Park Communications has installed new perfect binding capacity at its plant in Beckton, East London. And as part of the investment has introduced sewn binding capacity for the first time.
The company has replaced a 20-hopper Muller Martini Acoro 5 binder with a Kolbus 610 and at the same time it has bought a Ventura MC160 sewer. The move is part replacement and part a response to growing demand, says managing director Alison Branch. “We decided to upgrade binding at the same time as replacing the old binder, adding a criss cross unit at the gathering line so that we can section sew,” she says.
Park has also added capacity to produce Otabind finishes for products that need to lay flat, so can display spreads better. The cover is not drawn on to the block as in normal perfect binding providing greater flexibility to the book.
The new binding line will also cut the temperature needed for PUR binding by 20ºC, an improvement that addresses the need for greater sustainability. The company no longer needs to ship sewn binding to outside trade supplies, reducing the transport miles for a job and improving turnaround times for this work.
It will also bind six- and eight-page cover sections in a single pass which with a reduced makeready waste also has an impact on improving the environment profile of a job. “We have been receiving more and more questions about sustainability over the last three months. This is coming from the top from the large corporates and coming from the youngsters, including schoolchildren. We are all being challenged.”
The investment offers greater creative options to customers. To date Park has been attracting sewn work for report and accounts and some magazines “and some of the brochure work we do requires sewing”. It can also bind larger books, to 317mm wide, and thicker books, to 70mm thick.
Branch continues: “With recent growth in our client base, and an increasingly heated battle for creative differentiation in print media across industries, we are investing heavily in tools and processes needed to give our clients that competitive edge.
“We have customers asking us for naked binding and it will be part of what we can offer, though we need to understand how to apply the cold glue needed to seal the threads.
“People are now looking for their print to attract attention and stimulate interest. People want what helps them to stand out.”
While the company is trying to offer everything from under one roof, it cannot yet justify investment in some technologies: case making and volume foiling for example. "Demand is not yet at the threshold to underpin an investment,” she says.
By Gareth Ward