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Friday, Sep 12, 2014 Andre Palko
One of the best and most expensive lessons I ever learned was taught to me by an unprofitable saddle stitching job. I was reminded of it, and of the unchanging nature of humans, as I read a short article in a printing trade publication. It was written exactly one hundred years ago in 1914 yet it’s still timely. First the article, and then the story of a good idea gone bad. “The unprofitable...Read More
Friday, Sep 5, 2014 Andre Palko
A Bindery Success ™ reader recently sent us a story that illustrates the sometimes amusing difficulties of troubleshooting bindery work. In this case they were saddle-stitching a book with a reply envelope inserted between the pages. Stitcher operators know it’s a bit of a tricky job. It’s a delicate operation getting the envelopes to feed accurately, to remain in position, and to remain in...Read More
Friday, Aug 29, 2014 Andre Palko
Fold plate indicators don’t always tell us the truth. Set one at any given length and then fold a sheet. You might get the dimension you want on the first sheet if you’re experienced on that folder. More likely you’ll have to adjust it once or twice. This little quirk of folding machines isn’t significant when you’re folding simple parallel fold jobs. You just make an adjustment or two and...Read More
Friday, Aug 22, 2014 Andre Palko
In recent years digital printing has spread out into the world, with many small businesses taking on the role of mini in-plant printer. Designers, wedding invitation specialists, funeral homes, boutique printers, promotional item manufacturers, and realtors are just a few types of companies who have added printing to their operations. In the old school world of commercial printing, there is...Read More
Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 Andre Palko
One frequently asked bindery question we get is “How can I produce multiple scores, very close together, on my folding machine?” These scores might be for a few different purposes such as perfect bound book covers, product cases and wraps, tray inserts, table tents, raffle ticket booklets, or other specialty folded items. As you or your folder operator might have already discovered, there...Read More
Friday, Aug 8, 2014 Andre Palko
When you run cover stocks on a buckle folding machine, you can end up with a curl that affects how well the job will run. Naturally, to get maximum benefit from your folder you want the ability to run as big a range of cover stocks and card stock as possible. The type of job we’re talking about here is one in which you run a single, unfolded sheet through the main, parallel section. It’s...Read More
Friday, Aug 1, 2014 Andre Palko
A recent email caused a bindery flashback, uh…I mean memory…about a piece of bindery equipment that I hadn’t thought about for years. Perhaps it was the stress of running that machine more so than the passage of time that banished the experience to the far corners of my memory. Brian Dickson of Gazette Printers submitted a clever tip on how to fix a register problem on the Harris...Read More
Friday, Jul 25, 2014 Andre Palko
This is, without a doubt, my all-time favorite bindery tip. I say that because I struggled with this particular issue for many, many years. Then one day an old-timer I was working with said, “Hey, all you have to do is this…” and he shared the technique shown in the video below. Just like that, my problem disappeared! As the title says, the problem we’re talking about is commonly called a...Read More
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 Andre Palko
Here’s a ‘scoring’ technique borrowed from the greeting card industry. It might seem a little old school, but it’s still used quite often, and it’s a great technique to have available when you need it. The video below demonstrates how to create a cut score (also called a kiss cut, or semi slit) on your folding machine. The term has a slightly different meaning in the packaging industry,...Read More
Friday, Jul 11, 2014 Andre Palko
Once again I find myself, late at night, standing over a folding machine scratching my head. I flash back to many late night struggles in the bindery, only this time I’m upset because the folding machine is working TOO well. You see, I set out earlier in the day to make a short video demonstrating an easy technique for eliminating dog ears on folded brochures. A sixty second video can often...Read More
Friday, Jul 4, 2014 Andre Palko
The one unchangeable fact about print finishing is that there is always a need to find ways to be more productive with what you have on hand. Deadlines can change, workloads can overwhelm without notice, and new equipment can force changes to old operating habits.  Whether your equipment is old or new, here are six areas for study that can yield some surprising improvements in...Read More
Friday, Jun 27, 2014 Andre Palko
Mention ‘friction feeder’ to someone with bindery experience and you just might see them curl their lip in disgust. It’s in the same category as ‘static’, something to be avoided. But like static, friction has its uses and benefits when understood and applied correctly, especially with regard to friction feeders . When I was brand new to folding machines, I was introduced to an old Bell...Read More
Friday, Jun 20, 2014 Andre Palko
One frustrating aspect of a bindery supervisor’s job is that you often get a lot of responsibility yet have limited authority. You might be tasked each day with finishing dozens of jobs worth many thousands of dollars. Yet you have little or no say over how much time will be given your department to produce the work. Your bindery staff is probably limited, overtime spending or extra hiring...Read More
Friday, Jun 13, 2014 Andre Palko
Have you ever spent all night or all weekend working on a job because of a bindery equipment breakdown? If you’re like me, that’s probably the moment you took a keener interest in maintaining your equipment. It’s been my experience that a large number of printing companies have this type of ‘reactive maintenance’ program. When something breaks you fix it. The production demands on employees...Read More