Bindery Blog

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

He's Coming After Your Paper

Trump and Paper

I was happy to see that there will be no new tariffs on Chinese printing and bindery equipment. The only problem is that man in The White house is coming after your paper, that is, Canadian paper. Apparently our trade deficit with our neighbor to the north needs to be addressed:

Data from both countries say that the U.S. imports more goods from Canada than it exports – the U.S. says the goods trade deficit was $12.1 billion. Canada has complained that the U.S. Trade Representative is falsely inflating that number by counting goods that merely pass through Canada from other countries.

Either way, the trade imbalance with Canada –America’s second-largest trading partner – is nothing like the $55 billion trade deficit with Mexico, or the $385 billion deficit with China – America’s largest trading partner. The trade deficit with European Union nations was $92 million, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.

One American company, The North American Paper Company, or Norpac, which is owned by a hedge fund, petitioned the commerce department for this new tariff. “Among US paper producers, the company is conspicuously alone in its petition for protective tariffs,” according to Steve Forbes in The Wall Street Journal. “ The trade group that represents paper mills, The American Forest and Paper Association, opposes the tariffs. As do scores of newspapers, book publishers, and printers around the country. They are rightly concerned that is the paper they use becomes more expensive, they will be forced to print less.”

Great news isn’t it? It’s not bad enough we have to compete with computers, tablets, and phones, now we have to pay more for paper. Fortunately congress is fighting back (yes you heard that right!) A bipartisan group of senators (yes you heard that right!) have introduced a bill that would delay dumping tariffs countervailing duties currently being applied to imports of Canadian paper. It would suspend the import taxes of up to 32% on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper. Led by Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I) of Maine, the bill is cosponsored by six Republicans and three Democrats.

Canada imports about as much from The US as it exports. What is the point of punishing a trading partner with a more or less neutral trade deficit? What incentive does this give to other countries to lower our trade deficit with them?

“What’s especially striking now is that even industries Trump claims he wants to help are protesting his policies,” explains Paul Krugman in The New York Times, “General Motors warns that proposed auto tariffs could lead to less investments, fewer jobs, and lower wages for our employees.”

Mr. President, please stop helping us.

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Read About a New Use For a Perfect Binding Machine

DB Brochure with Flat Spine 1

A few months ago I received a letter, not and e-mail, from an inventor who had designed a brochure with a flat spine. Enclosed was a brochure stapled to a 7/8 inch wide, 11 inch long piece of cover stock with printing on it. It was very unusual. I called the inventor, a Mr. Rodney Smith of Smith-Midland Corporation to see what it is that he wanted.

Rodney wanted us to invent a machine that would stitch these strips onto the spine of the brochures. He was not a printer but would purchase the machine for a printer who did work for him. I replied that this was a tremendous undertaking. How do you feed a 7/8 inch by 11 inch sheet to align with the spine of an sixteen page stitched booklet? It was also round cornered to boot.

I told Rodney that my father, Norton Spiel, would be calling him. My father, trained as an engineer loves solving bindery problems. In fact, I think he likes it more than selling machines. So here these two elderly gentlemen began talking.

My father came up with the brilliant idea of perfect binding the booklet onto the one inch wide sheet of cover stock. Yes, some small modifications had to be made and no, it would not operate at the speed that Rodney had requested. Still it was a lot faster than having an operator staple, and I do mean staple, each booklet twice. The operator was getting 60 booklets per hour. The purchase of a Sterling Digibinder perfect binding machine would allow him to bind 250 books per hour.

Rodney and Chris Hottle of Winchester Printers in Winchester, VA came up for a demo and was impressed with the machine. We disabled the nipping table and created a stop so that the 7/8 inch strip could be placed uniformly every time. The machine worked like a charm.

The machine was ordered and is now in operation, binding booklets as planned. Sometimes it takes an old hand to come up with new ideas. Thanks Dad.

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Bindery Innovation and Automation

A book a person made after learning about bindery innovation and automation

Learn About Bindery Innovation and Automation

My daughter was reading a book, “The New Geography of Jobs,” by Enrico Moretti in her globalization class in college. She sent me an excerpt which reads as follows:

“Every time a company generates jobs in the innovation sector, it also indirectly creates additional jobs in the non-traded sector in the same city.

To see how this multiplier effect works in practice, let me introduce you to a small-business owner named Tim. Tim is a bookbinder in San Francisco. His clients are mostly local residents and local businesses, so he is clearly part of the non-traded sector. He employs eight workers who bind books and do custom printing. His employees are good with their hands and tend to have low levels of education. If you visit his cavernous, neon-lit shop, the first things you notice are several beautiful old-style cutting and binding machines that dominate the floor. Bookbinding appears to be a very labor-intensive craft. The technology used in Tim’s shop has not changed much in the past thirty years.”

Tim’s company is a hand bindery. Making custom bindings has not changed much in the past 100 years. Perhaps the machines have improved somewhat but all of the work is the same as it always has been, going back to books of The Middle Ages. I would venture to guess that the technology used in Tim’ shop is the very same technology that was used 50 to 75 years ago.

This is quite understandable. But what if we are talking about a trade bindery? Can a trade bindery survive under such a business model? The answer is no. When a printer gets in a sizeable run of books that require a type of binding he does not currently offer, he goes out and buys the equipment. A trade bindery will tend to use what he has, which is often less that up to date equipment.

An owner of trade bindery recently sold his business to one of his customers and his accounts to another bindery. When I had visited his shop in 2000, I saw he was using manual, table top spiral binding equipment. I pointed out to him that the five girls binding the books were chatting and not really getting good production. He already had an automatic paper punching machine so all he needed was the binder. I offered him our Sterling Coilmaster plastic coil binding machine, which could bind up to 700 books per hour and equal or surpass the production. I sent him the video, which he did not look at and followed up with him for a period of five years, trying to convince him to automate. At times he professed that he was cheap and told us that when he was ready, he would call.

After he closed his doors, one of his customers, a publisher, called me explaining that his bindery had gone out of business and needed to bind over 100,000 books per year. He was looking to purchase equipment and was willing to purchase a paper punch an automatic plastic spiral binding machine. This was something the bindery was never willing to do—even though he had much more work. Not only did he bind this particular customer’s books by hand, he bound all of his other customers’ books that way.

When he sold his business, the bindery who bought his accounts was flabbergasted that he was still doing coil by hand. This bindery has up to date paper punching and coil binding equipment which he had purchased from our company.

Is it any wonder why one bindery is thriving and the other is out of business? This is a trend I have been seeing for a decade, and it shows little sign of changing.

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To PUR or not to PUR

DB PUR Plus 2

Binding Pur Books

At the next Print show, Spiel Associates will be debuting two new PUR Perfect Binders: The Sterling® Digibinder PUR and PUR Plus. This adds to our line of The Digibinder®, The Digibinder Plus, and The Digibinder Super, which we will also be debuting.

For those of you who do not know the difference between PUR and traditional perfect binding, the short answer is not much. Everything is the same except for the glue: Ordinary perfect binding machines use ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) adhesives, while PUR binders use polyurethane reactive (PUR) adhesive.

In the past, we have had remarkable success in binding any stock on our EVA Digibinders. Our customers have bound oil infused stock, stock with wax based ink, UV coated and aqueous coated stock. What we have had problems with mostly is very thick stock, such as 100 Lb. cover stock, when used as body copy. No perfect binders can bind this stock. So if you are using stock like this or very fancy photo stock, then you have no choice but to use a PUR Perfect Binder.

Yet our customers, more and more, have been requesting PUR machines. Some have said that their customers break the spine and the pages fall out—No kidding? My response is like the old joke: A man walks into a doctor’s office and says; “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies; “Then don’t do that.” Where in the world can people think that they can break the binding of the book without the book falling apart?

While PUR is not indestructible, it is 50% - 70% stronger than ordinary EVA binding. It can bind stock even if the grain is in the wrong direction. It is much kinder to extreme temperatures. On the hot side, PUR has a 350°F peel failure, as compared with 165°F to 200°F for EVA glue. On the cold side, EVA can crack at 30°F PUR begins to crack at -20°F. I do suppose that considering climate change, PUR books will last much longer.

PUR uses a thinner glue application than EVA (10 to 12ml vs. 25 to 35ml per EVA). Less glue makes the binding more flexible, which allows the book to lay flat.

The downside to using PUR is that when the glue is exposed to moisture, it goes bad. PUR sucks moisture out of the air during the curing process. This takes a good 24 hours. You cannot reuse PUR glue and it goes bad after a few hours when sitting in an open glue pot. This spoilage is common and unavoidable. It is best to avoid open glue pots for this reason and for the labor intensive clean up at the shift’s end. Some manufacturers use a system that sprays a blanket of nitrogen over the glue pot area so as to keep the glue away from air. Still, cleaning up the glue pot can take up to 30 minutes. If a nitrogen system is not used, the glue can only be exposed to air for a few hours, then the pot must be cleaned, new glue put in, and melted. Also, the Teflon coating on the glue pots do not last for the life of the machine and must be recoated about every three years.

The Sterling Digibinder PUR and PUR Plus, uses a nozzle system with a closed tank. The glue is not exposed to air. The glue sprays out of the nozzle for each cycle. The machines can be run all day. There is a five minute clean up at the shifts end and at its beginning. But the glue in the tank may be continually used until it’s gone.

We have found that the nozzle system with a sealer glue tank is the most effective, economical, and user friendly system.

Books are still going strong. Let’s rejoice in the fact that despite recent technological advances, the majority of Americans are still reading books in print. According to Pew Research Center, as of 2016, 65% of Americans read a print book in the last year, which was more than double the share that read an e-book (28%) and more than four times the share that consumed content via audio book (14%).

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Book Manufacturer Speeds Up Their Wire Binding Tenfold

People learning how a book manufacturer speeds up wire binding

See How Book Manufacturer Speed Up Wire Binding

J.L. Darling has manufactured Rite in the Rain® notepads since 1916 in The Great Northwest. The founder, Jerry Darling created a market for notepads that could withstand rain and other poor weather conditions. Even if their notepads get wet, the ink does not run. They invented a proprietary, patented, archival quality substrate that will last a lifetime under normal use. JL Darling prefers wire because double loop wire binding offers a full 360 degree rotation for pages bound into a book.

Prior to the mid-nineties, they bound their Wire-O books on table top equipment. They then purchased, from Spiel Associates, a used Lhermite® automatic paper punch and a used Sickinger wire binding machine. They added a semi-automatic Rilecart® wire binder a few years later to keep up with their capacity, and then purchased a Sterling Punchmaster® automatic paper punch to replace their Lhermite.

Punching their paper is no easy feat. Due to the durability of the paper, they cannot punch as big a lift of sheets as they could with ordinary paper. They also sharpen their dies more frequently than other paper punching machine users.

While they produce different size books, their most popular size is 3” X 5”, perfect for an electrical linesman or an EMT to tuck in their breast pocket. Also, they have a “header” which has a sombrero hole acting as a peg hanger. The header size was 3” x 2”.

With their Rilecart wire binder, they bound, flipped covers, and boxed an average of 250 books per hour with two operators.

Throughout the years, demand for their product grew. Their capacity did not and they were forced to run multiple shifts to bind the books that they needed to ship. During that time I had tried to help them automate their wire binding. Aside from the cost of over $200,000 for an automatic wire binding machine, we had the problem of book size. While The Rilecart B-599 wire binder could be modified to handle the book size, there was no way it could handle the header size of 2” X 3”.

In 2014 Spiel introduced The Sterling® Wiremaster Pro. The selling price was half of what The Rilecart B599 was. This piqued their interest. . Furthermore, the machine needed no modification to handle their book size, but we still had a pesky 2” X 3” header to contend with. Their R & D Director, John Mattingly and I kicked around some ideas and we came up with the following: Make the header 3” X 3.75” and put a score in the middle. After the books were bound, the header was folded in half for easy hanging. We shot a demo video for them, which you could see here.

After purchasing the Sterling Wiremaster Pro, the fun began. At first they were binding, cover flipping, and boxing 2,700 books per hour. After riding the learning curve, they increased their production to 3,000 books per hour, which is the maximum cycling speed of the machine. They use three operators.

J.L. Darling books can be written upon in the rain, and their production now is right as rain.

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What Are You Up to Bindery Blog

Car Dashboard

Some time ago my brother sold a table top paper punching machine to one of his customers. The manufacturer claimed on the brochure that the machine could punch “up to 55 sheets or 110 pages of 20 pound (80 gsm) paper. The number of sheets depends on the paper weight and punch pattern used.” After doing some digging, welearned that the only punch pattern that could punch 55 sheets was three round holes. The customer was miffed, but should he have been?

When I started working here, and began to write brochures, the most important two words I learned was: “Up to.”

All manufacturers put maximum cycling speed on their brochures. This does NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT, PAPER. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But it is not. Speaking of paper, print is 59% more engaging for users than online articles.

What other basis can a manufacturer claim? When was the last time you drove your car at 120 miles per hour? You can, but you don’t. You can probably even drive faster than 120 miles per hour, but not here in New York. Half the time I am happy with 30 miles per hour.

I spoke with the manager of a printer for a state government recently. He complained that I and my competitor weren’t being straight with him vis a vie our brochures. The Sterling Digipunch’s maximum cycle speed is 72 strokes per minute. With a maximum lift size of 17 sheets, that equals 73,440 sheets per hour. On our brochure of The Sterling Digipunch paper punching machine, we claim that you can punch up to 72,000 sheets per hour, my competitor claimed slightly higher. I used 72,000 because it’s a nice round (however meaningless) number, like 120 miles per hour. He asked if he would be able to punch this fast and I said no. When he asked why, I told him that different patterns will result in different output.

A paper punching machine has a maximum cycle speed, but that’s not the metric you should solely use. With a three hole die, as above, you can punch more sheets per lift than with a spiral die, or even worse, a GBC die. The Sterling Digipunch can punch between 3 and 17 sheets per lift. While you may be able to punch 17 sheets with a 3 hole die, you would never be able to do so with a wire-o die. Also, are covers intermixed, tabs, acetate?

Other metrics when judging the speed of an automatic paper punch is set up and paper handling time. Does the machine set up automatically with a computer or is the set up manual? With the Sterling Digipunch you can load five reams of paper in the feeder and accept five reams of paper in the stacker. One of my competitors sells a machine that can hold five reams of paper in the feeder but only three reams in the stacker. Then the stacker has to be offloaded, reset, the other two reams need to be punched and the stacker is offloaded and then the process starts all over again. What will that do to your output?

This gets much trickier with machines that require paper or books to be fed by an operator. When a customer asks me how fast our spiral binding machines are is I ask him how fast are your sneakers? Is the printer using a skilled operator or a temp? We have a video on YouTube entitled; “Plastic Spiral Binding Machine Binds 600 Books Per Hour.” We used a 4 X 6 art pad with 10mm plastic coil for this demo and bound 10 books in 60 seconds. So the machine CAN bind up to 600 books per hour. When we went to an 8.5 X 11” with a 10mm we were only able to bind nine books in 64 seconds, 500 books per hour. When we went to a 25mm book, we were only able to bind the equivalent of 333 books per hour.

When I speak with a customer I tell him to ignore the brochure and tell me about the job and his staff. Sometimes I will tell the customer he can expect 300 books per hour, sometimes, 400 books per hour, and sometimes even 500 books per hour.

I would never tell a customer he can bind 600 books per hour and I would never recommend driving 120 miles per hour, unless you are Vin Diesel.

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What the heck happened to Spiral Binding?

Bad Spiral Book

What Happened to Spiral Binding

Back when I started in this industry, spiral binding meant wire spiral binding. Today spiral binding means plastic coil binding. Why? Take a look at the picture above.

Wire spiral bound books damage very easily, not as much as a book bound on a double loop wire binding machine, but bad enough. Remember Rand McNally road atlases? They are still in business but I assume many of you are using GPS instead. They bound their books with spiral wire purposefully. Why? They would get destroyed and people would have to buy new ones. A recent visit to their web site has confirmed that they have switched over to plastic coil.

Back in them there days; plastic coil was not very popular. The only way to bind the books was to bind them by hand, starting off the first three loops manually, spinning them in with a roller machine, and then cutting and crimping using pliers. Usually an operator could do about 100 books per hour. If it was a thick book, it could be as little as 20. Take a look at the first few seconds of this video.

Wire spiral binding machines by comparison could yield about 300 books per hour. You would hang a book on pins and the wire spun through the book and was then crimped. Easy peasy, right? The only problem was the books looked cheap and was not good for school books or kids books. I had two girls so when they brought home a “Hello Kitty” book, it was always bound with plastic coil. Also, many states refused to allow books with spiral wire to be sold to schools because the spirals could be ripped from the book and be turned into a weapon.

Up until about five years ago, Sickinger and Freundlich Gomez built semi-automatic spiral binders. In fact, I still have a mint Sickinger PS517 Spiral Binder in stock. You can see a picture here. Bielomatik and Womaco still build automatic spiral binders that also punch in-line.

The only companies that still bind their books with spiral wire are manufacturers that bind many books and try to sell them as inexpensively as possible. After all, when was the last time you saw a wire spiral bound book?

This is the first in a series on the history of plastic coil binding. Stay tuned for the invention of automatic plastic coil binders, even though it is not printed on paper and that Print is 59% more engaging for users than online articles.

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What a BAT Would Mean For Printers and Binderies

Bat Tax

So what is a BAT? It is a border adjustment tax that will tax 20% off of anything that you buy that is imported. Take a look around your shop. How many pieces of printing or bindery equipment do you own that was built in The US, two, one, none? Now imagine that you had to pay 20% extra for these printing and binding machines?

Our new president wants to cut the corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world. This is a noble goal to stop inversions and level the global playing field. But that money has to come from somewhere. It will come from you and anyone who buys anything. Now take a look around your office. What on your desk was built in this country?

Spiel Associates is one of the few graphic arts equipment companies that still builds bindery equipment in this country, most notably, automatic paper punching machines and plastic spiral binding machines. But we still have had to sell machinery built overseas. Our wire binding machines are built in Italy and China. Why? There are no wire binders being built in this country. As to perfect binding machines, there is one left, and we do sell it, but it is hardly competitive with perfect binders being built overseas.

How many digital print engines are built in this country?

At first glance I was against this. But I have changed my mind. Consider that every country in the world uses a VAT. The only exceptions are countries where the populace is too poor to pay taxes, and The US. A value added tax taxes everything a customer buys up and down the chain. If a paper company sells you paper, there is a VAT. That could amount to a lot considering the annual amount of paper used in the U.S. each year is 9,125,000,000 tons. If you print something on that paper, bind it, and sell it, there is a VAT. If a book store then sells the book, there is a VAT. It is very hard to avoid paying this tax, whether you are a drug dealer, a money launderer, or The President of The United States.

The Upshot has reported; “It looks like the holy grail of tax reform: It allows lowering tax rates without increasing the deficit, without creating powerful losers, and creating a more efficient economy for the long run.

But the very cleverness of the proposal — it is an idea that has been tossed around in academic circles for a decade but never adopted in any country — is what makes border adjustment so fraught.

Retailers, among others, are not confident that currency adjustments will happen the way economists predict, and are running advertisements warning that the “border adjustment tax” will tax “your car, your food, your gas, your medicine, your clothes.””

The rub with The BAT is that this only applies to imports and as it has been proposed, the import will only be charged once, at the border. It is then up to the wholesaler or retailer to pass that cost on to the consumer, and pass it along they will. I know I will.

This gives an advantage to manufacturers in The US, which I am all for. But don’t expect it to lower corporate for printers or binderies as much as The VAT does in other countries.

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Learn How To Crimp a Plastic Spiral Book

A guide on how to crimp a plastic spiral book

Sri Pra Phai is my favorite Thai restaurant. It has two locations in New York and thankfully, one is near my office. It has a very extensive menu. It is, however, poorly bound. Plastic Coil Binding requires a good crimp so that the coil does not spin out of the book. I often spun coil out of the book at The Cheesecake Factory since their books have been traditionally poorly bound as well.

Here you see that the plastic coil is not cut or crimped at all, much less at a ninety degree angle as it should be and as shown in the composite above. A good cut and crimp is possible using crimping pliers but an automatic plastic spiral binder offers better cutting and crimping. You can also buy an automatic cutter/crimper if inserting the plastic coil manually.

What else is wrong with this picture? The holes are square—not round. Round or oval holes are the proper shape for Plastic Spiral Binding. Square holes are the proper shape when using a wire binding machine. The printer, or bindery probably does not own a round hole die or an oval hole die, so they used a wire-o die. Furthermore, a book of this thickness should be using a four to the inch pitch—not a three to the inch pitch. But again, the printer or bindery probably did not have a four to the inch die for their paper punching machine. Also, notice that the last hole on the right is empty, missing a loop of coil.

It is much harder to make delicious food than to bind a decent book. It’s a shame that such a good restaurant has such a poor menu.

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This Calendar Is All Thumbs

Bad Calendar 2

Bad Wire-O Binding

What’s wrong with this picture? My daughter recently purchased a calendar for her friend (meaning I purchased it) and showed it to me when she received it in the mail. My kids always make fun of me when I look at the binding of the book before opening it. Here there was something interesting.

This is punched with a “thumb cut” for calendars with hangers. This is more popular in Europe than it is here in The US. Most of our calendars have a round “hanger hole” at the opposite end of the binding edge. Parenthetically we sell the only paper punching machine that can punch the hanger hole simultaneously with the binding edge. We have sold The Sterling Punchmaster to many printers who for work for Shutterfly. Please see The Sterling Punchmaster video under New Equipment, Punching Equipment above.

Normally one would purchase a 3:1 square hole, wire die with a thumb cut but that means doubling up on dies. You would also need a normal 3:1 die to punch books without a thumb cut. An economical option is to punch a thumb cut calendar is to purchase a 3:1 wire die and a separate thumb cut die. But here is the rub: You need to open the 3:1 die and pull out the center 3 or 4 pins to make room for the thumb cut pattern.

Here the printer did one of two things wrong. Either they are using a die where the pins cannot be pulled or they just didn’t bother pulling them out. The latter is most likely because even economical, table top punches like The PDI Rhino punches use dies where the pins can be pulled. This would have prevented a book that doesn’t look so good. Also, it is industry practice for the closed wire to be between the last page of the book and the rear cover.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them.

By the way, my daughter’s friend still likes the calendar. I didn’t have the heart to point this out to her. I that hope she doesn’t read this blog.

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Obamacare and Business

An image representing Obamacare and business

Many businessmen lean Republican and detest government spending on social programs but should they?

I sell machinery that is built in Asia, Europe, and yes, The United States. I compete with manufacturers of bindery equipment made overseas. My company, and my vendors, contribute greatly to the cost of our employees’ health benefits, not only because it is the right thing to do, but to attract the best people we can. Most employees expect benefits, do they not? Yet my overseas competitors do not have to contribute anything to their employees’ health care. Their government foots the bill. This makes my machines more costly and my company less competitive. We should remember that General Motors spends more money on health insurance than on steel. How competitive would their pricing be if the government picked up the tab on their health care?

Now let’s look at ObamaCare. According to a fascinating editorial in the “left wing” newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, by Annie Lamont and Ezekiel J. Emmanual, America's CEOs might not admit it in public, but the Affordable Care Act- aka ObamaCare-- has been good for business.” They go on to say; “To take a single benchmark, look at families who receive insurance coverage through an employer. Between 2001 and 2008, their average premium jumped nearly 80%, according to annual survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. Under President Obama, the increase was only 36%. This represents real money: If the Bush-era rate of inflation had continued through 2016, each of these families would be spending about $5,000 more on annual premiums.”

Now how much of this would have had to been paid out by employers, job creators, or masters of the universe? A hefty percentage, and in many cases, all of it.

Other points include how investment in medicine has boomed and that repealing The Affordable Care Act would cause uncertainty in the marketplace, volatility, and a certain return to higher inflation of health care costs. All of us businessmen like this kind of thing, right?

Furthermore repealing The ACA would result in cost shifting, or shafting more like.  When the newly uninsured do not have coverage, they will still show up at the emergency room and when they cannot pay, these costs will be paid by higher premiums for you and me.

“The Affordable Care Act has helped minimize this cost shifting. Specifically, the law's expansion of Medicaid cut hospitals' uncompensated care by roughly a third from 2013 to 2014, according to a study in Health Affairs. At the University of Pennsylvania Health System, bad debt--the accounting term for bills that are written off when patients can't pay them-- decreased from 6.1% of revenue in 2014 to 3.9% last year. Taken nationally, a drop that size is worth nearly $25 billion a year.”

As to ObamaCare’s “skyrocketing premiums,” this only applies to a small fraction of Americans who have purchased their own individual policies. There are about 10 million people in the Obamacare markets out of the 270 million Americans under 65 who have health insurance. While I feel for them, I hardly think scuttling such a business friendly program is in the best interest of our economy.

“If only CEOs would say as much before it is too late.”

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Binders, Printers, and Businessmen

When asked, every man thinks he’s a good driver and good in bed. But there must be some that are better than others, right?Assembly Line

My father did a lot of business with a bindery owner who would buy a machine for a particular job and then sell it back to my Dad. Sometimes the same machine would change hands a few times. He didn’t care, the cost of the machine was built into the job and no matter how much he spent, sending out the job would have cost more.

One bindery owner I know is a very savvy businessman. You walk into his shop and you see fairly new equipment, well maintained and clean. Another bindery owner in the same area has a shop with, let’s say, less than optimal equipment. He has a Sickinger wire binder that is about 25 years old. The problem is that it is a very slow wire binder. It produces about 200 books per hour. Almost every other wire binder on the market can double or triple this output, but let’s just say double. So if he averages 100,000 books per year, he could have saved over 200 man hours (assuming he uses two people including material handling) per year he would have saved at least 3,000 man hours in the past fifteen years. If he pays his people $15 per hour, he would have saved a minimum of $45,000. This doesn’t count insurance, workman’s comp, or overhead. So how much did he save by having a less than Sterling Wire Binding Machine in the long run?

I once told a bindery owner in California that if he made his own plastic coil he would save $100,000 per year and the machine at that time only cost $28,000. His reply to me was; “I’m not so much interested in saving money as making money.”

Even though times are tough right now I hear about companies outsourcing hundreds of thousands of dollars in binding services per year when they can bring the machinery in to do it in-house for less than $100,000. There are also may printers and binders binding their work manually. Does this make sense in an age where other manufacturers are using robotics?

New bindery systems are light-years faster and more efficient than older ones, and they can produce both high-quality, long- and short-run work with much less labor.

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Everything You Should Know About Buying Used Bindery Equipment

People who are buying used bindery equipment

Information About Buying Used Bindery Equipment

The printing industry remains one of the largest in the world, even in these digital times. It easily rivals the auto manufacturing industry by size and is more than eight times larger than the video game sector. What does that mean for you?

There is a lot of new and used bindery equipment out there, from perfect binders to coil binding machines to automatic wire binders. Though printers may come and go, the industry itself remains strong, leaving a lot of perfectly good used equipment out there on the market.

At Spiel Associates, we sell used bindery equipment as well as new machines, because we believe that the right tools will differ depending on your needs and situation. Sometimes it can be better and more cost-efficient to purchase a used automatic paper punching machine instead of new, while other times you want only the newest, perfect binding machine for your production. Here's what you should know about exactly when and why to buy used bindery equipment over new.

Most of the used binding equipment we sell is classified as "reconditioned," meaning that it has been inspected, worn parts replaced, repaired, cleaned, and sometimes repainted. All "reconditioned" equipment comes with a warranty that guarantees it will work the way it should.

Used equipment that is marketed as "As is" or "Good running" may be usable, but it may not offer the lasting quality you need to have it up and running from the start. But if you require repairs, parts, or supplies, Spiel Associates can also help you out there, too.

On the other hand, a "Rebuilt" used machine means that every moving part has been replaced. Every nut, bolt, bushing, and bearing has been examined, and the entire machine has been stripped down, inspected, and quite literally reconstructed from scratch. Most of our used collators can be classified as "rebuilt." These machines also come with a warranty that guarantees your equipment will work just like new, without the price tag of a new machine itself.

Whether you're looking for a collator, paper punch, or automatic wire binder, it may be worth your while to browse our available selection of reconditioned and rebuilt equipment before you buy new. In an industry that's thrived for hundreds of years, it's not so much the age of the equipment that matters as the sum and quality of its parts.

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Improve Your Life By Reading Every Day

Every year in the U.S., approximately 9.2 billion tons of paper are used. One of the main reasons this much paper is used is the continual production of books. Reading can truly do wonders for individual people, groups and organizations.

In today's smartphone-obsessed society, it may not seem as though old-fashioned reading may hold much appeal, but there are still plenty of readers out there who are lifelong learners and who want to explore the world through books on paper.

Strengthen Your Brain

Numerous studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated through reading can actually strengthen your brain's cognitive abilities. It can even possibly slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease, as well. The brain, though more complex, is just like any other muscle in the human body. If it's regularly worked out, it will become healthier, stronger, and more efficient. Along with reading, doing mental puzzles can also have cognitive stimulation benefits.

Reduce Stress

Although life can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, if you regularly sit down and read a compelling story you will, at least for the moment, be free from your stresses. Doing this will calm you even after you've finished reading for the night and you won't be worried as much about the things in your life that you cannot control.

Improve Your Writing and Vocabulary Skills

You'll easily learn more words if you read each day. And after continually reading how other people write, you will learn how to write better as a result. The more exposure you have to well written stories, the more beneficial the effect on your own writing style. You'll improve your fluidity, cadence, dialogue, and style if you continue to read and build your own literary repertoire.

If you're in need of any type of binder for your very own work, the best thing you can do is to contact a company that offers bindery equipment. Spiel Associates can assist you with any binding project with their perfect binding machines, wire binding machines, and automatic paper punching machines. Contact Spiel Associates today to learn more about their bindery equipment.

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DIY: 4 consejos para hacer cuadernos y revistas Pinterest-Dignos

Sitios como Pinterest y Etsy están inspirando a una nueva generación de Do It Yourself-ers, y muchos crafters están convirtiendo sus pasatiempos en un medio de ingresos.

Diario y dibujo son muy terapéuticos para muchas personas. Y mientras que el verdadero tesoro es el trabajo personal en el interior, tener una portada hermosa, de alta calidad portátil hace su justicia de trabajo. Si te gusta hacer tus propios cuadernos, revistas, diarios, libros de recuerdos, cuadernos de dibujo o simplemente libros sencillos, entonces puedes crear magníficas revistas de bricolaje con una máquina de encuadernación.

UN wire binding máquina Es uno de los mejores métodos de encuadernación de un libro, porque el libro queda plano sin fuerza, y las páginas se pueden plegar sobre sí mismas para mantener otras páginas fuera del camino.

Aquí hay algunos pasos simples de bricolaje para crear un libro de aspecto profesional para vender o usar por su cuenta:

  1. Primero usted necesita saber qué clase de libro usted va a hacer. ¿Qué tan grande quieres que sea el libro? ¿Qué tipo de material tendrá? Para el diario, la impresora simple o el papel de la especialidad hará, pero para el scrapbooking, usted deseará pedazos mayores del tamaño del papel o del cartulina que pueden sostener hasta las fotografías que serán puestas dentro de ella.
  3. ¿Qué orientación desea que sean las páginas? ¿Retrato o paisaje? ¿Vertical u horizontal? ¿O son sus páginas perfectamente cuadrado? Es posible que desee cambiar la orientación de sus páginas en función del tipo de libro que esté creando. Las páginas amplias y amplias son más adecuadas para los álbumes de recortes, pero las páginas estrechas y verticales pueden ser ideales para los portátiles pequeños. También puede jugar con el lado en el que desea que se hagan los encuadres de libros. Sólo asegúrese de que sus páginas están bien configuradas para acomodar una máquina automática de perforación de papel. Si hay diseños en las páginas, es posible que desee volver a pensar en cómo desea establecer los enlaces.
  5. ¿Cuántas páginas será el libro? Para un libro en blanco, es difícil tomar esa decisión. Pero como el corredor de apuestas, usted necesita saber qué bobinas de tamaño para comprar y qué configuración para poner la bobina vinculante máquina. Si esto no se toma en cuenta, la encuadernación no encajará o será demasiado pesada para el libro, causando fricción. El uso de herramientas de punzonado con flancos casi pulidos y una conicidad trasera de un cuarto de grado reduce la fricción, aumentando la vida útil de la herramienta de perforación, así como el papel que pincha.
  7. Después de la planificación pesada viene las cosas más divertidas. ¿Qué tipo de colores quieres en el libro? ¿Quieres un bolsillo del sobre en la parte delantera o trasera para mantener marcadores, recuerdos u otros trozos de papel? Como creador, ¡puedes hacer lo que quieras!

Para crear los portátiles personalizados perfectos, necesitará una alta calidad Máquina de atar alambre. Spiel Associates, Inc. tiene equipo de encuadernación para libros DIY de todos los tamaños.

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4 máquinas esenciales para la producción manual

paper punching machineCuando los lectores electrónicos y las tabletas entraron en escena, muchos adoptantes prematuros declararon prematuramente que la impresión estaba muerta. Sólo había un problema: los libros son una de las invenciones más perfectas de la historia de la humanidad. Y eso es tan cierto hoy como lo fue en la época de la Prensa Gutenberg. Por supuesto, algunas cosas han cambiado; En lugar de prensas de impresión, las casas de apuestas modernas dependen de herramientas como equipos de encuadernación, máquinas de perforación de papel y aglutinantes de alambre.

Print es una de las mayores industrias del mundo. Es ocho veces más grande que la industria de videojuegos y significativamente más grande que la fabricación de automóviles también. Esto es probable porque la impresión entra en juego en la mayoría de estas industrias. Los manuales de instrucción son importantes por una variedad de razones. Muchas industrias proporcionan folletos de papel grapados en lugar de manuales reales. Si bien no es necesario crear una obra maestra encuadernada en cuero para instrucciones sencillas o pautas para los empleados, un manual bien encuadernado y laminado es absolutamente adecuado y práctico, ya que resiste el desgaste, las manchas de café y no pierde páginas entre Lee

Aquí hay cuatro máquinas esenciales que son necesarias para producir manuales bien hechos que soportan las pruebas del tiempo:

Por supuesto, no hay manual sin una impresora. Las impresoras industriales pueden producir páginas de doble cara con rapidez y facilidad. Las empresas que incluyen instrucciones de uso o montaje en sus productos necesitan entregar un manual completo para cada producto, lo que significa que las páginas deben imprimirse en cantidades masivas. Las impresoras a menudo se atascan, así que asegúrese de que tiene una impresora adecuada que puede manejar la impresión de cantidades masivas de papel a la vez.

Los laminadores crean acabados libres de desgaste para todas las páginas de papel que se incluirán en el manual. Los revestimientos plásticos soportan muchas vistas y se vuelcan y no se doblan ni se tiñen. Laminación de las páginas de sus manuales se mantendrán en buenas condiciones para su uso futuro y hacer que sea menos probable que se pierda en la barajadura.

Máquina de perforación de papel
Automático Máquinas perforadoras de papel Son máquinas de alta velocidad diseñadas para carpetas de corto plazo, impresoras digitales y comerciales. Algunas máquinas de perforación de papel son capaces de perforar decenas de miles de hojas de papel cada hora, haciendo un uso muy eficiente de tiempo y esfuerzo.

Máquina de encuadernación de bobina
Las máquinas de encuadernación de bobinas se utilizan para insertar bobinas de plástico en los orificios perforados y, a continuación, engarzan los extremos de la bobina. Esto evita que la bobina se suelte y desenmaraje la encuadernación del libro. Cientos de libros pueden ser enlazados por hora utilizando estas máquinas, lo que facilita que las industrias comerciales produzcan en masa instrucciones para poner en el embalaje de sus productos, o que realicen muchas copias de pautas para uso y referencia de los empleados.

Mediante el uso de todas estas máquinas, es posible entregar manuales de instrucciones de alta calidad y manuales que serán fácilmente referibles por los propietarios de los productos de una empresa. Para equipos de encuadernación superior de todo tipo, póngase en contacto con Spiel Associates, Inc.

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La muerte de los espectáculos regionales

Solía encantar los shows regionales, The Charlotte Show, The Texas Shows, Gutenberg y el único que quedaba en Miami. Generalmente son más relajados que el caldero de McCormick Place. La instalación y la descomposición fue sin duda más fácil. Extraño nadar en la piscina en el hotel en Gutenberg y la comida Cajun en los espectáculos de Charlotte y Texas.

¿Por qué murieron? La respuesta es un problema de pollo y huevo. La baja participación causó que menos expositores mostraran sus mercancías, pero ¿cuál vino primero? Recuerdo haber visitado a clientes en el sur de California y tratar de bajarlos al show. Pocos lo hicieron. Me atrevo a adivinar que cuanto más cerca de una encuadernación o una instalación de la impresora fuera al sitio de la demostración, menos probable que aparecerían.

Some say the best solution is to rotate Graph Expo A diferentes ubicaciones Cada dos años como el show de este año en Orlando. Entonces las impresoras podrían haber traído a sus familias a Disney World o Universal, y asistir al show por un día o dos. Luego, después de vender Todas las máquinas de mi stand declaré; “I’Voy a ir a Disney World!” Comida para el pensamiento.

El jurado todavía está fuera, aunque como muchos expositores prefieren exhibir en Chicago.

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No compre máquinas obligatorias sin leer esto primero

Cuando se ejecuta una operación de impresión o encuadernación de libros, hay que pensar mucho en la maquinaria y los materiales que se planea utilizar, por no hablar del contenido real que está imprimiendo.

Ya sea que esté imprimiendo manuales técnicos o calendarios, la forma en que se presenta la información es de vital importancia para la experiencia del cliente. No es de extrañar que las cosas están buscando para la industria de la impresión, con envíos de más de $ 2,2 mil millones en comparación con 2014. Pero si usted planea llevar a imprenta y vinculante operaciones en casa, es en su mejor interés (tanto para su reputación y beneficio Margen) para usar solamente materiales y máquinas que funcionen tan eficientemente como sea posible.

Echa un vistazo a algunas de las preguntas que debe hacerse antes de comprar nuevos o usados Máquinas de encuadernación perfectas, Máquinas de encuadernación de alambre o máquinas de punzonar papel:


¿Cuán gruesos son sus proyectos vinculantes?

Diferentes materiales y equipo de encuadernación se requieren en función del grosor de sus libros. Es importante tener en cuenta qué tamaño y volumen serán sus proyectos. Si sus libros son más gruesos de 25 hojas de costura (o grapado) no es una opción. Por ejemplo, si usted está produciendo novelas, necesitará máquinas de encuadernación perfectas, mientras que los folletos de instrucciones o libros de cocina pueden requerir la unión de bobinas.

¿Son sus proyectos estándar o únicos?

También es importante tener en cuenta exactamente qué tipo de proyectos que va a trabajar en. Si imprime el mismo tipo de folletos o paquetes una y otra vez, no tendrá que prepararse para tanta desviación de los procedimientos estándar como si estuviera haciendo proyectos especiales con frecuencia.

Algunos equipos de encuadernación son extremadamente versátiles y pueden cambiar de marchas con sólo tocar un botón, mientras que otros requieren una buena cantidad de tiempo de configuración. Si tiene preguntas específicas sobre los beneficios de las máquinas de encuadernación perfectas, póngase en contacto con nosotros para obtener más información.


¿Cuál es su rango de precio?

Como siempre, cuando se compra caro Maquinaria, es importante conocer su presupuesto. Es posible que desee investigar la posibilidad de comprar máquinas usadas y otros suministros si es posible antes de elegir la mejor máquina vinculante.


¿Necesita otros materiales?

No se olvide de incluir las materias primas como el pegamento y bobinas en su presupuesto. Las máquinas como los conectores automáticos de la bobina pueden ser importantes para su funcionamiento, pero hay más materiales que usted necesitará para su operación general de la impresión. Asegúrese de tener en cuenta estos factores en su plan general de negocios.


¿Puede usted encajar su máquina en su área de producción?

Por supuesto, sus máquinas de encuadernación automática no le harán mucho bien a menos que sepa que encajará en el espacio que ha asignado para ello.

Con la preparación adecuada -- Y el equipo adecuado! -- Usted será capaz de ejecutar una operación de impresión y encuadernación muy exitosa y eficiente.




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Encuadernación mecánica: la diferencia entre el cable de doble lazo, la bobina y la encuadernación en espiral

Dependiendo de la máquina de encuadernación automática que compre, puede enlazar en cualquier lugar desde. 300 a 4.000 libros por hora. ¿Pero cómo usted decide si usted necesita una máquina obligatoria de la bobina o una carpeta automática del alambre? ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre estos tipos de enlaces de todos modos?

Es probable que haya visto estos tipos de enlaces en manuales de instrucciones o informes. Mientras que muchas compañías han hecho el cambio a contenido exclusivamente en línea, la impresión sigue siendo una industria masiva y, de hecho, los usuarios encuentran que la impresión es un 59% más atractiva que las fuentes en línea.

Los tipos de máquinas de encuadernación mecánicas que utilizan las empresas dependen en gran medida de los números de página y las distribuciones. Cuando se trata de encontrar el tipo correcto de carpeta, es necesario saber la diferencia entre cada uno.

Por lo tanto, las primeras cosas primero: Con plástico o metal, hay un aspecto acabado específico que un productor puede desear en función del tipo de publicación que son vinculantes.

Las bobinas de plástico vienen en una variedad más amplia de colores, pero algunas impresoras creen que los aglutinantes de alambre crean un aspecto más profesional.

What Is Double Loop Binding?

Doble bucle de unión utiliza exclusivamente cableado de metal, que muchos creen se ve más clasista. Estos tipos de enlaces se utilizan con mayor frecuencia para informes formales y similares.

Dos bucles pasan a través de cada agujero, como el homónimo sugiere, y puede tomar mucho menos tiempo para bobinar, si la maquinaria totalmente automática se utiliza. Con la ayuda de las máquinas adecuadas, los folletos de doble bucle se pueden producir rápidamente para un público masivo. Si necesita imprimir decenas de miles de libros por hora, esto puede ser una gran ventaja ..

Spiral Binding


La única diferencia entre la unión en espiral y la unión de la bobina (a veces llamada espiral plástica), es el material. La unión espiral se refiere a espiral metálica en lugar de plástico. Este es un tipo de encuadernación que se está volviendo más y más raro cada día. Automático. Máquinas de encuadernación de bobinas Puede atar libros mucho más rápidamente que las carpetas espirales pasadas de moda. Los aglutinantes en espiral no pueden alimentar el plástico y viceversa. Bobina de plástico le da mucho más opciones de colores.

A pesar de que puede tomar más tiempo, el enlace de la bobina es mucho más duradero y dura más tiempo que el enlace de doble lazo, incluso si no parece tan fuerte para algunas impresoras. El uso de un encuadernador automático de bobina es mucho más útil, sin embargo, para artículos de uso más pesado como cuadernos, catálogos o cualquier otro folleto que usaría de forma regular.

Independientemente, cualquiera de los métodos vinculantes tiene su lugar y se puede utilizar para hacer un folleto elegante y funcional. Cuando se produce un número elevado de folletos sobre una base regular, es económico comprar una máquina de encuadernación de alambre o bobina para la producción en el sitio, para hacer que el proceso de encuadernación sea mucho más suave.

Si tiene más preguntas acerca de nuestras máquinas de encuadernación de alambre o bobina, póngase en contacto con nosotros hoy y háganos saber cómo podemos ayudarle!

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Mechanical Binding: The Difference Between Double Loop Wire, Coil, and Spiral Binding

A book with our spiral bindingSpiral Binding

Depending on the automatic binding machine you purchase, you can bind anywhere from 300 to 4,000 books per hour. But how do you decide if you need a coil binding machine or automatic wire binder? What are the differences between these types of bindings anyway?

It's likely that you've seen these types of bindings on instruction manuals or reports. While many companies have made the switch to exclusively online content, print is still a massive industry and, in fact, users find print to be 59% more engaging than online-only sources.

The types of mechanical  binding machines that companies use are largely dependent on their page numbers and distributions. When it comes to finding the right type of binder, you need to know the difference between each.

So, first things first: With either plastic or metal, there is a specific finished look that a producer may want depending on the type of publication they are binding.

Plastic coils come in a wider variety of colors, but some printers believe wire binders create a more professional look.

What Is Double Loop Binding?

Double loop binding uses exclusively metal wiring, which many believe looks classier. These types of bindings are used most often for formal reports and the like.

Two loops pass through each hole, as the namesake suggests, and can take a lot less time to coil, if fully automatic machinery is used. With the help of the right machines, double loop booklets can be rapidly produced for massive audiences. If you need to print tens of thousands of books per hour, this can be a major advantage.

Spiral Binding


The only difference between spiral binding and coil binding (sometimes called plastic spiral), is the material. Spiral binding refers to metal spiral rather than plastic. This is a type of binding that is becoming more and more rare each day. Automatic coil binding machines can bind books much faster than the old fashioned spiral binders. Spiral binders cannot feed plastic and vice versa. Plastic coil gives you far more options for colors.

Although it can take longer, coil binding is much more durable and lasts longer than double loop binding, even if it doesn't look as sharp to some printers. Using an automatic coil binder is much more useful, however, for more heavy-use items like notebooks, catalogs, or any other booklet that you would use on a regular basis.

Regardless, either binding method has its place and can be used to make a sleek, functional booklet. When producing a high number of booklets on a regular basis, it is economical to purchase a wire or coil binding machine for on-site production, to make the binding process go much more smoothly.

If you have any more questions about our wire or coil binding machines, contact us today and let us know how we can help!

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