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Rotate Signatures on Your Gatherer: a Perfect Binding Tip

[fa icon="calendar"] Fri, Jan 06, 2012 / by Andre Palko

Perfect Binder RB5Even if you never get near any perfect binding equipment, take a minute to watch this short video. For those of us involved in bindery work in any way, it contains a simple, relevant lesson.

Sent in by Rodrigo Castellanos of Tech-ni-fold Mexico and filmed at Offset Universal, it demonstrates a problem they sometimes encounter in their perfect binding runs. Occasionally the folding imposition on the web presses is such that the folded edge of the signatures is on the wrong side for the gathering and binding operation.

Book Turn Diagram Arrow200In this case, the fold is on the short side but the spine runs the long dimension. The collator/gatherer is set up to feed with the fold side down for jogging and grinding. In short, the fold on the wrong side means the book needs to be rotated 90 degrees after collating so that the spine can be ground and glued.

The gatherer feeding their Muller RB5 binder is not set up to do this automatically and at first glance it would seem a bindery worker might have to be positioned to do this manually. On a short run this is no big deal. When you have millions of books to bind, it IS a big deal!

The solution is ingeniously simple: change the timing on the gatherer delivery. This creates a vertical version of the "Bump and Turn" often seen in folder-gluers and other finishing equipment (and demonstrated on a folding machine in a previous Bindery Success Blog post).  During normal operation the collated book block slides smoothly in to the delivery pocket. By taking it out of regular time, the book hits the edge of the delivery pocket in such way as to tilt (bump) it forward 90 degrees, landing on the edge that needs to be bound.

It works so well in this case it appears the machine was designed to run this way! No matter what kind of bindery or other printing equipment we run, this video reminds us to keep a little out-of-the-box thinking in our arsenal, to step back from all our experience and look at a problem with the eyes of a child.

Click the Video to Watch - Run Time is 70 seconds
As always, feel free to share your experiences and comments below!

Topics: Bindery How-To Tips, Perfect Binding

Andre Palko

Written by Andre Palko

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