Bindery Blog

Thoughts about the graphic arts industry and the world at large.

Don't Buy Binding Machines Without Reading This First

When you run a book printing or binding operation, you have to think a lot about the machinery and materials you plan on using, to say nothing of the actual content that you are printing.

Whether you are printing technical manuals or calendars, the way that the information is presented is vitally important to the customer experience. It's no wonder things are looking up for the print industry, with shipments up more than $2.2 billion compared to 2014. But if you plan to bring printing and binding operations in-house, it is in your best interests (for both your reputation and profit margin) to use only materials and machines that run as efficiently as possible.

Check out some of the questions you should be asking yourself before you buy new or used perfect binding machines, wire binding machines, or paper punching machines:


How Thick are Your Binding Projects?

Different materials and bindery equipment are required depending on the thickness of your books. It is important to take into consideration what size and volume your projects will be. If your books are thicker than 25 sheets stitching (or stapling) is not an option. For instance, if you're producing novels, you'll need perfect binding machines, while instruction booklets or cook books may require coil binding.

Are Your Projects Standard or Unique?

It is also important to take into consideration exactly what kind of projects you will be working on. If you print the same sort of booklets or packages over and over again, you won't have to prepare for as much deviation from standard procedures as if you were doing special projects frequently.

Some binding equipment is extremely versatile and can switch gears at the touch of a button, while others require a good deal of set up time. If you have any specific questions about the benefits of perfect binding machines, contact us to learn more.


What Is Your Price Range?

As always, when buying expensive machinery, it is important to know your budget. You may want to investigate the possibility of buying used machines and other supplies if possible before picking out the best binding machine.


Do You Need Other Materials?

Don't forget to include raw materials like glue and coils into your budget. Machines like automatic coil binders may be important to your operation, but there are more materials you will need for your general printing operation. Make sure to factor these into your overall business plan.


Can You Fit Your Machine In Your Production Area?

Of course, your automatic binding machines won't do you much good unless you know it will fit into the space you have allotted for it.

With the right preparation -- and the right equipment! -- You will be able to run a very successful and efficient printing and binding operation.




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The Death of Regional Shows

I used to love regional shows, The Charlotte Show, The Texas Shows, Gutenberg, and the only one left—Miami. They are generally more relaxed than the cauldron of McCormick Place. Setup and break down was certainly easier. I miss swimming in the pool at the hotel at Gutenberg and the Cajun food at the Charlotte and Texas shows.

Why did they die? The answer is a chicken and egg problem. Low turnout caused less exhibitors to show their wares but which came first? I remember visiting customers in southern California and attempting to get them down to the show. Few did. I venture to guess that the closer a bindery or printer’s facility was to the show site, the less likely they would show up.

Some say the best solution is to rotate Graph Expo to different locations every other year like this year's show in Orlando. Then printers could have brought their families to Disney World or Universal, and attend the show for a day or two. Then after I sold all the machines in my booth I declared; “I’m going to Disney World!” Food for thought.

The jury is still out though as many exhibitors prefer to exhibit in Chicago.

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4 Essential Machines For Handbook Production

paper punching machineWhen e-readers and tablets first came on the scene, many early adopters prematurely declared that print was dead. There was just one problem: books are one of the most perfect inventions in the history of mankind. And that's as true today as it was in the time of the Gutenberg Press. Of course, some things have changed; rather than printing presses, modern bookmakers rely on tools like binding equipment, paper punching machines, and wire binders.

Print is one of the largest industries worldwide. It is eight times larger than the video game industry and significantly larger than auto manufacturing as well. This is likely because print comes into play within most of these industries. Instructional handbooks are important for a variety of reasons. Many industries provide stapled paper booklets in lieu of real handbooks. While it's not necessary to create a leather-bound masterpiece for simple instruction or employee guidelines, a well-bound, laminated handbook is absolutely suitable and practical, as it stands up to wear, tear, coffee stains, and won't lose pages between reads.

Here are four essential machines that are necessary to produce well-made handbooks that stand the tests of time:

Of course, there's no handbook without a printer. Industrial printers can produce double-sided pages quickly and with ease. Companies that include instructions for use or assembly in their products need to turn out a whole handbook for each product, which means that the pages need to be printed out in massive quantities. Printers often become jammed, so make sure that you have a proper printer that can handle printing mass quantities of paper at once.

Laminators create wear-free finishes to all paper pages to be included in the handbook. The plastic coatings stand up to many views and flips and will not bend or become stained. Laminating the pages of your handbooks will keep them in good condition for future use and make them less likely to be lost in the shuffle.

Paper Punching Machine
Automatic paper punching machines are high-speed machines designed for short run binders, digital, and commercial printers. Some paper punching machines are capable of punching through tens of thousands of sheets of paper every hour, making an extremely efficient use of time and effort.

Coil Binding Machine
Coil binding machines are used to insert plastic coils into the punched holes, then crimp the ends of the coil. This prevents the coil from coming loose and unraveling the book's binding. Hundreds of books can be bound per hour using these machines, which makes it easy for commercial industries to mass-produce instructions to put in their product packaging, or turn out many copies of guidelines for employee use and reference.

By using all of these machines, it is possible to turn out high-quality instruction manuals and handbooks that will be easily referable by the owners of a company's products. For superior bindery equipment of all kinds, contact Spiel Associates, Inc.

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DIY: 4 Tips for Making Pinterest-Worthy Notebooks and Journals

A person's products after using our 4 tips for making notebooks and journals

4 Tips for Making Notebooks and Journals

Sites like Pinterest and Etsy are inspiring a new generation of Do It Yourself-ers, and many crafters are turning their hobbies into a means of income.

Journaling and sketching are very therapeutic for a lot of people. And while the real treasure is the personal work inside, having a beautiful, high-quality notebook cover does your work justice. If you love to make your own notebooks, journals, diaries, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, or just plain books, then you can create gorgeous DIY journals using a wire binding machine.

A wire binding machine is one of the best methods of binding a book, because the book lays flat without force, and the pages can be folded back onto themselves to keep other pages out of the way.

Here are some simple DIY steps to creating a professional looking book to sell or use on your own:

  1. First you need to know what kind of book you're going to make. How large do you want the book to be? What kind of material will it hold? For journaling, simple printer or specialty paper will do, but for scrapbooking, you will want larger sized pieces of heavy paper or cardstock that can hold up to the photographs that will be put inside of it.
  3. What orientation do you want the pages to be? Portrait or landscape? Vertical or horizontal? Or are your pages perfectly square? You may want to change the orientation of your pages depending on the type of book you're making. Wide, broad pages are more suitable for scrapbooks, but narrow, vertical pages can be great for small notebooks. You can also play with which side you want the book bindings to be on. Just be sure that your pages are set up well to accommodate an automatic paper punching machine. If there are designs on the pages, you may want to rethink how you want to set the bindings up.
  5. How many pages will the book be? For a blank book, it's hard to make that decision. But as the bookmaker, you need to know what size coils to buy and which setting to put the coil binding machine on. If this isn't taken into account, the binding either won't fit or will be too heavy for the book, causing friction. Using punch tools with near-polished flanks and a quarter degree back taper reduces the friction, increasing the life of the punch tool as well as the paper it punches.
  7. After the heavy planning comes the more fun things. What kind of colors do you want on the book? Do you want an envelope pocket in the front or back to hold bookmarks, mementos, or other pieces of paper? As the creator, you can do whatever you want!

In order to craft the perfect custom notebooks, you'll need a high-quality wire binding machine. Spiel Associates, Inc. has book binding equipment to accommodated DIY books of all sizes.

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