We speak regularly with our customers around the world to obtain feedback about our products, our parts supply and our service support.
Alphabet SA, based in Athens, purchased a Smart-binder model SB-4 in 2008. This system has been used during the last 12 years to produce perfect-bound books which are made using a combination of ISG cold glue binding and conventional hot melt (EVA) glue
Theodore Gavalas, Alphabet, with his Smart-binder SB-4 system. The perfect binder is connected in-line (see floorplan below) but not quite visible in this photo
We recently asked Alphabet to confirm that they are still using their Smart-binder system and whether they are happy with the book quality and our support. We received the following response from Theodore:
"Of course we are using our Smart-binder! Definitely 12 hours every working day!
The Smart-binder SB-4 is used to produce only 'perfect-bound' books. The Smart-binder converts the printed sheets into 'signatures', mostly 16 or 20 pages depending on paper weight or total number of pages in the book. The sheets in each signature are ISG cold-glue bound together.
The signatures are automatically collected into book-blocks by the SCF and transported into the CP Bourg binder clamp. We roughen the book blocks using the binder milling head but with a minimum force - just a touch. Paper grain direction is always parallel to the spine. A book must be easy to open so when comes to binding, good lay-flat is a must, provided that sheets also stay in place.
A folded sheet (signature) can be bound more reliably than a loose one, but a big advantage is also aesthetic - there is no paper edge in the spine that after heavy use will become visible eventually - even if it will stay there with PUR.
The comparison is not actually between hot-melt and PUR (we use these days hot-melt with 85% the bond strength of PUR without the hassle) but between loose sheets and folded - and here comes the Smart-binder. With folded sheets (ISG glued signatures) we apply less hot-melt glue and have a lay-flat book without the fear of spine "breaking".
We also supply to "traditional" book publishers and these customers believe that a "real" book comes only with signatures so they like our books - they like to see the folded signatures at the spine.
One interesting question your prospect customers may ask is: Why use an IBIS Smart-binder SB4 (like we have here at Alphabet) in the 'PUR' glue era: . My short answer for them is to get such equipment if they want a different and better digitally-printed product :- this is how we sell and ask a premium price for our Smart-Binder-produced books.
We have not ordered any Smart-binder spare parts recently but all previous orders in the past were delivered on time. All these years we have had minimal downtime thanks to Alan (old days), Ian, Sophie and all of you (at IBIS)".
Mr Theodore Gavalas,
This latest customer feedback confirms that the Smart-binder SB-4 is capable of high volume, reliable and continuous production of high quality books, over many years.
For more information about the Smart-binder and its suitability for your application please contact IBIS.
John Cracknell, Managing Director
Mike Donovan, International Technical Sales Manager
IBIS Bindery Systems UK