Heidelberg: Probinder Makes U.S. Debut At On Demand

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, April 7, 2003 - Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) announced today the introduction of Probinder, an innovative new finishing system for double-loop wire comb binding, which is being demonstrated at On Demand in New York (April 7th - April 9th 2003) this week and will soon be available in the United States. At the tradeshow, Heidelberg is demonstrating the nearline version of the Probinder, in conjunction with a Digimaster 9150I Network Imaging System. Heidelberg also offers an inline version of the Probinder which represents a milestone in both the postpress sector and a first in the global printing industry. Surveys of printshop customers show a steady increase of wire comb binding in professional finishing. Many customers want to use this form of binding on a more regular basis. Print shops often prefer wire-comb-bound books because they are easy to handle, practical and the individual pages of these documents can be turned over a full 360-degrees. This feature is perfect for a variety of applications, including user manuals, training manuals, annual reports, presentation documents and cookbooks. Customers also like the stability and visual quality of wire comb binding. Now with Probinder, Heidelberg offers an innovative finishing solution far superior to competitive offerings. One Wire Coil From a single wire, the Probinder produces the right wire comb for each individual book. The wire coil only needs changing when there is a color change. By eliminating the inventory of prefabricated wire combs in different diameters, lengths, colors and wire thicknesses, space and cost savings are realized. The Probinder is ideal for books-on-demand. It provides the user with a versatile and profitable finishing solution specially designed for shorter runs and more frequent format changes. The maximum book thickness is two centimeters. The Probinder can handle between two and 200 pages of 80 gsm. The Probinder features an impressive level of automation and user-friendliness. It performs the whole process of producing the diameter-dependent wire combs for the different document thickness. The device takes no time at all to set up. It adjusts automatically to the correct binding format or document thickness. The minimal make-ready times make finishing efficient and flexible. "When our Probinder systems are available later this year, we will offer a revolutionary change in the finishing process of on-demand print jobs," said Wolfgang Pfizenmaier, president of Heidelberg's Digital Solution Center. "Our Probinder system concept, with inline, nearline and offline configurations, is designed to meet the needs of digital print businesses worldwide, regardless of their print volumes, workflow needs or the types of jobs they produce." Wide Range of Uses The Probinder comes in three configurations, making it ideal for digital print shops, small-format offset print shops, in-house printing departments and bookbinders. Customers can choose from inline, nearline and offline configurations, depending on their binding volumes and workflow needs. Probinder offline customers will have the opportunity to upgrade configurations. When integrated into any of the Digimaster digital presses, the Probinder produces documents inline that are ready for immediate dispatch. It is controlled entirely from the front end of the digital press. The Probinder nearline configuration consists of a unique sheet feeding system for different paper weights within one set, a hole puncher and the binding device. The nearline system permits full integration into a digital workflow. Documents are finished with an integrated hole puncher, creating a true end-to-end process. The touch-screen display and the easy-to-operate software simplify the operation. In the offline version, the Probinder automatically binds pre-punched book blocks with an appropriate wire comb. Benefits for Users, End Customers There are many advantages for the user, including only keeping one wire thickness in stock and no longer being tied to using pre-produced diameters. The automatic setting feature saves time, offers outstanding flexibility and avoids errors. For example, with competing technologies, the punching process before the actual binding operation is very time-intensive. The hole punching stage is seamlessly integrated into the workflow and performed both automatically and in parallel with the inline and nearline versions. Early customer feedback revealed that many print shop staff and bookbinders singled out this feature as the most important aspect of the Probinder concept. It eliminates many laborious manual processes and makes the production flow more profitable. Users can broaden their portfolio of services depending on requirements and end customers receive their products quickly and according to their particular needs.