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Trade bindery automates book production via a C.P. Bourg Book Factory

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Agawam, Massachusetts - Bridgeport National Bindery, one of the country's most prominent and respected book binderies, has finished implementing a web-to-print production line that is believed to be one of the world's first fully automated systems for printing and manufacturing softcover books on demand.

By acting automatically on customer orders placed electronically, Bridgeport National Bindery expects the virtually "lights out" production line to shorten the turnaround time on producing softcover books from two days to within 12 to 24 hours. The newly implemented production system utilizes an innovative cover-driven workflow featuring a C.P. Bourg BBF2005 Book Factory connected to a Xerox Nuvera 288 press. The Book Factory and a three-knife trimmer are controlled by the Book-Trac manufacturing integrity system from C.P. Bourg strategic workflow partner Productive Solutions, Inc.

With a rigorous testing phase now completed, the trade bindery expects to begin taking live orders from customers this week, according to its Director of Business and Operations, Jonathan Jacobsen.

Bridgeport National Bindery specializes in binding high-page-count texts for science, technical and medical publishers as well as for other binderies and printers who serve other aspects of those markets. As the costs for book materials and warehousing have risen over the years, specialty publishers have turned to printing these often-page-heavy texts on demand as they are ordered, Jacobsen explains.

"As a company with a 130-year history of library binding, we have always considered an order for 100 books to be a long production run, so it was only natural for us to apply that knowledge and experience to digital printing and finishing methods," says Jacobsen. "In the softcover market, quick turnaround is expected. But the only way to achieve quick turnaround for very short production runs and certainly 'books of one' is for people to handle the books as little as possible," he explains.

Bruce Jacobsen, Bridgeport National Bindery Executive Vice President adds, "We're moving from being a library binder to a print-on-demand service provider. The key to profitable on-demand book production is eliminating 'touches' through the entire process. We've already eliminated administrative steps as we've revamped our software systems. Now the cover-driven workflow of the C.P. Bourg-based Book-Trac system makes it possible for us to achieve that goal on our production floor."

The Book-Trac system taps the Bourg BBF2005 Book Factory as the production gateway to the Xerox Nuvera 288 press. To initiate production, an operator loads up to 50 different covers printed with a special barcode into the BBF2005 cover feeder.  The Book-Trac system tells the digital press to begin printing the corresponding book block and to place the next two jobs into the print queue.

As the collated signatures for each book block enter the BBF2005 binder, the Book-Trac system verifies that the page content matches the corresponding cover before binding can begin. Another barcode is read downstream, as each bound book is routed to the trimming area, to automatically adjust the trim settings of the dedicated Challenge CMT330 three-knife trimmer.

"Book binding is an old business with old practices. We're finding ways to retain the quality while meeting the demands of a faced-paced world," says Bruce Jacobsen. "By implementing a Book-Trac workflow, no one has to touch the book after the cover calls for it to be printed. Each book is printed, bound and trimmed in-line automatically without any equipment having to be adjusted or reset, and we guarantee the finished product is bound to last."




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