Perfect Bindery Systems 01993 840077 www.binderysolutions.co.uk
Giddins maintains that, while essentially a perfect binder, and that therefore there are any number of alternatives, nothing directly competes with the One-Line’s combination of robustness, flexibility, automation and performance. If you don’t need all of those in, err, one line, then lower volumes can be handled by machines from the likes of CP Bourg and Horizon, whilst higher volumes can be handled by machines from Muller Martini, Kolbus and Wohlenberg .