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Stationery not standing still

Stationery converting may be one of the industry’s more traditional sectors, but recent innovations show that the manufacturers of the equipment and the systems it uses are moving the technology in pace with modern market needs

At this year’s Drupa exhibition, former KPL Paper Systems companies ECH Will, Pemco and Kugler-Womako focused on digital printing: digitally printed books, digital paper sizes and innovative bindings.

With DCbook, ECH Will offered a converting system for high volume, industrial production of digitally printed books from the paper web to the finished stack of individual sheets. It can run inline with a digital printing system and a binding line. Optimum utilisation of working widths, automated size changes, short set-up times and minimum waste paper are claimed to allow the greatest possible productivity around the clock.

Also at the show in Düsseldorf, Kugler-Womako exhibited the latest version of its ProBind binding machine for wire and plastics bound products, which features shorter and easier change-over. Thanks to its modular design, the ProBind is said to meet the requirements for a wide variety of end products in the stationery and book binding industries.

By way of contrast, the company’s semi-automatic EcoBinder demonstrated that ‘eco-friendly’ binding with paper rings – which can also be individually printed – constitutes an innovative alternative to plastics and metal bindings.

Kugler-Womako has also developed PrimeBinder – said to be the first fully automatic binding machine that produces photo books made of genuine photographic paper with a laminated lay-flat binding, from the roll to the hardcover bound book.

Completing the Drupa hat-trick of associated companies, Pemco presented the SHM Digicut, a “highly flexible” precision sheeter for digital, cut-size and folio-size formats. Digital printing calls for a variety of sizes and materials for even the smallest order volumes. With the Digicut, it is claimed all types of material can be converted, from digital printing paper, coated paper and board up to film. The machine’s flexible working widths and fast change-over times also allow for efficient production of small volumes.


The reduction of change-over times due to smaller batches in the fully automatic manufacturing of spiral and wire comb products is an important component for increasing productivity. Bielomatik’s new P 35-49 Plus fully automatic spiral and wire comb binding machine achieves this with electronic setting of the cutting length and sheet count. Quick adjustment when changing sizes is also achieved by means of a new cassette system for the punching and cutting unit.

Bielomatik offers this latest development as “a reliable and low maintenance production line that spans a comprehensive product spectrum and is well prepared forfuture market demands”. It features a print width of 1,120mm and a top web speed of 500m/min. Cutting rate is 1,700/min; wire comb 40 cycles/min (80 A4 products); spiral 45 cycles/min (90 A4 products).

Product size ranges are: bound edge 160-330mm, unbound edge 130-320mm; block thickness 3-22mm.

For production of exercise books, Bielomatik introduced the P 24-90 fully automatic line at Drupa 2012. This “efficient entry level solution with an attractive price-capacity ratio” completes the company’s portfolio in the medium performance level. It offers efficient and reliable performance, the highest product quality, and easy handling and maintenance.

According to the manufacturer, the P 24-90 reaches market segments which could not be served properly with its high performance machines. Now, Bielomatik is able to offer customers “who had to fall back on suppliers from Asia”, a fully automatic solution backed by the same after-sales service as for the high performance machines.

The modular design of the P 24-90 allows the machine to be configured individually for each customer’s requirements, with additional working stations such as cover feeders or a corner rounding unit. By the same token, single working units can be easily upgraded later on.

In yet another development, Bielomatik has agreed to provide a specially adapted version of its roll-to-sheet cross-cutting technology for integration into Tresu’s new mid-web Flexo Innovator package printing/converting line.

The Bielomatik system enables high speed cutting of B3 size substrates, without any tooling costs. It is one option on Tresu’s new ‘open-platform’ press, which can be configured to include any combination of added-value converting processes, such as rotary or flatbed diecutting, in-line, according to each user’s requirements.

Key features of the cross-cutter include the Vacu stop air-injection transport system for mark-free sheet delivery from the point of cutting to stacking, automatic size and material changes, on-the-fly removal of spliced sheets and waste, and automatic pile changing. It also includes a singlesheet register control system, which feeds real-time information to the operator through Tresu’s management information software, allowing remedial action to be taken on-the-fly, as soon as deviations are discovered.

The Flexo Innovator is available in three width options, to suit a range of different applications: up to 900mm, 1,100mm and 1,300 mm. (For more on this new system, see this issue’s News section).

Converters, binders and designers of spiral bound stationery can now customise their products using Bekaert combined colours wire. This new polymer coated wire can be printed with any colour to match, adding a design colour touch to make the finished product easily recognisable and more distinctive.

Bekaert, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of drawn steel wire products, attaches particular importance to co-development, taking a specific problem or more general business situation as its starting point. The company regularly runs joint R&D projects with its customers and suppliers, and it was a co-operative project that resulted in the combined colours wire option.


Demand for full colour envelope printing pushed UK-based Toplink Envelopes to invest in a HPP550 Pro envelope printing system from Intec Printing Solutions. Prior to this installation, the Bristol company was only able to print 2-colour envelopes on its three high speed offset envelope presses.

Toplink specialises in printing envelopes on demand, as well as providing mailing fulfilment solutions. Company owner Kit Kettell comments: “The HPP550 Pro will enable us to produce low volume, full colour envelope print for our customers. Year on year, we have enjoyed a steady growth in the envelope print and mailing industry, offering a one-stop service for all aspects of envelope supply, print and mailing requirements. This is why we were drawn to the Intec system.”

The HPP500 Pro comes with the Intec Rip station, Pro Rip software and the Easybook application for easy set-up of fill sheets, step and repeat, cut stacks, booklets and calendars. This enables Toplink to use the machine as a dedicated envelope printer. Jobs can be stored on the system, making life easier when repeat printing is required.

Over the last two years Toplink has made substantial investment in new envelope printing and inserting machinery, which includes an AB Dick short run press capable of printing letterheads and mailing flyers.

Among the many new contenders from China at Drupa 2012, was Zhejiang Jialida’s EMS-KD70 express mail envelope making machine. Capable of producing envelopes for EMS, UPS and DHL and others, this machine can perform folding and forming, double-sided tape sticking, hotmelt adhesive coating, silicon paper sticking and easy-tearing line production. It will run at speeds of 3,000-6,500 pieces/hour, handling paper weights of 200-350g/m2 and producing envelope sizes between 300mm x 200mm and 350 x 255mm.

Kugler-Womako’s latest ProBind binding machine offers easier change-over ProBind binding machine Bielomatik’s P 35-49 Plus binder “reliable, low maintenance and well prepared for future market demands” Bielomatik’s P 35-49 Plus Customised binding courtesy of Combined Colours wire from Bekaert Combined Colours wire Toplink now provides full colour envelope printing with its Intec HPP550 Pro Intec HPP550 Pro

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