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Welcome to our Bindery Success Blog!

Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 Andre Palko
There is a funny tendency in human beings to undermine their very own efforts at succeeding. Maybe it’s nature or nurture or a combination of both. Most of us at one time or another (me included) are guilty of occasional ‘self-sabotage.’ Here are five signs that you might be dooming yourself to falling short of your potential and harming your career. You Feel Entitled Some years ago I...Read More
Friday, Apr 11, 2014 Andre Palko
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Rodrigo Castellanos of Offset Universal, a printing company with an extensive perfect binding and saddle stitching operation. Although his company focuses on publishing and printing books for direct clients, their bindery equipment capabilities led them to do trade bindery work for numerous printing companies throughout Mexico. He offers insight on...Read More
Friday, Apr 4, 2014 Andre Palko
Most folding machine operators are familiar with the use of marks to aid in setting up any given folding job. Depending on your model of folding machine, it’s likely loaded with marks, indicators, dials and rulers to make it easier to set up. You probably have a lot of home-made marks of your own. Those of you with newer computer controlled automatic folders have it even better. You can dial up...Read More
Friday, Mar 21, 2014 Andre Palko
Dog ears can be a thorn in the side of folding machine operators. Sometimes a simple turn of the dial to adjust the inside panel fold length is all that’s needed to fix it. Other times it seems nothing will work. I would sometimes feel like it was a conspiracy of everyone from the designer through pressroom to see how creative, clever and experienced I really was. In true adherence to Murphy’s...Read More
Friday, Mar 14, 2014 Andre Palko
Want to find out if your next interviewee for a bindery department opening is a good candidate? Try this experiment. Show them a piece of bindery equipment and briefly explain what it does. Then pause for a few moments and ask them, “What’s on your mind?” If they answer, “I was wondering what else I could do with it,” then you have a lifer who is perfect for bindery work. Born out of ...Read More
Friday, Mar 7, 2014 Andre Palko
My first day in the printing industry made me feel like I was one step closer to being a rock star. I had moved to New York City in the late 70’s, telling my parents I was going there to attend college. The real reason was that I wanted to join a rock-n-roll band, get a record deal and tour the world. You had to go to New York or LA to make that happen. I found a band that would have me...Read More
Friday, Feb 28, 2014 Andre Palko
Small tabletop folding machines are simple, reliable pieces of bindery equipment. With their utility at doing short runs quickly and their prevalence in the used equipment market, they’re a popular option for digital print finishing departments. Maybe you received a little training when you bought your folder or perhaps you just read the manual and watched a video. If you’re new to folding...Read More
Friday, Feb 21, 2014 Andre Palko
It can be a headache, but there are times when it’s necessary to run a scoring or perforating job twice through a piece of bindery equipment. Maybe you have one creasing tool available but this job calls for two or three. Perhaps it’s an equipment scheduling problem and the small folder with one scoring tool is the only one available that day. The headache usually starts with the second pass...Read More
Friday, Feb 14, 2014 Andre Palko
If you manage a post-press operation, you know how easy it is to be pulled every which way by the daily details of running, maintaining and scheduling a mix of bindery equipment. Throw in an equipment breakdown, a personnel issue, or a snow storm and your headaches multiply. It’s a tough spot to be in. The post-press end of the printing business is very much a hands-on affair and...Read More
Friday, Feb 7, 2014 Andre Palko
I’d wager that the real story of our work life isn’t in the bindery and printing jobs found on our resumes or posted on our LinkedIn profiles. What makes us who we are is more often found in those long-forgotten jobs we don’t bother to include. Other times it’s the story behind a job that carries the real meaning and lesson, often in ways we don’t expect. My first work experience isn’t...Read More
Friday, Jan 31, 2014 Andre Palko
Reading bindery equipment instruction manuals (or any manual for that matter!) can be a chore. It’s work to learn something new. For the writer of the manual, it’s often hard to clearly convey a task in the written word. And sometimes as readers, we find ourselves trying to understand pages that might be poorly translated from another language. So the temptation is to leave the manual in its...Read More
Friday, Jan 24, 2014 Andre Palko
Usually our work habits guide us smoothly through the day. We know without thinking which way to load the paper in the folder, press or cutter. We know by heart all the make-ready steps for dozens of jobs on numerous pieces of bindery equipment. Yet sometimes these good habits can turn against us. Here are four simple things to try when perplexed by your next post-press problem. 1)...Read More
Friday, Jan 17, 2014 Andre Palko
As you increase the speed on a saddle stitcher (or any piece of bindery equipment,) you're likely to see more and more defects as the speed increases. I often quote Kevin Carey from his ABC’s of Diecutting , “Increasing speed exposes weaknesses in methods, in practices, in tools, in technology, in organization, and in knowledge, skill and experience.” There are many components that make up...Read More
Friday, Jan 10, 2014 Andre Palko
This is one of those bindery tricks that folding machine operators might not need often, but when needed can save a lot of setup time. If you’re folding a sheet in thirds and you don’t have a calculator or ruler handy, this technique will mark the sheet precisely in thirds, and you don’t have to convert from decimal to fractions of an inch. In addition to helping with setup on folders,...Read More