The binding machine is one long conveyer belt with a few stops along the way. First the printed and folded sheets are collated together to make something called a "Fold & Gather" (F&G). This F&G travels down the belt to the saw. The saw trims 1/8 inch off of the bind edge of the F&G so the binding glue can be applied between the individual pages. The F&G is run over rollers covered with hot glue then is off to the covering station. The covering station looks like two expressways coming together. The F&G's are traveling along one road, and the printed covers are traveling along another road. When the roads come together the cover is applied to the freshly glued F&G.

The next step on the conveyer belt is the 3-knife. Here is where the paperbound book is trimmed to it's final size. All of the folds are cut off along with extra cover material. This opens up the text pages and makes the cover flush. Now the perfect bound book is ready to be boxed.

Saddle Stitcher

Another form of binding is called Saddle Stitching. A saddle stitching machine actually binds and trims three sides of the book in one operation. The signatures are pulled open and dropped in proper order onto a moving "saddle". The assembled signatures receive a cover in the same manner and then pass under the stitching heads where wire staples are applied. They are then turned on their side and travel into the trimmer. This operation is more appropriate for books with page counts of around 76 or less.


Our bindery deparment also does special finishing work that cannot be done by the binding machines. Depending upon customer specifications, this step may involve loose inserts (mailing cards etc.), tipping (hand gluing of one or more additional pages), machine drilling (holes placed along the spine), shrinkwrapping (machine wrapping of single or multiple copies in clear plastic),or a variety of other steps requested by the customer.

Case bindery is the next stop on our tour...

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