Binding Solutions, LLC

Quicker Make-Readies a Trend in Lining Up
Two trends are appearing in lining-up in hard cover binding. Binders are shifting from animal glue to hot melt. And make-readies are shortening as book binders process more short runs. More frequent changeovers demand faster make-readies to maintain productivity.
In meeting the trend of quicker make-readies, new rounding and backlining machines, such as those from Kolbus and Stahl, provide automated, computer-controlled adjustments to speed changeovers. On these machines, the operator punches in the specs on the control panel to automatically move in the rails and set the height of the applicators, thereby sizing the machine for the book being bound. The automation of these machines helps operators cut make-ready times in half.
Although the adjustments are automatic, the operator still needs to make fine adjustments on these machines to provide the highest quality book. Good operator judgment still makes the difference in quality.
Automatic Adjustments
Automatic adjustments distinguish the old from the new style backlining machines for lining-up. As another difference between machines, the new machines transport the book block directly to the crash and kraft gluing applicators directly from the rounding section. Omitted is the initial rounding glue section of the older style machines to hold the round.
But at the back end, the new machines usually add hinge and tight-backing units, utilizing hot melt, for strengthening the book.
Also in the newer machines, the backbone travels facing up rather than facing down as with the older machines, such as the Sheridan rounder-backer-liner (RBL) and the Kolbus 100.
The older style Sheridan RBL machine typically applies hot melt in two or three locations. The first glue wheel applies adhesive to hold the round in place, supplying strength to the book construction. The next glue pot applies the "crash" gauze material to the backbone. The next glue pot and wheel adhere kraft paper on top of the crash. At the kraft paper application, many machines add glue again to apply "headbands." These are striped pieces of cloth that prevent book owners from seeing the glue at the end of the spine. After lining-up, the book block travels to the casing-in machine.
Animal Glue Drawbacks
The new RBL machines are usually designed to run hot melt adhesive rather than animal glue as the older machines do. But many older machines are being retrofitted for hot melt application. This is because book binders are finding animal glue tends to crack, where hot melt remains flexible without cracking.
Another drawback with animal glue: when the weather changes the humidity in the bindery, you need to change the formulation. Otherwise, the animal glue will not adhere well, affecting the quality of the book. Hot melt, on the other hand, remains unaffected by weather.
This issue's "Cline's Comments" discusses reasons for using one glue over another, in particular why you should or should not work with pressure sensitive adhesive.
In review, the two main trends in lining-up include moving away from animal glue to hot melt, and toward quicker make-readies, which the new, automated backlining machines make possible. Both trends increase productivity for edition book binders.
Binding Solutions, LLC. Copyright 2015.