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C. P. Bourg launches digital book manufacturing platform

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

New Bedford, MA – C.P. Bourg, the world's leading technology developer and supplier of document feeding, binding and finishing equipment for on-demand print applications, today launched Book-Trac, a new and highly cost-effective workflow platform for softcover book production that boosts manufacturing productivity and eliminates waste in fast-paced, high-volume digital printing environments.

Developed by C.P. Bourg strategic partner Productive Solutions, Inc., the new Book-Trac system is aimed at higher-volume print shops planning to participate in the rapidly growing global market for digitally-printed photo books, course texts, out-of-print books, catalogs and other on-demand and short-run book production applications. Target installations cut a broad swath, and can include photo book printers, publishing distributors and book binderies, as well as busy commercial and in-plant printers migrating to digital production.

The Book-Trac system has been proven on near-line and on-line bookbinding systems producing literally millions of books at C.P. Bourg customer facilities. One user, Agawam, Massachusetts-based Bridgeport National Bindery recently implemented the Book-Trac system on a Bourg BBF2005 Book Factory operating with a monochrome digital press and a Challenge CMT330 trimmer to automate book production from web-based order entry.

According to Book-Trac developer and Productive Solutions president Shawn Pearsall, the motivation for the Book-Trac platform is simple and compelling.  "Today, hundreds of orders from print buyers for as few as one book are transmitted daily to print service providers via web-to-print applications. Often each job is split, with covers sent to one print stream and page content to a different print stream. In this frenetic production environment, a single binding mix-up can be extremely costly. It not only destroys one book's cover and another's content but also disrupts the entire production sequence, requiring intensive manual intervention to analyze and remedy the problem before production can resume."

Rick Trapilo, C.P. Bourg Inc. Executive Vice President and General Manager adds: "The Book-Trac system provides the missing link print service providers need to automate and speed on-line book production workflows in today's fast-paced, digitally-driven printing environments. However, the Book-Trac system is so versatile, it also can be used with Bourg perfect binders for near-line or off-line production from all-digital or mixed digital and analog print streams."

"Productivity gains using Book-Trac can be enormous, enabling the workflow option to pay for itself within weeks, by achieving zero waste and driving significant manufacturing efficiencies," Trapilo notes.

From Content Matching to Cover-Driven Workflow
In near-line environments, a Book-Trac system can automate production from the time the book block is placed in a C.P. Bourg BB3002 EVA or PUR Perfect Binder through to the trimmed finished product, while achieving 100% manufacturing integrity with zero waste. The system ensures cover-to-content manufacturing integrity for production from virtually any number and type of print workflows, by physically preventing the binder from producing mismatched book cover and content.

When used on-line with the Bourg BBF2005 Book Factory, the basic Book-Trac configuration enables fully automated, just-in-time manufacturing with zero waste – even for producing a high volume of ultra-short-run "books of one."  A single operator can run multiple Book-Trac-equipped production lines simultaneously, merely by loading bar-code-printed covers into the feeder of each BBF2005 binder. The covers can be in any sequence, and the Book-Trac system will ensure every book bound is produced and trimmed accurately.

A Scalable, Cost-Effective Data Platform
A fully functional Book-Trac system for near-line or on-line book production includes a desktop PC controller with the full complement of application software, 17-inch LCD touchscreen monitor, two bar-code readers and associated electronics, plus installation and training.

On-line and near-line C.P. Bourg users with a Challenge CMT330 trimmer can achieve additional significant productivity and efficiency gains by simply field-upgrading the Book-Trac system hardware to automate three-sided trimming.

The Book-Trac platform can be further scaled to track or trigger downstream processes such as book stacking, packaging and shipping. Data captured by the Book-Trac system provides shop management with a real-time window into the production process. This production data also can be fed back into the user's in-plant information technology (IT) systems for any number and variety of purposes – such as to complement web-to-print applications, trigger customer notifications about job status, analyze and improve production methods, increase purchasing efficiency, etc.

"The Book-Trac system differs from other workflow approaches because it exceeds simple cover-to-content matching and job tracking," says James Tressler, Director of Branch Operations for C.P. Bourg. "Book-Trac is a robust, scalable and extensible platform that promotes production efficiency of C.P. Bourg-based book manufacturing lines while transforming them into intelligent assembly processes that can help their users accommodate new and emerging book-on-demand business models.

"In addition, Book-Trac system design and operation is simple and economical," notes Tressler. "The entire system typically can be installed at the user's site, fully tested and ready to run in a few days. Plus, our customers can start with the basic two-reader system, and add hardware and unlock software feature sets as they need them."




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