IBIS Smart-binder is the premium saddle-binding solution for in-line
operation with more systems installed around the world than from
any other manufacturer. In-line exam paper production is one of
the most common applications for the Smart-binder system.
printing companies are using IBIS Smart-binders to produce exam
papers than any other digital finishing system. The reasons for
this are as follows:
1) Booklet integrity
It is essential that no sheet ends up in the wrong exam paper. The
Smart-binder therefore has a fully integrated sheet detection and
tracking system (using the bar codes on each sheet) to ensure the
integrity of each finished paper. If there is any risk that a documents
integrity could be compromised then it is automatically rejected
2) Tighter control of printed sheets using in-line finishing
Most exam paper producers prefer to run the Smart-binder in-line
with the digital printer to avoid piles of printed sheets (or rolls)
lying around the factory awaiting finishing. This reduces any security
risk that a printed sheet could find its way into the wrong hands.
3) High reliability with minimum maintenance
The Smart-binder is a very heavy-duty system designed to operate
24/7 in-line with a high speed digital web printer with minimum
maintenance, high reliability and maximum possible 'up-time'.
4) High speed output
The Smart-binder can run constantly at very high speeds (typically
producing around 7,000 A4 booklets/hour, making 8 16 exam
page papers in-line with a printer running at up to 130 metres/min
5) Variable page extents
Run lengths for exam papers can be very low, although volumes are
often high, e.g: a Smart-binder may produce one million exam paper
booklets a month. It is therefore a key feature that the Smart-binder
can change the number of pages in each booklet on-the-run
under bar-code control, while maintaining the integrity (correct
page sequence) in each individual booklet.
To help produce variable page extent exam papers, particularly if
some documents contain a very small number of pages (4 or 8), we
have developed a new sheet buffer module.
in-line buffer module stores sheets arriving from the printer and
feeds them into the Smart-binder at a rate determined by the number
of sheets in each book. It also allows the Smart-binder to stop
and restart without stopping the web printer, improving the efficiency
of the whole line.
6) Cover matching
A separately-printed cover sheet, if needed, may be fed from the
optional Smart-binder cover feeder. If personalised then the cover
may be bar coded so the Smart-binder can ensure it is correct one
for the booklet to which it is attached
7) Document personalisation
Exam papers may be personalised and may include the students
name. Consecutive papers may include the same questions but in a
different sequence (to reduce risk of a student copying from their
neighbour during the exam).
8) Data Tracking
The Smart-binder includes a sophisticated tracking system using
bar code (or Datamatrix) code readers and sensors. The Smart-binder
control PC retains log files containing production data relating
to each booklet produced, so rejected booklets can be reprinted.
The production log files may be viewed externally with a network
connection if required
9) Answer sheets and automated marking
The Smart-binder can produce a document which includes both the
questions and an answer sheet. The answer sheet may be fed separately
from the cover/insert sheet feeder and bound together with the other
sheets, or be loose or easily detachable. If automatic marking
of completed exam papers is required the booklet spine may be cut
off and pages fed individually though the auto-marking machine.
In other cases the answer sheet itself is removed from the booklet
for auto-marking processing.
10) Wire stitching or ISG cold gluing
IBISs unique and patented ISG cold glue system provides a
higher quality binding alternative to wire stitching. This results
in high booklet integrity for exam paper production as sheets cannot
be removed from the booklet without tearing the paper. The improved
booklet lay-flat this system offers also helps with subsequent inserting
and mailing operations.
a video HERE
of the IBIS Smart-binder system in operation, February 2015, at
the Hunkeler HID show in Luzern, including the optional sheet buffer
following customers use the Smart-binder exclusively to produce
exam test papers:
Case study 1: UK
In 2008 this customer purchased the first six IBIS Smart-binders
for exam paper production. Three were installed in-line with cut-sheet
printers and three in-line with web toner printers. Since then the
Smart-binders fed from the web printers have each produced over
60 million booklets. In 2014 this customer ordered two more Smart-binders
which were installed in-line with ink-jet web printers and in 2015
two more in-line Smart-binders were added. By July 2015 we will
have installed 10 in-line Smart-binders at this site.
Case study 2: Japan
In 2006 customer TF ordered their first Smart-binder
systems to produce examination test papers for Japanese students.
These machines operate off-line using high-pile sheet
feeders fed from colour-printed sheets using a loading trolley system.
From 20062010 IBIS installed a total of 9 Smart-binders at
this site in Tokyo, all of which are used to produce exam test papers
of variable thickness and with dynamic sheet perforation. All exam
booklets produced by TF are bound using the Smart-binders
unique ISG cold-glue system instead of being wire stitched. Even
booklet has separately-fed cover sheet which is personalised and
matched to the inside sheets.
Case Study 3: USA
This customer has special requirements for finishing exam papers
in-line with ink-jet web printers and use three customised
Smart-binders for this purpose.
Case Study 4: Africa
Over the last 5 years, a number of IBIS Smart-binders have been
installed at customer sites in Tanzania, Malawi, S,Africa and Zimbabwe
to produce exam papers in-line with web printers. We are increasingly
finding that such countries, which in the past have chosen to have
their exam papers produced in other countries (such as in the UK),
are now preferring to bring production home. The extra security
resulting from Digital web printing with in-line IBIS finishing
is contributing to this change.
Case study 5 : Brazil
This customer ordered a Smart-binder system to produce exam papers
from pre-printed rolls (near line solution).
Case study 6: New Zealand
The customer ordered one Smart-binder system, together with Sheet
Buffer SBS-100, cover feeder and an additional insert sheet feeder,
to produce exam papers at a customer site in Wellington, NZ. This
will operate in-line with an ink-jet web printer at up to 127 m/min
Case Study 7: UK
In 2013 we installed two Smart-binders at this site to produce exam
papers. One operates in-line with a cut-sheet printer and the other
in-line with a high speed web printer. For this customer we developed
a special corner hole punch which is installed in the Smart-binder
Case Study 8: Turkey
In 2014 we installed one Smart-binder in-line with an ink-jet printer
to produce exam papers at this leading printer on the University
campus, Ankara, Turkey.
Please do contact
me to discuss your requirements and for more information.
John Cracknell, Managing Director
IBIS Bindery Systems UK