The Color Group in Munich comprises the four companies
Color-Medienservice, Color-Press, Color-Offset, and Color-Falz. All
postpress activities of the Color Group are consolidated in the
latter. In April 2007, its portfolio was rounded off with the
adhesive binder Eurobind 1300 PUR by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
The print and finishing quality of the Color Group has won
several awards over the past years. Manager Peter Wagstyl stresses
that the demand for high quality applies not only to prepress and
the press room, but also to postpress. Together with Wolfgang
Huber, he runs the Color-Group enterprise.
Color-Falz typically receives high-grade finishing and postpress orders of all kinds, including complex punching, stamping, hot and cold foil laminating, celloglazing, and manual packing. "We try to keep all these tasks in our own value chain", says Wagstyl. Color-Falz has long had its own cutting, folding, stitching, and drilling resources. However, demanding brochures and product catalogs for sporting goods, financial services, and cosmetics, as well as art catalogs require adhesive binding. "This is where there used to be a gap in our postpress capabilities", explains Wagstyl. Roughly ten to fifteen percent of all postpress jobs are adhesive bound, whereas their share in turnover and costs is far higher.
When Color-Falz decided to acquire its own adhesive binding production line, its main goal was to control the manufacturing process and timelines itself. So it compared all adhesive binders that were available on the market, including at first hotmelt and dispersion gluing machines. "It soon became clear that only a PUR adhesive binder would meet our demands and produce top-quality editions ranging from 10 to 10,000 at an economic cost." He is convinced especially a small binder that works without PUR would have meant compromising in format limits, spine preparation, cut quality, etc. For Wagstyl, however, one of the main requirements was "to manufacture products on the same quality level as is achieved with a large-scale unit. Finally, it was the overall concept of Heidelberg's Eurobind 1300 PUR which includes an adhesive binder, a cooling line, and the three-knife trimmer Eurotrim 1000 that convinced us."
The PUR adhesive binder Eurobind 1300 PUR is incorporated in a complete Heidelberg production line that includes a paternoster cooling and the three-knife trimmer Eurotrim 1000. Furthermore, the upstream gathering machine can be used not only for adhesive binding, but also for other jobs that require manual packing.
"Considering our frequent job changes, short make-ready times are essential for us. But even for difficult jobs, we do not need more than thirty minutes to set the cover feeder, the adhesive binder, and the three-knife trimmer. And since the machine stores the setting data, it takes only a few minutes to prepare repeat orders", says Wagstyl.
PUR adhesive binding is mainly used for coated art paper with matt or gloss surfaces that are almost always dispersion varnished. Celloglazed sheets and covers with the same finishing are often glued as well. According to Wagstyl, a minimum spine thickness of less than two millimeters can be achieved. "That means that we can deliver products that would normally require spine-stitching with adhesive binding, which is far more distinguished. That has prompted a financial service provider to entrust us with his entire range of brochures", reports Wagstyl. Depending on the required packing and the complexity of the jobs, an average 800 to 900 cycles per hour can be reached, with peaks of up to 1,300 cycles with fairly easy jobs.
Unlike traditional roller application systems, the glue application system of the Eurobind 1300 PUR applies just as much glue as is needed. Each block at a time, the nozzle ejects exactly the same amount of glue. The precise metering of glue improves the lay-flat characteristics of the finished product. "That simply enhances the quality of the products. There are no more glue drips between the pages, and the spines of the products are exactly square", says Wagstyl. Excess glue stays inside the system and is recycled.
Since the gluing line itself and its workflow integration are fairly inexpensive, even the production of partial or preliminary runs can be economically viable. "We often prepare a job, produce the first ten to twenty copies, and then have the customer check them again. Any changes he may request can be implemented quickly and flexibly, without putting the whole edition at risk", explains Wagstyl. "Last-minute quality checks enable us to deliver absolutely flawless products."
The adhesive binder can be used for other jobs during these quality checks. As soon as a product has been accepted, the presetting data are retrieved, and production can continue without delay. This flexibility makes even large run lengths profitable. In case of long delivery deadlines, the product can be manufactured in several batches so as to utilize the machine to the full. "For our customers, that means that we can produce partial runs just in time. That is a decisive quality advantage, especially with high-grade products."