Saddle-binding frequently asked questions & answers (FAQs)

       
In-line OR off-line operation   Does IBIS recommend operation in-line with a digital printer, off-line from a pile feeder or near-line from a roll-unwinder and web-cutter?
In-line AND off-line operation   Can a Smart-binder system be configured to run in-line with a digital printer but also have the capability of being fed from sheets coming from other printers?
Max & min book thickness   What are the maximum and minimum book thicknesses that the Smart-binder can produce?
Max operating speeds & efficiencies   What system operating speed and efficiency can be expected?
Perfect-bound books
(SB-4 or SB-5)
  Can the Smart-binder produce perfect-bound books (using hot glue) and what advantages does the Smart-binder have over other systems when making these types of books?
Producing small-format books in-line with a web printer   How can smaller book format sizes be best produced when running in-line with a digital web printer or from a pre-printed roll?
Light-weight paper stock   What is the lightest weight paper stock that the Smart-binder can handle?
Personalized books   Can the Smart-binder produce personalized saddle-bound books with a constantly changing number of pages (without stopping for adjustment)?
Personalized covers (or covers with cut-out windows)   Can the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher handle personalized book covers?
ISG cold glue   What are the benefits and/or risks of using IBIS’s unique ISG cold-glue system instead of wire staples to make saddle-bound booklets?
Cost of cold glue   How does the cost of cold glue compare with the cost of wire staples?
Multiple covers and insert sheets   Can the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher change covers automatically on-the-run and/or feed insert sheets inside the book?
Frequency of reloading cover feeder pile   How frequently must the cover pile be replenished?
Ease and frequency of reloading sheet pile feeder   How much time is needed to reload the SB-095 or SB-097 sheet pile feeders and how frequently must they be reloaded?
Perforated sheets   Can the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher produce books with tear-out pages?
Hole punching and drilling   Can the Smart-binder produce books with holes?
Loop stitching   Can the Smart-binder produce books with loop stitches to fit into ring binders?
Book Stacking and strapping   Can the Smart-binder be fitted with an automatic book stacker and strapper?
Spine squaring   Can the Smart-binder produce saddle-bound books whose spines that have been pressed into a 'square' shape?
Two-up production   Can saddle-bound booklets be made 'two-up' by using a trimmer center-knife and what are the restrictions when using the center-knife?
Minimum book format size   What is the minimum book spine length and width?
Maximum book format size   What is the maximum book spine length and width?
A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets   What are the different ways the Smart-binder can produce A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets?
Trimmer waste removal   What are the options for removing trimmer waste?
Electric power supply voltage   What supply voltage is needed for the Smart-binder?
Spine corner tearing on thick books   How can the normal tearing of the spine corners be avoided when making very thick books?
In-line connection to cut-sheet printers   Can the Smart-binder be used in-line with cut-sheet printers?
Sheet buffering when running in-line   When running a Smart-binder system in-line with a digital printer, then is it possible to ‘buffer’ the sheets so the Smart-binder input speed does not always have to be exactly the same as the printer speed?
Factor climate control   How important is climate control when producing books or booklets?


In-line OR off-line operation: Does IBIS recommend operation in-line with the digital printer or off-line from a pile feeder or near line from a roll unwinder and web-cutter?

Answer: : There are many factors to consider in order to make this decision. However, as a general rule operation in-line with the printer/web cutter or the web unwinder/cutter is recommended if the booklet format size changes infrequently. Off-line operation from a pile feeder is recommended if a range of different book format sizes is needed.

In-line operation may sometimes benefit from use of the optional SBS-100 sheet buffer module.

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In-line AND off-line operation: Can a Smart-binder system be configured to run in-line with a digital printer, but also have the capability of being fed from sheets coming from other printers?

Answer: Yes. This is done by selecting the feeder option SB-097 which provides the ability to feed the machine from a sheet pile feeder while retaining the ability to alternatively run in-line from the web cutter.

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Maximum and minimum book thicknesses: What are the max and min book thicknesses that the Smart-binder can produce?

Answer: The maximum book thickness is 60mm (2.36mm”). However this is only possible with the SB-4 or SB-5 (using PB-600 or PB-1500 perfect binder). The Smart-binder saddlebinder is limited to 10 mm (0.4”) max book thickness..

The minimum book thickness is one folded sheet (4 pages), but producing very thin books may require the maximum sheet input rate to be reduced in order to avoid exceeding the maximum Smart-binder output rate of 116 cycles/min. Good quality paper stock, min 80 gsm (with grain parallel to spine), must be used if running single folded sheets (4 pages) through the Smart-binder to produce a document containing only 4 pages.
The use of options such as Loop stitching (LST-100), Folder (F-100 or RF-100), Center-knife option (CKN-100 or 101) and/or the Spine squaring option (SM-101) will reduce maximum book thickness.      

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What maximum system operating speed and efficiency can be expected?

Answer:   Answer: The maximum input web speed (in-line or near-line operation) is 130 -150 meter/min without an extra buckle folder (4-page increments) This can be increased to around 180 metres/min with extra F-100 / F101 buckle folder (8-page increments). The F-200 selective folder is available to enable high web speeds while retaining 4 page increments.

The maximum speed when running off-line (from a sheet pile feeder) is around 400 sheets/min (a sheet normally contains 4 –pages, but may alternatively contain 8 or 12 pages if the extra F-100 / F101 folder is selected).

The maximum Smart-binder cycling speed for saddle-stitching is 7,000 cycles/hour or 14,000 books/hour (2-up). The actual booklet output rate is the sheet input rate divided by the number of sheets in the book (excluding a separately-fed cover sheet), providing this does not exceed 7000 cycles/hour.

The system efficiency depends on the complexity of the system (how many different elements are in use). For the Smart-binder itself (in-line or near-line), we suggest to plan on an operating efficiency of about 90%, unless it is being used to produce an unusual or difficult job which may reduce this running efficiency. Efficiencies in excess of 90% are achievable with some in-line Smart-binders running straightforward near-line job applications. Efficiencies slightly lower that 90% might be expected for an off-line Smart-binder due to the time needed to reload the feeder.

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Perfect-Bound books (SB-4 or SB-5): Can the Smart-binder produce perfect-bound books (using hot glue) and what advantages does the Smart-binder have over other systems when making these types of books?

Answer: The SB-4 can create ISG cold-glued ‘signatures’ containing typically 16- 28 pages (variable) and collect these signatures together before feeding them into the PB-600B or PB-100W perfect binder. Hot-glue (EVA or PUR) is applied to the booklet spine in the perfect binder and the cover is attached, resulting in very strong books. If the signatures are pre-glued inside using ISG cold-glue, then the spines do not need to be cut off in the binder clamp. This avoids dust/noise being created and makes the process more operator-friendly. The ISG cold glue may in some cases be better than hot-glue for use with hot, dry digitallyprinter papers, but may not provide such good adhesion as hot-glue when using heavily coated papers.

The model SB-5 produces conventional perfect-bound books from stacks of loose sheets (hot-glue only).

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How can smaller book format sizes be best produced when running in-line with a digital web printer or from a pre-printed roll?

Answer: Small book formats can be easily produced in-line with a digital web printer by using a web which is double the book width (plus a little extra to allow for trim-off). However this web width may be much narrower than the printer maximum so in this case. It is more efficient for the printer to run a ‘wide’ web. In this case IBIS offer two different solutions to produce small format booklets from a wide web, RF-100 and TUSDC-100

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What is the lightest weight paper stock that the Smart-binder can handle?

Answer: Paper stocks as light as 40 gsm are possible, but sheets lighter than 50 gsm must normally be buckle-folded first using the optional in-line F-100 / F-101 / F-200 folder, before entering the Smart-binder infeed, or run at a much reduced speed. Maximum speeds may have to be reduced if running paper stocks less than 60 gsm without using the extra buckle folder.

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Personalized books: Can the Smart-binder produce personalized saddle-bound books with a constantly changing number of pages (without stopping for adjustment)?

Answer: Yes. The Smart-binder saddle-binder was designed to continually vary book thickness on-the-run and track each page using bar codes to ensure page sequence security. Each book can contain a different number of pages between 8 and 200 (if using IBIS's ISG cold glue binding system) or within a range of about plus/minus 3mm (if using wire stitching).

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Can the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher handle personalized book covers (or covers with cutout windows)?

Answer: The Smart-binder cover feeder can be fitted with an optional Bar code reader BCR-105 (or 2D code reader DCR-101) to ensure than each personalised cover sheet contains the same unique book ID number as the content sheets coming from the digital printer. If there is a cover mismatch then the Smart-binder will automatically stop and the touch screen will inform the operator of the reason for this stop.

After such a stop the operator must manually recover the correct cover sequence which will cause extra machine down-time. It is sometimes preferred therefore to feed covers with cutout windows which allow the personalized name and address to show through the window from the digital print on the first inside page. This ‘personalizes’ the booklet from the outside without requiring a personalized cover sheet.

Optional Cover-matching control systems are also available for the perfect binders.

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ISG cold glue: What are the benefits and/or risks of using IBIS’s unique ISG cold-glue system instead of wire staples to make saddle-bound booklets?

Multi-part answer:

  • Cold gluing results in a much higher page pull strength, particularly on the outside and middle sheets. (However, note that ISG glue strength may be reduced if using coated and non-absorbent papers).
  • Cold glued books lie much flatter than wire-stitched books because wire-stitching crushes and opens up the book spine, and because the moisture in the cold glue weakens the glue fibers resulting in a much tighter ‘set' to the sheet folds. Flat lying books are extremely important if envelope-inserting these booklets after binding.
  • Cold gluing is easier to use than wire-stitching because no adjustments are needed when changing book size or thickness.
  • Cold glued books are easier to recycle compared with wire-stitched books
  • Cold glued books look better and contain no risk of damage to a child’s fingers (as can exist with wire staples).
  • An optical sensor constantly monitors the glue application and stops the machine immediately if the glue is not being applied to the book
  • The cold glue system requires less maintenance than stitching heads
  • Booklets bound with ISG cold glue show evidence of any pages which have been removed by the end-user (if the paper stock is uncoated and absorbent). This can be important when producing insurance documents.
    Note: For these reasons many Smart-binder users prefer to use ISG cold glue instead of wire-staples. However, two disadvantages of ISG cold glue are that the bond strength is reduced if used heavily coated paper stocks, and also the booklets may not lay-open so readily (the lay flat is better than wire-stitching but the lay-open is not as good as stitching.)

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How does the cost of cold glue compare with the cost of wire staples?

Anwer: The consumable cost of cold glue is generally similar to the cost of wire stapling (cold gluing is slightly cheaper when making thin booklets and slightly more expensive when making very thick booklets)

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Multiple covers and insert-sheets: Can the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher change covers automatically on-the-run and/or feed insert sheets inside the book?

Answer: Yes the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher may be fitted with cover/insert feeder CIF-102 and an additional cover/insert feeder CIF-101. Feeder #2 may be loaded with the next cover while the current cover is feeding from feeder #1.

Alternatively, the additional cover feeder CIF-101 may be used to feed a pre-printed insert sheet at any position inside the book.

Note: if the insert must be in the center of the book (or is fed from the feeder CIF-101) then there must be a gap large enough between sheets coming from the printer into which to feed the insert.
Note: any inserted sheets will be bound into the book. If a loose insert is required then this must be inserted into the book using a separate post-trimmer inserter machine.

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How frequently must the cover pile be replenished

Answer: It depends on whether the optional CAL-101 ‘Cover Autoloader’ is fitted or not.  Without the Autoloader the max pile height is about 20mm, but this increases to about 200mm if the Autoloader is used thereby greatly increasing the time between reloads. The actual time between reloads depends on the running speed and the average number of pages in the booklets.  The thinner the booklet the faster the covers must be fed and the feeder must then be reloaded more frequently.  

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How much time is needed to reload the SB-095 or SB-097 sheet pile feeders and how frequently must they be reloaded?

Answer: The SB-095 and SB-097 feeders can accept up to about 5,000 sheets.  The time between reloads depends on how fast the machine is running and the average number of pages in the booklets.

The Smart-binder must be stopped to reload the sheet pile feeder. The reload time depends on whether one of the optional loading trolley systems (PLT-100 or HPL-100) is used or not. Allow for a few minutes to reload without the trolley system or about 35 secs with the trolley system (if trolley is already loaded in advance).  

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Perforated sheets: Can the Smart-binder saddle-stitcher produce books with tear-out pages?

Answer: Yes. The optional DMP-100 Dynamic micro-perforator system may be integrated just before the Smart-binder folder. This allows any sheet to receive a perforation (perf) line at any position parallel to the sheet flow direction. A bar-code digit on each sheet controls whether that sheet is to receive a perf line or not. Each perf wheel is individually controlled so a sheet may receive a perf line on one side, but not the other side, or both sides together.

The DMP-101 system offers 4 perf heads instead of 2.

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Can the Smart-binder produce books with holes?

Answer: Yes. Both hole drilling and (lower cost) hole punching modules are available to be connected on-line with the Smart-binder delivery.

A single corner hold punch CHP-100 is also available to be installed inside the standard SB trimmer

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Can the Smart-binder produce books with loop stitches to fit into ring binders?

Answer: Yes. The standard wire stitched heads may be exchanged for loop-stitch heads. In this case the stitcher drive upgrade LSM-100 must also be selected because loop heads require additional drive force.

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Can the Smart-binder be fitted with an automatic book stacker and strapper?

Answer: Yes. A variety of stacking, wrapping and/or strapping/banding modules are available for direct connection to the Smart-binder delivery. See automatic book stackers BSS-10 or BSS-11 or pile strapper PS-100

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Spine squaring: Can the Smart-binder produce saddle-bound books with spines that have been pressed into a 'square' shape?

Answer: IBIS offers two different tyupes of spine squarer (the SM-101 or the heavier duty ARSD-S-100) that can press book spines into a square shape and can be fitted directly to the Smart-binder delivery conveyor.

See section 7.4 of our Smart Binder Product Guide for more information

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Two-up production: Can saddle-bound booklets be made 'two-up' by using a trimmer center-knife and what are the restrictions when using the center knife?

Answer: Yes. The Smart-binder has an optional center-knife system CKN-100, CKN-101, CKN-102 (with 6.3mm, 9.5mm or 0mm knife width respectively) which results in two booklets being delivered side-by-side. The minimum book spine length when using the 9.5mm trimmer center knife is 95mm. The maximum book thickness when using the 6.3 or 9.5mm trimmer center knife is about 3- 4mm, but this can be increased to 10mm if using the single-bladed center knife CKN-102 . If using the trimmer center knife when wire-stitching, then two extra stitch heads are normally required.

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What is the minimum book spine length and minimum book width?

Answer: For normal one-up production the minimum spine length is 200mm. When using the optional center-knife CKN-101 for 2-up production then the minimum spine length is 95mm. The stretched model SB-X must be used if spine lengths are between 150 and 210mm.

The minimum book width is normally 119mm, but a special modification SBT-100 is available to reduce this dimension to 82.5mm if required

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What is the maximum book spine length and width?

Answer: The standard Smart-binder can produce a maximum finished book size of 320mm (spine) x 230mm, less trim off.. 
The stretched model Smart-binder model SB-XW can produce a maximum book size to 457mm (spine length) x 273mm (width), less trim off.

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What are the different ways the Smart-binder can produce A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets?

Answer: The standard Smart-binder can produce A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets in landscape format 2-up using the optional trimmer center-knife.

The extended model Smart-binder SB-X can produce A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets in portrait format 2-up using the optional trimmer center-knife.

The standard Smart-binder can produce A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets in portrait format directly from a narrow web (320mm or 12" width) but it is inefficient for most web printers to print on a narrow web. The standard Smart-binder can produce A5 or 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" booklets in portrait format directly from a wide web (450mm or 18") by either using the RF-100 rotator/folder or the TUSDC-100 modules

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What are the options for removing trimmer waste?

Answer: The normal waste removal system is a simple inclined conveyor which delivers the trim-off paper strips into a customer-supplied collection bin.  Two different conveyor systems are available, for delivery into either a small bin (TWC-100) or a large bin (TWC-101).

If the customer has a factory vacuum waste extract system, then it is preferred to connect the Smart-binder to this instead of using the normal waste conveyor. In this case we supply a waste collection ‘chute’ with a circular outlet for piping connection to customers extract system

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What electrical power supply voltage is needed for the Smart-binder?

Answer: Any 3 phase voltage supply may be used, but voltages outside the 380 – 420 Volt range require the optional voltage transformer TFR-100.

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How can the normal tearing of the spine corners be avoided when making very thick books?

Answer: The Smart-binder can be fitted with an optional book clamp system (TCA-100 / B0000586) that reduces or eliminates spine corner tearing.  This assembly is customized to suit a particular book width, so the book width must be specified when ordering this option.

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Can the Smart-binder be used in-line with cut-sheet printers?

Answer: Yes. The Smart-binder SB-1 range is intended for use with slower speed printers, such as cut-sheet printers. A sheet rotator and/or sheet direction changer may be needed in between the printer and the Smart-binder.
Note: Cut-sheet printers normally deliver large sheets short-edge leading and small sheets long-edge leading. The Smart-binder must receive sheets long-edge leading (for normal portrait format booklet production).

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Sheet buffering: When running a Smart-binder system in-line with a digital printer is it possible to ‘buffer’ the sheets so the Smart-binder input speed does not always have to be exactly the same as the Printer speed?

Answer: Yes, we offer the option SBS-100 buffer for this purpose. This SBS-100 module allows some very thin booklets to be produced (if mixed with thicker booklets) without reducing the in-line printer speed. It also allows the Smart-binder to stop and start (i.e. to clear a paper jam) without stopping the in-line web printer.

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Factor climate control: How important is climate control when producing books or booklets?

Answer: The condition of the paper is a critical factor in determining how well a high speed book-binding system will perform. Factory air conditioning is particularly important when external temperature and humidity is outside the normal range. Hot and dry paper will attract much higher levels of static charge which the environment must be carefully managed. We recommend to maintain relative humidity within the range 40-60% and temperature between 18 and 25ºC (64 and 77ºF).

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