Case studies

VISOgraphic solved their problem by automating their booklet production with C.P. Bourg

Aug 13, 2018

Illinois, United States

The key challenge for VISOgraphic was to produce a lot more jobs, smaller and faster. To solve it, they invest in automation : the Bourg booklet making solution (Bridge + BCM-e + BM-e) In-Line with a Ricoh Pro C9110 production printer was the right solution.

First world wide customer of the Bourg Preparation Module (BPM)

May 17, 2018

Netherlands

Thanks to the BPM, the quality of the booklets produced increased, we save a lot of production time and use of operator time thanks to the full automation of the manufacturing process. The market is changing, there is a growing need for automation, it is key for our business. The BPM is the right answer to this need.

Camelot relies on C.P. Bourg & Océ to produce high quality booklets

Oct 31, 2017

New York, United States

Using the Bourg booklet making solution (BSF + BCM-e + BM-e + SQE) In-Line with an Océ varioPrint i300 digital press, Camelot "takes less time to get the work (booklets) out of the door and the end results look great. Everything is more efficient and it pays for itself within 2.5 years" (says John DerBohossian, CEO at Camelot).

Daily Printing cuts production time and gains business opportunities

Dec 20, 2016

Minnesota, United States

Background
Veteran commercial printer with a fast-growing digital business

At Daily Printing, what’s good for customers is good not just for business, but also for its employees. Since the 65-year-old Minnesota-based company is employee-owned, every decision has to make sense on all three levels.

Daily Printing’s decision to expand from traditional commercial sheet printing services into digital is an excellent example of how that works. Since 2007, the company has built a technology platform that includes web-to-print, short-run, variable printing and other digital printing-based services, along with portals and digital delivery. This broad digital offering has proved good for customers because it enables new solutions for their needs; good for business because it is fueling new business opportunities; and good for employees because they get to work with advanced equipment that they actually enjoy using.

Challenges
Stitching that was out of synch with digital orders

Over the past few years, as Daily Printing’s digital capabilities have gained momentum, the amount of short-run work has increased, particularly catalogs and books, which come in as both traditional orders and web-to-print. The company’s Xerox® iGen® 150 Press has the ability to print jobs in small quantities. But, scoring, folding and stitching had to be done in the bindery, creating many inefficiencies.

CEO Peter Jacobson recalls: “We could be running 40,000 96-page catalogs on our stitcher and we’d need to stitch 15, 20, or 100 digital books. Oftentimes, it would take us several days before we could get the short-run digital books on the stitcher. Or, we would have to break in on a larger run which was making it very inefficient and time-consuming for us to be reactive to our digital customers.”

Solution
Xerox® iGen® 150 in-line with a Bourg finishing solution – BCM-e + BM-e + SQE

A visit to Xerox’s Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation in Webster, NY, was all Daily Printing needed to find the right solution – a new Xerox® iGen® 150 in-line with a Bourg Bleed Crease Module (BCM-e), Booklet Maker (BM-e), and Square Edge (SQE) – with the Xerox® IntegratedPLUS Finishing Solution.

Although Xerox presented several finishing options, the integrated Xerox-Bourg solution easily blew away the other contenders. Jacobson cites “the quality of construction, uptime, and ease of use for the operator” as the key reasons the Bourg solution won out.

Bill Ehrlich, Graphic Communication Sales Executive at Xerox, comments: “Daily Printing is all about very high-quality print, with a very high standard of production. When they look at a booklet, it’s very important that the trim and staples are correct, that everything is high-end. They saw that the Bourg equipment is able to produce the very high standard they demand.”

Results
Shorter production time, flatter-laying books, and growth opportunities

Since being installed in July 2015, the integrated digital press and finishing line has significantly boosted efficiency across the Daily Printing production workflow, saving a minimum of one day in process time, as well as reducing production time by 3-4 hours after machine setup.

“Setup often took much longer than it did to actually run the books. But now everything is set up and we’re able to stitch in-line and come out with a finished product, all from one workflow. The sheets come off the iGen 150 at rate of speed; the books are completed, collated, stitched and ready to go. We’re able to literally box off of the iGen 150!

The SQE module proves its value every day for Daily Printing, particularly with heavier stocks and booklets with higher numbers of pages. “The Square Edge is a great option,” says Thomas Moe, Daily Printing’s President. “We get a finished product that lays flatter than a traditional saddle-stitch book. It’s actually become our default; we pretty much square-edge everything.”

The new solution has also opened up opportunities for new services. “Because we can keep everything together, collate and stitch it in-line, we can include variable data and customer data throughout the book,” says Jacobson. “Now, we can utilize the Bourg equipment to be more effective and efficient when we do multi-page, stitched variable booklets or catalogs. We could do it before, but we weren’t very efficient at it and I didn’t like the risk of getting the wrong cover or the wrong information into the book.”

The impact is felt at both the operational and business levels. “It gives us an opportunity to grow because now we can offer personalized books and catalogs as service without any of the issues that used to limit us.”

Daily Printing has boosted its digital capabilities without adding staff, making the decision to add the new Xerox press and Bourg finishing equipment all the sweeter. Moe explains: “All our digital operators are trained to run both the iGen 150 and the Bourg booklet maker with BCM-e, BM-e and SQE, but it only takes one operator at a time to run the whole thing. And, I’m happy to say, they like it. They find it easy to use, very dependable.”

A historic print firm with a modern finish

Nov 2, 2016

United Kingdom

The lively and vibrant St. Paul’s area of Bristol is on a trendy trajectory that is seeing its stock as an up-and-coming, modern area rising fast. But, occupying a prime position along its cobbled streets is a historic gem of the print industry, Taylor Brothers.

Taylor Brothers has been established in Bristol since the 1830s, and is on its fifth generation of Taylors. As the business says: “The print industry has changed beyond all recognition but Taylor Brothers’ central principles have not.” This motto certainly rings true—a successful balance between its historic values and its ability to embrace a modern approach and up-to-date technology is evident.

Print Monthly visited our Bristol neighbours to see its C.P. Bourg kit in action, and learn more about how the technology works at Taylor Brothers, three years on from installation. Tim Thorne, Production Director, explained more about its decision to purchase the Bourg Booklet Maker BM-e and the Bourg Suction Tower BST-e.
Taylor Brothers’ Bourg Booklet Maker BM-e has helped the business bring large finishing jobs in-house.  
“At the beginning of the digital era, we were probably a bit behind in investing,” admits Thorne, adding: “We didn’t want to buy a finishing unit on the back of a digital press, because we wanted something that was a little bit more independent, something we could use with our litho work.
   Taylor Brothers has been established in Bristol since the 1830s.

“We thought when we bought it, when someone put a 5000-run job through, ‘hang on a minute, we can’t do this’ and we did it—now we’re up to 20,000 runs. We just do it, and it works.”

 

The booklet maker BM-e is designed to work with a wide variety of production printers, as well as working in-line with C.P. Bourg products, and it seems that Taylor Brothers has found in C.P. Bourg an approach to technology that mirrors its own need for flexibility.
The Bourg Booklet Maker BM-e at Taylor Brothers works inline with the Collating Tower BST-e.  

Thorne leave us in no doubt that the print finishing specialist is an optimal fit for Taylor Brothers, adding: “There’s been talk of buying another one. If we did, it would certainly be another C.P. Bourg.”

Editorial: Print Monthly.

LCP gains versatility, while saving time and money

Sep 22, 2016

Alabama, United States

Background 

Four decades of commercial print leadership

Lake County Press, located near Chicago, is nationally known not just for the high-quality of its commercial printing, but also for the wide variety of products and services it offers, from printing through to fulfillment. With a 45 year-plus heritage in litho, it now also leads in digital print-on-demand and web-to-print. 

“Our litho commercial business gave us a lot of growth, but since 2008, when the economy changed, we moved more toward the digital side, knowing that it’s a growing area of the market,” explains Daniel Murphy, Senior Vice President-Director of Manufacturing at LCP.

Challenges

Time and labor in conventional bindery processes

LCP has fueled its aggressive growth in digital print and digital services by frequently investing in new, cutting edge technologies while continuing to leverage existing traditional processes where it made sense. 

Murphy explains: “We had an Indigo 7600 on our floor, doing an extensive amount of digital production. We always took our stitched books and ran them through our conventional bindery. But, doing that added a lot of extra processes between hand collation, folding, and then stitching at our conventional stitchers. There's a lot of time, labor and therefore money that's associated with that.”

Solution

Bourg Booklet Maker ExPress with the BSF (BSF + BCM-e + BM-e) 

Looking to expand its digital capacity, and boost its finishing productivity accordingly, LCP researched its options. Ultimately, it found the ideal complete solution, jointly presented by C.P. Bourg and HP Indigo at the at the 2015 GraphExpo show: the Bourg Booklet ExPress w/ BSF, integrated in-line with the HP Indigo 7800 digital press.

For LCP, the Bourg Booklet ExPress w/ BSF solution was the clear frontrunner because of the dual production capabilities, and fast return on investment. 

“It was a very easy decision to go in-line with our stitched books and cut down all those extra processes,” recalls Murphy. “We looked at the competitors and saw that the Bourg Booklet Maker ExPress with the BSF would give us the most versatility to produce in-line and near-line on the same device, which no other solution could do. And then, when we did the ROI calculation on this piece of equipment, it came out just over a year, so it was a very quick and easy decision.”

The Bourg Booklet Maker ExPress w/ BSF solution brings together the Bourg Sheet Feeder (BSF), with the Bourg Bleed Crease Module (BCM-e) and the Bourg Booklet Maker (BM-e), providing LCP with a highly versatile, booklet finishing solution. 

The dual-mode BSF offers the best of both worlds for companies like LCP that have multiple printers but don’t want to lock themselves into either in-line or off-line finishing. Positioned in-line with one press (in LCP’s case, the Indigo 7800), it can also work in near/off-line with any other printer in LCP’s plant. Its two feeding stations allow for a wide range of applications, with the capacity to accept fully stocked trolleys of collated sheets from other presses.

The BCM-e offers the highest-quality knife creasing, with automatic adjustment to the variable speeds of the connected equipment. Capable of precision trimming coated and uncoated stock up to 350 gsm, in the widest range of sizes of any bleed-trim device designed for digital printing, the BCM-e easily meets the needs of LCP’s diverse offering.

The BM-e is Bourg’s high-end, award-winning booklet maker that produces on-demand booklets with unparalleled quality and speed. The paper flow follows a stitch-fold-trim process, producing books of up to 120 pages (30 sheets) at up to 5,000 booklets per hour – the best in its category.  

Benefits

In-line + near-line versatility

With the Bourg Booklet Maker ExPress w/ BSF installed in-line with the Indigo press, LCP is able to switch at any time from inline mode and off-line/near-line mode, to use it with production runs printed on its other digital and offset presses. 

Murphy explains: “We can print on the HP Indigo and feed to the press feeder while simultaneously running a totally different job on the Bourg. Or we can run the HP and in-line finish the books that are coming off that.”

A year later…

On September 22, 2016, the team at C.P. Bourg followed up with LCP a year after their purchase to find out if they were satisfied with the investment made.

Murphy responds: “We are very satisfied with this solution and I would recommend it to other printers. Our throughput increased exponentially and the ROI came just over a year, which corresponds to our initial estimation.”

 

Ecological, philanthropic, and economical

Sep 20, 2016

France

Copiver, created in 2008, is a company which combines the very latest in digital printing with the employment of disabled workers. Copiver has “Adapted Enterprise” status. So yes - it is possible to have high technology machines, and be competitive and highly reactive in this context.

The secret, according to the management, is to have small but highly structured teams and, above all, to provide training throughout the entire company. 

What lies behind this choice?

Philippe Carreau, the company’s founding director, says, “I’ve been working in this sector for more than 25 years. It has the reputation of being slow and not having the resources needed to handle complex problems. So I wanted to demonstrate that it was possible to be super reactive and at the same time meet tough requirements with the unfailing support of a production organisation which is very cooperative, and uses cutting-edge technologies, and where programming and customised settings mean that the work is increasingly accessible to staff with lower skills levels. Add to this strong partnerships with the manufacturers for support, and training, management and motivation do the rest.”


The list of equipment does in fact show that Copiver is equipped to a very high standard: 4 digital presses including one Konica Minolta 1100 and one MGI 8700 XL + and C.P. Bourg finishing equipment for booklet-making and perfect book binding of the very latest generation. Alongside all this, the company has other equipment sold exclusively by C.P. Bourg France, including the D&K Europa laminator and Scheinder S-Line 115H trimmer.

What is the significance of “ver” as part of your name? *

* “vert” in French means “green”.

We wanted to offer ecological printing, but with competitive prices. Our solutions are economical and use a very wide range of papers originating from sustainably managed forests. We hold “Imprim-Vert” certification, have applied for PEFC certification, and are committed to our paper source with our programme to set up ecological schools in Madagascar. This is a highly effective way for us, as large consumers of paper, to join in the fight against deforestation.

Working comfort and speed 

The advantages of the (BSF + BCM-e + BM-e + SQE) C. P. Bourg booklet-making solution for Copiver:

Mr. Hervé Veinguertener, Production Manager: “We wanted to increase our capacity. We had small machines from competing manufacturers In-Line and Off-Line. The volumes, settings, and capacities did not provide the required production speeds. The C.P. Bourg booklet-making equipment allows us to speed up our post-printing production. We've gained in speed (higher production capacity) and quality. The C.P. Bourg machines are really intuitive and easy to manage.”

“We’ve also gained in productivity: we load the stacks of paper from the carts into the BSF sheet feeder. There’s no more manual work involved in producing brochures now. Everything’s automatic - it’s a great advantage. It means that we’ve doubled and nearly tripled our daily capacity. And this in turn means that our staff can work comfortably at a speed that wasn’t possible with the old equipment.”

What kind of customers do you have at Copiver?   

Mostly “big companies” with high print run requirements. To meet demand of this kind, you have to address three objectives:

  • Centralising production within Copiver,
  • Making the most of the work done by our operators, and
  • Avoiding blanket offset printing sub-contracts.

These 3 objectives have been achieved thanks to C.P. Bourg booklet-making. All digitally-printed short runs are handled in house. For long runs, the Copiver team deals with the pre-press in house. Offset printing is done externally and collected. All the finishing is then dealt with internally. 

Mr. Hervé Veinguertener: “This guarantees that more work is done in house and all the files are managed upstream. So we ourselves deliver to the clients, which enables us to check the quality of the work done, and to make sure the clients are pleased with the result. In other words, the whole production process is controlled from start to finish. Our input is important, even with an offset job.” However, we should make it clear that this accounts for no more than 8% of our turnover; in fact the figure is falling year after year and soon everything will be digital.

This was the reasons for buying a Bourg (BSF + BCM-e + BM-e + SQE) booklet-making solution:

  • Having highly professional equipment which cuts all 3 sides.
  • Being able to handle medium to high production runs so that the finishing can be done in house and the whole process is fully controlled. Mr. Veinguertener: “Our old booklet-maker from a competing manufacturer could only handle 3,000 or at most 5,000 booklets an hour. It was really holding back production. With the C.P. Bourg booklet-maker, we’ve taken a big step forward.”
  • A machine that adapts to our production flow: “This booklet-maker allows us to handle both digital and offset work, and even both together. This is why we also acquired collators. It means that we can produce the covers digitally with the inside done in offset. Result - a fine, square-edged booklet. This booklet-making solution gives us all the flexibility we need for our production method. We are delighted with it!” Mr. Veinguertener adds, “Because the Bourg Sheet Feeder is so easy to load, our production capacity has been almost tripled.” 

New services offered, thanks to the BB3002 EVA/PUR-C binder:

Copiver used to have a small manual adhesive binding machine from a competing manufacturer. Mr. Veinguertener: “We decided to replace this machine, placing our trust in C.P. Bourg perfect binder. We wanted to have a single, reliable supplier for all the finishing machines. We compared various offers, and C.P. Bourg came out top.”

What else tipped the scales?  

“We were interested in finding out how other printers were equipped. And we found that they often had your machines and were pleased with them. You had a good reputation. Everything looked right.”    

Philippe Carreau, Managing Director - Founder: “In addition, we were very impressed when we visited your factory in Belgium. We had heard good things about your booklet-making solution. Since then, we’ve bought a perfect binder, a collator, etc.” 

 

  • Everything’s done in the workshop, with total control over production and delivery times.
  • Books in small and medium runs in a range of formats.
  • Acquiring new markets and new clients: thanks to the BB3002 PUR-C, Copiver can now meet demand for adhesive bindings for publishing houses. This means producing medium runs (2,000 to 5,000 books per client) and offering a full service (books, booklets, and laminated business cards). Philippe Carreau, Managing Director - Founder, continues, “Now we can offer our services to clients working in the fashion or luxury sectors.”

BB3002 PUR-C also provides the flexibility to use EVA:

C.P. Bourg is alone in offering a fully integrated PUR hot melt solution with Nordson. This means there’s no health risk for the operators. 

Hervé Veinguertener adds a proviso with regard to the PUR: When the hot melt system isn’t being used intensively, it's more economical to make books using EVA. It's practical to be able to move from PUR to EVA according to need. In both cases, if we're using the machine the next day, we drain it the night before; it only takes 5 minutes to add a sealing lubricant to prevent it from drying. 

Philippe Carreau, Managing Director - Founder, concludes: “I consider C.P. Bourg France to be a professional company which provides efficient, high quality products. We have a good relationship with the team. They provide a very good after sales service, which is important for us.” 

Universitas optimizes the production workflow to meet costumers’ expectations

Jan 18, 2016

Belgium

Universitas Digital Printing is a highly innovative company with a dynamic team of 21 specialists led by Tom Van Uffelen and his wife Evi Van Berckelaer. The Belgian-based printer boasts a steady annual growth and is confident of their future in the graphics industry.

Universitas offers its customers a full range of services from advice, layout and design, print jobs and print finishing to delivery and even extends its expertise to IT and software; they are more than just your partner in printing. Because of their inventive and personal approach, Universitas is a true leader in the Belgian graphics market.
Just recently, Universitas invested in an additional C.P. Bourg hotmelt binder BB3002 with an automated BBL Feeder in order to meet the increasing demand for qualitybound books, while respecting agreed deadlines.

Why C.P. Bourg?

Tom Van Uffelen (owner of Universitas): "The C.P. Bourg BB3002 is of superb quality, therefore we chose to equip our second BB3002 with a BBL Bourg Book Loader; a state-of-the-art invention by C.P. Bourg that not only meets our high quality demands, but also allows us to increase production by 40%".
"To Universitas, this optimization of their production process is an investment through which they can continue to exceed customers’ expectations". 

Why Albyco (the official distributor of C.P. Bourg in Belgium)?

Tom Van Uffelen: "Albyco is a proactive partner who thinks with us, responds to our needs and provides reliable after-sales service.. We have been working together for over ten years, indicating that we not only have long-term relations with clients, but also with our preferred suppliers. We’re well taken care of and are a satisfied Albyco customer!"

 

 

Picture:  Tom Van Uffelen - Carli Van de Peer

Cogetefi - One operator instead of three and satisfied customers!

Jan 5, 2016

France

Cogetefi is a 100% digital graphics arts service provider. Two main lines characterise the company: VARIABLE printing, like salary slips, surveys for inhabitants or companies, invoicing, statements for pension funds, FIXED printing like books, technical notices.

In total, Cogetefi prints more than 20 million A4 pages (monochrome and full colour) per month from cut sheet and continuous roll paper.

Synonymous with quality, speed and power of execution

General Manager of Cogetefi, Mr Pierre Perroy, says: «We do fixed and variable, continuous or sheet fed printing, then we bind. We do not outsource binding. The advantage is that we meet the very short deadlines imposed by our customers. We often receive files overnight for a next-day delivery. For example, the Senate and the National Assembly for whom we print reports on daily basis».

 

That is the reason why Cogetefi works 3 x 8h shifts and why the company purchased several identical machines, including three BB3002 EVA single clamp binders. «We now have both great reactivity (due to equipment performance) and great production flexibility. Everything is coupled. In addition, our 100% digital equipment insures personalisation: an important added value on the printed document, » adds Mr Pierre Perroy.

Commercial Director of C.P. Bourg France, Mr Jean-Luc Campas, convinced Mr Pierre Perroy to buy a book loader BBL at the end of 2014. The BBL placed in front of the perfect binder BB3002 forms the BB3102. «And he did well, » explains Mr Pierre Perroy who finalised the purchase of the machine after seeing it working during several exhibitions and at a customer’s site in Lille.

Productivity gain and simplification of production flow

 

We acquired a BBL for small quantities and especially to produce books with one or several flaps. Before, we had an operator that pasted, a second that received and closed the flaps and a third that loaded them into a three-knife trimmer. Today, with the BBL, only one operator fills the loading area of this machine. Whilst the BB3102 automatically binds the flapped books, the operator can perform other operations. The operator needs no certification regarding this machine and has free time at any given moment. Therefore, today, one operator replaces three. We gain time and volumes in labour costs thanks to the automation given by the BBL. The BBL fully meets our expectations. We highly recommend it, » explains Mr Pierre Perroy.

 

No downtime

«The set-up is extremely fast on the binder BB3002. It makes high quality perfect bound books. The BBL enables us to gain in execution speed and, for example, to produce flapped books with 52g recycled paper,” explains Mr Pierre Perroy.

   

Mr Adama, one of the operators, adds: «The BBL with the binder is extremely easy to use. It is easy to set up and above all the adjustments do not alter, an essential quality for automation.»

The BBL is an investment which is largely profitable thanks to its automation. In addition, if the operator takes a coffee/cigarette break, the 4 clamp perfect binder is stopped for 5 to 10 minutes. With the BBL connected to the single-clamp BB3002, we work continuously. Overall in daily volume, we are winner.»

What does the implementation of this organisation at Cogetefi’s mean: meet the deadlines and offer competitive prices for quality books. For book orders to be produced within 24h, Cogetefi gains time in terms of labour: one night shift operator instead of three and the customers are satisfied.

 

Mr Pierre Perroy ends the interview in saying: «C.P. Bourg France Commercial Team is professional and has good products. They offer the right solution corresponding to the customer’s requirements. For instance, the BBL was necessary for our production. I highly recommend it to printers who produce flapped books. It’s a must have! The after-sales service is very professional, both regarding the response times and the quality of the service. »

University of Sheffield - It transformed the way we work!

Dec 1, 2015

United Kingdom

The University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s best-performing universities. It is consistently ranked among the world’s top 75 universities, and in 2011 was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards. It caters for around 26,000 students from over 100 countries, and employs over 7,000 staff.

The University’s on-site print service can also boast some impressive statistics. As well as having approx. 8,000sq ft. of floor space and 20 full time staff, the service is set to produce 10 million clicks this year on its digital production equipment.

The department offers a comprehensive service to students and staff, as could be expected from a department known as “Print & Design Solutions.” These solutions include all manner of printed products. Print and Design Solutions Manager Paul Tetley says: “We are the main print provider to the University, we deal with everything from a single A3 colour copy up to a 50,000 brochure run, wide format display print, thesis binding, stationery and more besides.”

The Challenge

A high proportion of the university’s throughput is in multipage documents for a wide variety of purposes, the majority of them requiring binding. When Mr. Tetley started his job managing Print and Design Solutions in 2009, the service offered saddle stitching, perfect binding, comb binding and wire-o binding, but he says the service was struggling to provide a professional finish for documents in the higher pagination range.

“When course fees were introduced, the University’s strategy was to enhance the student experience, and offer greater professionalism. I was appointed partly because of my background in commercial print and one of my first tasks was to look at the level of quality across the whole range of documents we produce - and it was clear that the higher pagination jobs such as course packs and lecture notes needed improvement. They tended to be too thick for our Duplo binding line to comfortably handle, and the cost of perfect binding was expensive for small volumes.”

The department’s solution back in 2010 was the Watkiss PowerSquare 200, which was installed as an In-Line machine on the department’s digital press. The Watkiss PowerSquare stitches, folds, spine forms and trims in one unit. The resulting books have a square spine. It is able to accommodate a far higher pagination than rival machines.

“Having square back system meant a more cost effective finish for the thicker books we produce, they looked better, the binds were more secure, and the books were easier to handle upon completion,”says Mr. Tetley.

A more recent decision made by Mr. Tetley and his team meant the removal of his existing printers – including the In-Line PowerSquare – in favour of four new machines. “We made the change in order to improve productivity and more flexible when it comes to materials. Again, this is a move which is all about improving both our working methods and the quality of our finished products,” says Mr. Tetley. “It’s not just about providing better course materials to the various departments, it’s about presenting the University’s image externally. We are increasingly being asked to produce colour work, so we now have two colour and two mono machines. The question was, what to do about SquareBack binding?”

The Solution

Having become accustomed to the benefits of SquareBack binding, Mr. Tetley was keen to have a Watkiss PowerSquare at his disposal, but the new press-line up and a change in work profile meant a change in thinking.

“Stock flexibility was an important factor, but the big difference is colour,” he says, “typically we are now producing separate colour covers for our high pagination documents, which are black-only inside. Obviously we needed a solution with cover feeding, offering a more flexible approach.”

The solution was the Near-Line version of the PowerSquare, fitted with the Bourg Sheet Feeder (BSF). The BSF feeds up to 10,800 sheets per hour - the operator wheels a pallet of printed paper from the printer to the feeder, while a separate section feeds covers.

“It’s very cost effective because the time spent setting up and monitoring is minimal,” says Mr. Tetley.

The speed of set-up is exceptional, according to Mr. Tetley. “There’s nothing quite like it on the market,” he continues, “there’s no warm-up time, it’s very ‘press and go’, you just set up the job parameters on the touch screen and that’s it. It offers great flexibility not just on stock thickness, we normally produce between A4 and A5, but the specification is much wider.”

A closer look at the PowerSquare’s specifications offered Mr. Tetley even more to enthuse about. “It’s got a very compact design meaning the floor space requirement is minimal, and the working area required around the machine is low,” he says. “On top of that, it runs from a single phase 13 amp power supply. Plus there are so many failsafes on it, you have to call it idiot proof!”

The Result

“The installation process for the Near-Line PowerSquare with the Bourg BSF was brilliant and the training has been exceptional,” says Mr. Tetley. “If we’ve had any issues, the response from Watkiss and Bourg has been first class; generally if we ring up they are here the same day.”

He continues: “It’s transformed the way we work. We can print books in book block form, while printing the covers separately – this keeps the presses running at optimum speed. We can then set the binding line up, and once we’ve checked the first two or three copies the operator can walk away and leave it running. We just have to keep loading it occasionally.”

“Typically perfect bound jobs have to be trimmed offline, but not with the PowerSquare 224 with the BSF; we can just put the sheets in, it trims the fore edge and tidies it up. Sometimes we will pre-score the thickest covers if the job requires it, but in the vast majority of cases this machine doesn’t require any intervention at all to produce great results. We love it!”

Mr. Tetley concludes, “the BSF with the PowerSquare is not just our ‘go to’ machine when it comes to larger paginations, it also does a great job without square backing for short run bespoke finishing jobs at very low paginations.”

Paris Airports - Booklets finishing time slashed by half

Nov 23, 2015

France

Paris airports have one of the biggest integrated printing centers in France producing about two million prints per month. This printing center produces all publishing distributed within Paris Airports.

The challenges to be met

The issues to be solved at Paris Airports:

  • Work off-line to converge printing from four digital presses.
  • Mobilise less staff members and enable operators to be more versatile. Some operators were not trained enough to use the former system from a competitor’s brand. The former machine was difficult to use.
  • Offer new format choice. The current solutions are expensive in terms of both material and production time.
A tender is launched. At the end, in March 2015, the printing center of Paris Airports Group invests in a Bourg Booklet Making solution: BSF + BCM-e + BM-e + SQE.

«We are more reactive and at a lower cost»

M. Bernard Besson, technical manager of digital printing service, explains: «During the tender, we tested different solutions from competitor’s brands. The Bourg Booklet Making was the most adapted to our needs: the most productive solution, the fastest and the most intuitive which enables the operator to be more versatile».

 The advantages of the selected booklet making solutions:

  • Direct insertion of digital press stacker carts into the BSF. It enables several presses to work with a single booklet making solution. «We have a production capacity which suits to our digital presses», mentions Bernard.
  • Visibility on the production & more efficient planning.
  • Simplification of the production. A simple training given to the operators was enough. Bernard specifies: «This system is more intuitive and easier to use. Everything is programmed via the touchscreen. It is a solution which pleased printing agents. They became versatile on printing and finishing systems».
  • This solution uses less operator time: «It frees them up time to concentrate on other tasks».
  • An improved finishing quality offered to group internal customers: «Before, with thicker books, we had to use hotmelt perfect binding or spiral binding. It was more expensive and took more time. Now, we offer precise and good quality stitched square back books».
  • Smaller formats produced quickly: «We reduced by half the time taken for finishing which initially took three days. Delivery time has considerably been reduced. In addition, this Bourg booklet making system enables production of smaller formats, variable data and thicker books».

Bernard Besson concludes: «C.P. Bourg France team is extremely reactive and professional. We have a real partnership with them. They trained our operators. They do preventive maintenance in anticipation of important workloads. We are very pleased with the Bourg equipment and also with their team».

AB Printed reduces wastes and production time by half

Oct 15, 2015

France

Founded in 1989, AB Printed, also known as Super Repro, is a print shop located in the district of «la Défense» in Paris. Their speciality is to print high-volume within very tight deadlines.

Production doubled with the booklet-making solution BSF + BM-e

Vincent Garnier, Production Manager: «With the traditional offset gathering lines, we could only do one print at a time. We had to wait for the end of the printing before collating. With the C.P. Bourg BSF In-Line with the C.P. Bourg BM-e, we produce on demand. The job is digitally printed, saddle-stitched, trimmed and packed. We have no loss of time.»

Before, the company AB Printed printed on average five hours, followed by three to four hours of finishing. Now, with the BSF Near-Line, they print and finish at the same time. The deadlines have been reduced by half. «Therefore, we doubled our production capacity. It’s awesome!» insists Vincent.

A combination of advantages

The BSF combines the advantages of both Off-Line and In-Line: AB Printed can juggle with different printers for one or several jobs at doubled execution speeds. As all the printers are calibrated on the same colorimetry, the operator can, for example, start a job on all his printers, insert a cart of printed sheets in the BSF (without separating stacks) as required while printing, and complete finishing In-Line with the printer.

«As collating and edge trimming are always identical, there is no difference between the first and the last brochure, no matter on which printer it has been printed. It is flexible with remarkable production increase,» highlights Vincent. «As the alignment is extremely fast and accurate, the BM-e allows making 3-4 copies, as well as 10-12 000 or 20 000 copies of 1, 4 or up to 30 sheets».

couverture noir et or«Another advantage is that the BM-e makes no scratching and no mark. When a famous cosmetics maker asks you to make a short-run of laminated brochures on a black gold paper, which costs a fortune per unit, you simply have no room for error,» adds Vincent.

 A gluing of unprecedented quality

Past operations involved: creasing covers and then put them in the binder. Raymonf Lainé, operator: «Today, with the new functionalities of the BB3002, everything is done automatically. The alignment does not move. You can take the first or the 500th, 1000th or 5000th copy, the creasing position is identical. You never have surprise. The other brands offering single-clamp binders do not offer such precision. We have a Rolls Royce! »

In addition to this, we have to add «the quality of gluing and the simplified touch screen that make its use simpler and faster». 25 years in the profession, Raymond Lainé has seen a lot of binders. According to him, the binder BB3002 «works exceptionally well». He adds: «I'm happy with it. Perfect !»

A range which meets three new demands

Thanks to C.P. Bourg machines, AB Printed met three new demands:

  • The first one, with the booklet making solution BSF and BM-e, is the ability to produce of small newspapers in 30 minutes. «It was impossible before. Our courier could not leave at eight o’clock when we received the files at 7:30 a.m. Nowadays, we fill the motorbike trunk as we required. It is very quick.»
  • The second one is the ability to produce car maintenance log books, which are 42 cm (16.53 in) long but only 10, 5 cm (4.13 in) high. The machine used: the BM-e in manual mode. «It is the only booklet making module on the market which does that. Even in manual mode, the log books are quickly saddle-stitched. It gives us an advantage over the competition.»
  • The third one: Thanks to the binder BB3002, AB Printed also makes prescription books. «We meet the demand with a quality perfect binding,» mentions Vincent.

C.P. Bourg France: immediate hot-line availability

«We have a special relationship with C.P. Bourg France. From a commercial point of view, they are very responsive and reliable. There is always a technician at the other end of the line to help us. And when they say they will send us someone the next day, they mean it.»

«We commit to our customers: we have to respect our deadlines. Thanks to C.P. Bourg technical service, it is possible,» ends Vincent Garnier, Production Manager at AB Printed.

C.P. Bourg binder and booklet maker have brought new offers to the overall business of Pensord Press

Jun 15, 2015

United Kingdom

Pensord Press is a one-stop shop for magazine production, with operations ranging from pre-press, digital and sheetfed offset printing, through to finishing and mailing. In addition, it offers web, digital edition and app services to create virtual publications.

Late last year the South Wales company opened a new digital business, a few miles from its main web offset site in Blackwood. This operates with a Heidelberg Linoprint Pro C9100 sheetfed digital toner press, a C.P. Bourg BM-e bookletmaker, C.P. Bourg BB3002-C PUR binder, plus some Morgana short-run finishing equipment and a Polar guillotine. Infigo Catfish is the platform used for the web-to-print set-up.

The PUR binder was supplied together with the bookletmaker by Bourg’s newly appointed sole UK distributor, Integra.

Karl Gater is Pensord Digital’s operations director and was closely involved in setting the business up and choosing the equipment. “The new factory is a 350m2 unit based on Bridgend Industrial Estate, that has great services and links to the M4,” he says. “The unit was a bare shell and we had to install all of the electrics and offices, etc, for what is essentially a new business venture, although still part of Pensord."

“We started installing the electrics and offices in late November 2014, with the C.P. Bourg kit arriving in early December. Recruitment of the new team started in November and we now have three full-time employees, and me, at the new factory and an additional three at the old factory.”

Pensord Digital produces short-run magazines, mainly in runs from one to 500, both saddle-stitched on the BM-e bookletmaker, or as PUR-bound books on the BB3002 PUR-C

“This complements our main business well with decreasing run lengths on certain titles, offering a more cost-effective solution,” Gater explains. “Other work to date has included POS, folded leaflets, flyers, business stationery and more bespoke events material with variable data.”

Gater became aware of the C.P. Bourg machine through a prior connection with Integra’s sales director Richard MacLean. “Integra are the agents for C.P. Bourg in the UK and I knew Richard from a previous purchase of non-related equipment,” he says. “To be fair I hadn’t heard of C.P. Bourg prior to Richard telling me about them! I trust Richard so I went to take a look.”

He also looked at other PUR binders. “I ended up choosing the C.P. Bourg BB3002 PUR-C over its rivals for a number of factors,” he explains. “After research into the market and a number of demonstrations, its ease of use was a big factor, plus the fact that it automatically scores to the right thickness of the book block from one copy to the next without you having to re-program.”

For other readers who aren’t familiar with C.P. Bourg, it’s a Belgian manufacturer based in Ottignies to the south east of Brussels. It was founded in 1960 by Christian-Pierre Bourg, who died last year aged 89. The company concentrates on making perfect binders, bookletmakers, trimmers and collators, as well as OEM in-line feeders and finishing systems for some major digital press makers.

“I also visited the factory in Belgium and was impressed with the fact that everything was manufactured in one place and the passion and belief in the product was overwhelming,” Gater says. “Price wasn’t the key factor in the process but of course matters. The machine was bought along with the bookletmaker and we were happy with the overall package. I had to buy Richard lunch afterwards though!”

Speedy start-up

Installation of both the machines was completed in just over a day and a half. “Training then was only about a couple of hours and we were off practising and perfecting before we were due to go live,” Gater says. “Both machines are foolproof and won’t let you do something that could potentially damage them.”

This is the first PUR binder at Pensord, Gater says. “We had the choice of an EVA or PUR version but chose PUR as we already have a commercial EVA binder at the main plant. Due to our binding digital products we wanted to be sure of a quality bind on the toner based print.”
In operation, the PUR binder is set up automatically with only a couple of manual inputs: the size of the cover and how many creases you want in it – the maximum is 13. “The rest is done for you,” says Gater. “It measures the book block as you put it into the clamp, jogs and knocks it up, mills it, glues it through the Nordson head, scores the cover to the thickness of the book so you get accurate square spines, clamps the cover on and job done. The only thing you need to do is to trim it, but I believe that can be automated with an additional three-knife trimmer option if you so choose.”
“Since its installation, just like any new machine, it has had a few minor teething issues, but considering we have had a non-print related workforce using it, this shows how easy it is to operate in a short space of time,” Gater reports.
“The spines are as square as I have seen on any binder and operating with the PUR glue has been very easy to adapt to with the closed unit Nordson glue head, meaning that we have very little wastage when we have to shut down and start up.”

Gater says he has no grumbles worth noting. “I think that it has been a learning experience for both us and Integra as the UK agent. The product was so new that we were both learning from each other at the start, following the training from the C.P. Bourg demonstrator.

“Best bit of advice I can give for anyone buying a PUR binder is make sure that it is easy to clean when you shut it down. Get it wrong and you have all sorts of issues the next time you switch it on. We are fortunately a bit OCD when it comes to cleaning so the machine is spotless and performs brilliantly well.”

Digital difference

When it comes to talking about service and support, Gater has strong views, saying: “I could rabbit on and on when it comes to the difference between digital print-related service and litho-related service. Now that I have experienced the digital world the urgency in service has some way to go to meet my expectations, but we are getting there!”
However, Integra gets a pass mark: “As for the C.P. Bourg machine any issues we have had, which have been minor, and in some cases down to our inexperience, the Integra service team has resolved in a timely fashion."
In terms of what the machine has brought to Pensord, Gater says: “The PUR binder has brought a new offer to the overall business.”
He adds: “I wouldn’t like to hand-feed a large run on it of course, but on some of the smaller runs our customers have another solution for a very secure bind. Very few will say it must be EVA/hot-melt bound if you offer to PUR bind, so definitely the right choice for us in the digital market.”
When asked if he would recommend the machine, Gater is unequivocal. “If you are looking for a short-run PUR binder you won’t go far wrong with this machine as well as the bookletmaker. In my opinion they are market leaders.

Company profile

Established in 1969 Pensord Press is a well-known print company based in Blackwood, South Wales, servicing specialist magazine publishers. It offers a one-stop shop from the core printing of publications in both litho and digital print formats, mailing fulfilment, to online digital editions and apps. Sales top £12m a year. The company as a whole employs 150 people.

Why it was bought...

In January 2015, Pensord Digital, based in Bridgend, opened both its real doors and its web-to-print site: www.pensord digital.co.uk. “After purchasing the digital print engine the main priority was to find a good manufacturer of a bookletmaker and binder and this is where the decision was made easy,” says Karl Gater, Pensord Digital operations director. “Through Richard MacLean at Integra, C.P. Bourg offered well thought-out and engineered machines that are easy for all to use. There is only a small portfolio of equipment and what they produce they produce well. Impressed by the manufacturing processes and the fact that they supply paper feeders to some major digital equipment manufacturers, it was an easy decision for me to buy into the C.P. Bourg brand.”

How it has performed...

Pensord’s (and to a lesser degree, Integra’s) unfamiliarity with the machine meant there were some small issues to begin with, but these were quickly resolved. Gater has no issues with the quality of work the machine produces.

“The spines are as square as I have seen on any binder and operating with the PUR glue has been very easy to adapt to,” he says. In terms of using PUR binders, he advises thorough cleaning of the machine to avoid issues.

Editorial: PrintWeek

Print Bound has slashed its cost and turnaround time with C.P. Bourg

Apr 1, 2015

Australia

Print Bound has slashed its cost and turnaround time to produce on-demand books and booklets by adding two Bourg Booklet Maker solutions (i.e., BSF+ BM-e + BCM-e) to its two Xerox iGen 150s.

 

The Melbourne firm is the first printer in Australia to run two C.P. Bourg Booklet Maker solution (i.e., BSF+ BM-e + BCM-e) attached In-Line to its two Xerox iGen Presses.

Naresh Gulati, chief executive of parent company OCA, says "the In-Line finishing kit has dramatically cut the cost to produce a booklet".

The machines were installed partially to meet demand from the company’s personalised brochure platform, which Gulati says six of OCA’s university clients are already utilising.

Launched last July, the company’s East Brochure Maker tailors brochure designs to the needs of individual customers, giving them only the information they need, for targeted direct mail campaigns.

C.P. Bourg says Print Bound’s ExPress models, including a Bourg Sheet Feeder (BSF), eliminate make ready-time and printed paper waste to increase efficiency on short runs.

The systems include Fuji Xerox’s FreeFlow Print Server workflow software, and can run around the clock.

Gulati says printers can use Print Bound’s capabilities to produce the personalised brochures without investing in new kit they may only use occasionally.

"Rather than miss the job or buy that machine, we can provide an outsource solution while they test the model and decide if they can justify the investment,” he says.

 

36 Pix Starts a New Trend in School Photography with Bourg finishers

May 22, 2014

Canada

Bourg finishing system helps Canadian entrepreneur bring fresh ideas to the school portrait market

When Canadian school portrait company 36Pix was founded in “Y2K,” Kodachrome® film and silver halide processing reigned supreme and students’ portraits were sent to parents on loose leaf proof sheets in white envelopes. In the 12 years since then, high-end digital photography has become the dominant medium for capturing students’ portraits, but chemical processing and stodgy presentation methods still linger.

36Pix and its entrepreneurial president Robert Ste-Marie aim to change all that. The company is now printing school portraits on an HP Indigo 5600 Digital Press and producing personalized, professionally finished and bound presentation booklets for students and their families with the latest in on-demand digital booklet-making technology from C.P. Bourg.

 

 

Enjoying its third consecutive year on the PROFIT 200 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by PROFIT Magazine, 36Pix from its headquarters in Montreal addresses three segments of the school photography industry in Canada and the United States.

First, the company provides printing services for photographers servicing from 5,000 to 150,000 students annually. The company also operates Green Apple Studio – its own branded school photography unit serving pre-schools and grade schools through studios located in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto and through agents in Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. And, 36Pix is a leading provider of “green screen” digital imaging services with its proprietary ChromaStar® green screen extraction technology, which also is embedded in Kodak® ProLab® software.

 

A Strategic Imperative

A mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry who worked on RadarSat 2 imaging and led projects for NASA and European space programs, Robert Ste-Marie was lured to the school portrait industry by a big market opportunity in the change from film to digital technology. He now sees the transition to all-digital photo production as a strategic imperative.

“Over the past 50 years, school photography hasn’t evolved to where I think it should be, leaving the industry in danger of losing business to the new breed of digital photo merchandisers. The school portrait industry today requires different products made by different equipment guided by a different vision,” he asserts.

“We have a glorious opportunity to capitalize on our professional photographs taken in controlled settings and to create really stunning and saleable photographic products.”

Seizing the opportunity, Ste-Marie and the 36Pix team began investigating how to implement their vision of an all-digital approach. Their efforts were quickly rewarded.

“The digital concept proved such a big hit that our market test resulted in a significant business order,” Ste-Marie explains, adding the first order of business on the production front was to choose and install the booklet-making system.

The company’s own investigation and a recommendation from HP led 36Pix to C.P. Bourg and an off-line Bourg BSF production finishing system installed in short order by MD Service Express, a division of C.P. Bourg partner MD International, months before installing its own HP Indigo Digital Press.

Notes Ste-Marie, “The Bourg finishers are the most critical pieces of equipment we own. If any other piece of equipment goes down, we can turn to outside suppliers. But the finishing system is driven by our proprietary workflow software and sophisticated barcoding techniques, making it the hardest to farm out. So it needs to be reliable and work flawlessly.”

Pushing the Envelope

Robert Ste-Marie admits 36Pix isn’t the first school portrait provider in the world to employ digital printing technology, but he believes it is the first company to produce school portrait products this sophisticated at high volume.

Instead of using digital technology merely to print loose-leaf proofs, 36Pix is producing super high-quality saddle-stitched “Portrait Books” that photo studio customers can deliver to students’ families. This “front runner’’ finished product features a glossy front cover and multiple inside pages with the student’s photo imposed on different backgrounds and in formats from 8x10 to wallet size.

The inside front and back covers promote a broader range of photographic products and services – many of which can be purchased online. These include beverage mugs and large flip-style saddle-stitched calendars with the student’s portrait set in a choice of 300 different backgrounds.
There’s also a 20-page “Story Book” for younger children, which showcases them in a personalized fairy tale or adventure story featuring their photo and name throughout.

 

Portrait Book front covers feature a full-size portrait of the student printed with variable data – name, school and class information – as well as a field tastefully identifying the photo studio.
Content pages of the Portrait Books are printed one side on Kodak® Professional Endura® paper by the HP Indigo press, allowing families to cut out and use the resulting proofs. Covers are printed on coated cover stock and laminated on one side, providing a glossy professional finish.

The Story Books and calendars are intended as keepsakes, with personalized content pages printed two sides on a fine-grained medium-weight coated stock. 36Pix discretely adds the photo lab’s identifying information to the covers.

Winning High Marks

All the booklets are saddle-stitched and trimmed full-bleed using the C.P. Bourg BSF bookletmaking system. 36 Pix is also relying on the Bourg BSF production line to finish all its brochures and other printed materials.

The BSF system features a Bourg BSF Sheet Feeder and BCM-e Bleed Crease Module on the front end that supply the digitally printed and side-trimmed content pages and laminated cover sheets to Bourg’s award-winning Bourg BM-e Booklet Maker for saddle-stitching and face-trimming. A Bourg SQE Square Edge accessory applies the finishing touch by giving each booklet a squared spine for the crisp look and feel of a perfect-bound booklet that stacks easily and lays flat.

In operation, stacks of digitally printed covers and content – produced by the 7-color HP Indigo 5600 at up to 90 pages per minute – are loaded virtually hands free into the BSF’s upper and lower sheet feeding compartments from a Bourg-designed stack cart featuring an innovative airtable design. Once loaded, the BSF takes over, feeding up to 6,000 sheets per hour to the Bourg BCM-e and BM-e finishers connected downstream while ensuring the integrity of each uniquely printed set.

36Pix’s Bourg BM-e is a versatile, large-format stitch-fold-trim document finisher able to produce in portrait or landscape format up to 5,000 unique booklets per hour, each up to 120 pages thick. Finished sizes can range from CD jackets to oversized booklets and calendars up to 11.8 x 14.5 inches. Among the BM-e’s many innovative features are a totally visible and straight paper path and a unique folding technology that adapts to the thickness of each booklet to achieve the best fold with the least pressure.

The BM-e and other Bourg finishers are also equipped with innovative and proven non-impact paper transport systems to assure that volume production of often delicate color materials digitally printed on coated stocks is achieved without making a mark.

“From an equipment standpoint, we had to learn a lot about digital printing and finishing in a short time,” says the 36Pix president. “But HP and Bourg provided solid training and support. Plus their equipment’s ease of use and high level of automation also made for short learning curves, allowing us to come up to speed on digital production methods fairly quickly.”

The beautifully printed and laminated 36Pix Portrait Books and Activity Books are testimony to the company’s quickly acquired know-how.

“Our booklets are much more exciting than loose-leaf portrait sell-sheets and they have a longer shelf life,” says Ste-Marie. “They commonly end up on kitchen tables and coffee tables where they can inspire parents and grandparents to see the range of possibilities and place additional orders for prints, calendars and other products.”

‘The Ferrari of Printing and Finishing’

Having validated the new process, 36Pix has geared up for full production this fall, when it anticipates processing 2.5 million images using green screen extraction, servicing 500 pre-schools and 150 grade schools directly through its Green Apple Studios (known as La Pomme Verte in Quebec), and printing 150,000 Portrait Books and Story Books.

“We bought the Ferrari of digital printing and finishing equipment and it performs accordingly,” asserts the 36Pix president. “Our new approach is bringing our entire business to the next level. With it, we’re winning additional work for our printing services and green screen technology segments and new contracts for Green Apple Studios.

“And if our volume grows higher than expected, we know the HP and Bourg equipment can handle it.”

Basin Printing Keeps a Competitive Edge with C.P. Bourg

May 21, 2014

Colorado, United States

The business environment of Colorado’s Animas River Valley can be as lush as verdant hillsides fed by spring snowmelt – or as harsh as the canyons and desert that lie to the south and west. If you want to succeed as a printer here in Durango, 6,512 feet above sea level near the Four Corners junction of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, your company better offer personalized service and quick turnaround, or you won’t be doing business here for long.

Family owned and operated Basin Printing & Imaging offers all that, and more.

Basin has played a prominent role in the Durango business community since 1957, when Elvis Presley hits were topping the pop music charts. Back then, Durango thrived on the local oil and gas industry, and Basin Printing also prospered. When the Hammond family entered the firm in the early 1970s, Durango’s business base was becoming more diversified as its population grew, making it southwest Colorado's largest town and Basin its largest printer.

Raising the Bar

Basin Printing & Imaging today is a multi-faceted provider of expert services from graphic design and proofing, to printing, finishing, bulk mailing and fulfillment. Supported by a wide range of printing and finishing equipment housed in 12,600 square feet of production space, Basin’s staff of more than 20 skilled professionals – including a third-generation Hammond – helps businesses and individuals in the Four Corners region communicate effectively via print.

So when co-owners Mike and Jeff Hammond saw competition increasing from opportunistic print shops hundreds of miles away that were selling through the Internet, they raised the bar on their business a few notches by beefing up their binding and finishing operation with leading-edge equipment. The new gear helps Basin Printing & Imaging deliver a broader range of print finishing services with lightning-quick turnaround times that competitors can’t easily match.

“Print quality is a given today and turnaround times keep getting compressed, so every printer needs a competitive advantage,” says Jeff Hammond, the man in charge of the Basin Printing & Imaging’s marketing, sales and customer service. “Plus, with quality broadly under control, graphic designers are posing challenges that binderies have never seen before, producing work in unusual formats and putting design elements and color crossovers on almost every page.

Achieving a Competitive Edge

“For us, it comes down to service and our ability to produce quality work from start to finish on short notice with quick turnaround. And on that score, the bindery absolutely sets Basin apart.”

Basin’s binding edge is provided by a dual-tower Bourg BST10-d+ Suction Tower Collator tied to a new-generation and award-winning stitch-fold-trim Bourg BM-e Booklet Maker and Bourg Square Edge from C.P. Bourg of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The high-speed and highly automated Bourg booklet maker is the first finishing system to stitch, fold and trim sheet sizes up to 14.5 x 23.5 inches (370 x 600 mm) – the largest format currently output by digital printers.

The Bourg BM-e also produces up to 5,000 booklets per hour and offers a variety of unique features and innovations improving near-line finishing speed, efficiency and flexibility. These include full control via a 300-degree swivel-mounted 12-inch color touchscreen terminal, toolless job size changeovers, the ability to fold up to 30 sheets of 20-lb bond, a totally visible straight paper path and an intelligent paper folding mechanism that gauges stack thickness to prevent marking, scuffing or scratching delicate digital prints.

“We briefly considered a finisher from another supplier, but it required more manufacturing space than the BM-e and it didn’t come close on features, so we didn’t even look at it,” says Mike.

Because Bourg couldn’t ship the BM-e in December when Basin originally wanted it, Bourg loaned the printer a Bourg BDF Document Finisher for a few months to work with the newly installed tower collators, explains Jeff’s brother and co-owner Mike Hammond, who started out in the firm as a press operator 25 years ago and now spends more of his time in the bindery.

When Basin’s new Bourg BM-e was installed in early spring it fit right in with the Hammond’s line-up of Heidelberg offset presses and other top industry equipment with brands like Screen, Epson, Canon and Xerox.

“A Difference Like Night and Day”

Basin’s Bourg BM-e (and, for a few months, the BDF loaner) replaced an older Bourg T-series modular finishing system that Basin had used since the late 1990s. Before that, Basin had produced booklets by hand – a long, tedious process of folding, and collating sheets, and then stitching and trimming them one by one. Some jobs took a week to produce – a hindrance that prevented Basin from taking on finishing jobs that were larger, more complex, and often, more profitable.

“When we installed the Bourg T-series finishers in 1999, the difference between using those machines and collating, folding and stapling by hand was like night and day,” Mike vividly recalls.

Striking as that first transition was, he says moving up from the “T” series finishers to the Bourg BDF – with its touchscreen terminal, tool-less changeovers and fully integrated finishing functions in a single compact unit – was even more amazing.

“With the BDF, we could load a job in one or both BST tower collators and be up and running on a job literally within one minute. And job changeovers were equally fast and easy.”

Handling Bigger and Better Jobs

“The Bourg BM-e pushes those limits even further. It combines the freedom of using largest format size available with even more control and more automation,” Mike remarks. “Now we’re able to bid on bigger and more complex jobs – including landscape-format booklets up to 120 pages 11-1/2” x 13-1/2 inches finished dimension – and do them even faster than we could on the BDF.”

By running both of the 10-bin tower collators at full capacity to the BM-e, Basin has finished close to 30,000 booklets in a day – something they had never done before, says Mike. And it doesn’t matter to the BM-e whether the work is generated by Basin’s Heidelberg offset presses or by the shop’s Xerox digital printers because it’s designed to handle output from both.

The only difference between finishing digital and offset print output, says Mike, is that customers often want digital print jobs the same day – an issue that poses no problem for the BM-e.

“We can interrupt any job and save it in memory, start another job and have it finished and out the door in 30 minutes, and resume the first job all without a hitch.”

Other BM-e features Mike Hammond points to are the ability to jog sets up to three times and to make fine adjustments to stitch position, fold position or trim distance in increments of 1/10 mm on the fly, as the job is running. He also likes the intelligent paper crusher that applies the perfect pressure, heavy-duty face trimmer with a unique blower-assisted scrap removal that allows the operator to empty the waste bin while the BM-e keeps running at full speed, and the machine’s overall ease of use.

The Bourg Square Edge attachment has also been a hit, says Mike. It takes traditional stitchfold booklets and transforms them into square edge booklets that are flat and easy to pack, stack and handle. “Our customers love the clean, square edge that makes their booklets look like they’ve been perfect-bound.”

Nailing Crossovers, Dead-On

Colleges, government offices, hospitals, schools and a wide range of businesses large and small have joined oil and gas companies that originally supplied Basin Printing & Imaging with much of its work. The more the word gets around that Basin is able to quickly turn around high-quality finished documents from CD-sized pamphlets to oversized cookbooks and manuals landscape formats, the more – and more different – the work is that’s coming in the door.

As for those crossovers graphic designers are so fond of?

“The BM-e helps us a lot with those demands too,” says Jeff Hammond. “Our crossovers are always dead-on. With the BM-e, we’re always able to nail them perfectly.”

The same could be said of how their leading-edge bindery is helping Basin Printing & Imaging deal with the competition.

Simon Fraser University Thinks Big on its Finishing Investment Using Binders from C.P. Bourg

May 21, 2014

Canada

Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia has one of the more advanced in-plant Document services departments in the academic world, thanks in part to a near-line bindery operation outfitted with C.P. Bourg binding and finishing systems that help it compete more effectively.

Located at the university’s campus in nearby Burnaby, SFU Document Solutions provides print and finishing services that rival even robust commercial operations. It operates with 15 full-time employees; boasts an equipment list that includes six digital presses – including the first Xerox® iGen3™ digital color press installed in Canadian education setting – a new 5-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 52 offset press and on-demand binding and finishing; and relies on electronic Web job submission to serve more than 25,000 students, 700 tenure-track faculty and 2,800 staff at the school’s three campuses with millions of pages of print.

That impressive achievement took SFU Document Solutions director Raj Nadrajan several years and required transforming an antiquated system that had been hampered by manual procedures, laborintensive workflows and obsolete technologies.

Solving old problems

Combining the shop’s dysfunctional duplicating and printing departments, upgrading to a Xerox digital front end and implementing a PDF-based electronic job submission system (WebCRD) solved many of the problems Nadrajan inherited in November 2000 when he took over the school’s in-plant print shop.

Another key function Nadrajan addressed along the way was the SFU Document Solutions bindery. The center’s new in-line booklet maker was adequate for finishing standard 12 x 18-inch sheets, but dedicated to the iGEN press it couldn’t be used to finish color output from any of the other printers or from the shop’s offset press. And the school’s 15-year-old off-line stitcher was format-bound and living on borrowed time.

“Any job printed on the best of technologies isn’t complete until it goes through the bindery process, and this is when we bill our customers,” he explains. “Finishing is a very important part of the print operation.”

Nadrajan focused first on finding an automated system that offered near-line speed and flexibility to support the print center’s mixed analog and digital printing operation. He also needed to satisfy their biggest customer – the SFU University Bookstore and Centre for Distance Education – which Document Solutions supplied with custom course materials for 70% to 80% of the university’s student enrollment.

As is common at most colleges and universities, SFU Document Solutions printed copyright-cleared copies course material in black-and-white, then three-hole punched and shrink-wrapped them for sale. Even though the condensed materials cost less than buying textbooks for each course, to cut costs students often copied the courseware and re-sold it to other students. This not only cut into Document Solutions’ and University Bookstore revenues, says Nadrajan. It also put students at risk for copyright violations. Pursuing new opportunities

In 2005, Nadrajan began looking for equipment that would enable SFU Document Solutions to perfectbind books economically and on demand, and make the course material more attractive, less expensive and harder to duplicate. After almost settling for another supplier’s machine that would have required significant operator involvement, Nadrajan saw a C.P. Bourg BB3002 Perfect Binder demonstrated at a national printing tradeshow in Chicago. The BB3002 is a highly automated system so efficient that it’s suited to professionally binding books more than 2-inches thick – even “books of one” – in volume.

“The C.P. Bourg BB3002 had a simple touchscreen interface and didn’t need any tools for job changeovers, so the operator didn’t need to be an bindery expert,” Nadrajan recalls. “With it we could create professional-looking books fast, at reasonable cost and completely on-demand. So I said, ‘This is it! This is exactly what I want to solve my courseware binding problems!’”

With its tool-less job setup and other labor-saving features, the BB3002 binder allowed Document Solutions to take staff-designed color covers for each subject, produce them offset or digitally and combine them with B/W contents produced on any of the DocuTech printers. Even better, the BB3002 could be used to bind books in portrait or landscape format – making the course material more attractive to the students, while lowering costs and reducing unauthorized copies.

“The BB3002 changed the way we do business,” says Nadrajan. “Now it is allowing us to move into the market for on-demand landscape-format photo books – a new business direction.”

Staying with a winner

When the SFU print shop needed a booklet maker to replace their outdated stitcher, Nadrajan’s good experience with the BB3002 and with other Bourg products dating back to 1990 convinced him to stay with C.P. Bourg.

In addition to getting a new booklet maker that was easy to use, fast and efficient, Nadrajan needed one binder in his shop that offered unique and marketable capabilities. Saddle-stitching the large-format sheets produced by the iGen3 was high on his list; and doing it in landscape format was the ideal.

“To succeed in business, you have to do things differently. Everybody does books in 8-1/2 x 11 format. We wanted to offer saddle-stitched course materials and other kinds of books in landscape format,” he explains.

Nadrajan’s quest led him to the new C.P. Bourg BM-e Booklet Maker and a dual-station C.P. Bourg BST10-d+ Suction Tower Collator.

Sporting a format size of 14.33 by 22.5 inches, the new Bourg BM-e is the first near-line production stitch/fold/trim booklet maker able to handle full-size output from the iGen3 digital press. A variety of unique features and innovations built into the Bourg BM-e are aimed at improving near-line finishing speed, efficiency and flexibility. Among them are fully automatic operation controlled by a 12-inch color touchscreen mounted on a 300-degree swivel-boom, tool-less job size changeovers, the ability to fold up to 30 sheets of 20-lb bond, and a totally visible, straight paper path with a new, soft-handling paper folding mechanism designed to prevent marking, scuffing or scratching delicate digital prints.

Operators can select top, edge, corner or saddle stitches from a simple menu on the BM-e control panel; choose a topstitch bypass to hasten other finishing functions; and make fine adjustments to stitch position, fold position or trim distance in increments of 1/10 mm “on the fly,” as the job is running.

Because the booklet maker is a new design and SFU the first installation, Nadrajan couldn’t get it as quickly as he wanted. To compensate, C.P. Bourg loaned Nadrajan a Bourg BM-e Booklet Maker to work with the dual BST10-d+ Tower Collators.

In mid-December, 2008, the Bourg BM-e was installed and operators were using it with just two hours of training. With it, SFU Document Solutions is able to handle 11 x 17-inch or 12 x 18-inch sheets with ease and in landscape format, making it easy for Nadrajan and the Document Solutions staff to take on new and different types of work – jobs that help them market their operation more effectively and stay competitive.

“Printing used to be a craftsman’s job. But these days, you just don’t have time to train people. Everything has to be technology driven or it isn’t useful,” says the SFU Document Solutions Director. “Having an automated bindery and being able to do landscape books is giving us more control over managing our process and faster turnaround. With it, we can deliver more and more interesting work on time.”

Document Solutions recently used the Bourg BST-BM-e combo to collate and finish 7,000 booklets containing a graduates’ list. The job was short-fused, Nadrajan said, but aided by the Bourg finishing equipment, it was completed, packed and shipped within one day – far faster than Document Solutions could have produced it without the BM-e.

Delivering ROI

By collating and binding off-line while the offset press and digital presses keep running, the Bourg combo collator and booklet-maker adds to the shop’s efficiency – and profitability.

Even though Document Solutions is university-owned, SFU is not mandated to use its services. Moreover, the shop gets no money from the university for its operations, Nadrajan points out. All revenue the shop receives goes to pay for equipment, salaries, supplies and other expenditures, plus a small percentage of gross to the university.

This means that all of the equipment that Raj Nadrajan has installed in SFU Document Solutions has to prove itself financially, and the BM-e is no exception.

“Our goal is to compete, and that means we have to market our services extensively and produce the work. We can’t afford to tell our customers we can’t do their job, because they’ll find some other shop or some other way to do it.

At the end of the day, any job we don’t have to package and ship off to another bindery where we would be slotted into somebody else’s schedule, we save a customer and we make money. So we make sure we have the best tools for our employees to provide the services our customers want and need, and not just on time, but ahead of time.

The new Bourg BM-e is worth the investment alone in the better control we get over the finishing process. Plus it opens new doors for our business, and once people are aware of what it can do, the financial ROI will follow.”

Having more than doubled Document Solutions’ revenues since he took over the operation and no stranger to success, Raj Nadrajan is confident the C.P. Bourg BST10-d+ Suction Tower Collator and C.P. Bourg BM-e Booklet Maker will pass every test – in a big way.

Health Insurer’s Printing Operation Saves More than a Stitch in Time

May 21, 2014

Pennsylvania, United States

The collective efforts of a single organization operating more efficiently can have a positive impact by avoiding unnecessary waste, using resources more wisely and reducing business costs.

With 20,500 employees and 4.8 million health plan members, Highmark Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, certainly serves as an important example. The company keeps efficiency and the environment prominently in mind, from using "Green Sealcertified" environmentally friendly cleaning and FSC-certified paper products to reducing time, resources and energy at the facilities it maintains in Pennsylvania.

So it should come as no surprise that Highmark’s in-house printing services department follows the same set of guidelines, while supporting the corporate goal to be the leading health and wellness company in the communities they serve. What is surprising is the company’s Corporate Printing Services department saves 1,600 production hours each month while taking on more projects, keeping overtime to a minimum and achieving a 99.7% positive customer satisfaction rating.

Highmark is a $14.5-billion not-for-profit Pennsylvania-based corporation established in 1996 by the consolidation of two Pennsylvania licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association — Pennsylvania Blue Shield (now Highmark Blue Shield) and Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania (now Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield).

Now one of the largest health insurance and related-services companies in the United States, Highmark provides quality health insurance to a diverse population across the state through
private care and also administers state and federal insurance programs such as Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicare. Highmark subsidiaries include dental, vision, and customized supplemental health products.

Taking Care of Business

To support Highmark’s internal needs and that of its members most efficiently, the Highmark Corporate Printing Services department operates facilities at each of Highmark’s two main locations ‒one serving the headquarters operation in Pittsburgh and a satellite shop supporting offices near Harrisburg, in Camp Hill.

Under the direction of manager Jeffrey Taranto, Corporate Printing Services has built a reputation for responsiveness and a service repertoire easily rivaling that of many mid-size print shops, from the number of impressions printed per month to the range of jobs they can handle.

Each plant runs 24 hours five days a week, and on weekends when needed. Each month, the two facilities typically print between 10 and 15 million impressions ‒ all of it at cost ‒ easily placing the non-profit among the top 50 shops on In-Plant Graphics magazine’s annual survey.

Taranto’s staff of 18 includes eight digital press operators, two full-time production planners who secure external competitive bidding, two technical assistants, three information technicians, and the finishing staff. Together, they keep the centers busy and the presses running at least 85% of the time, and typically around 95%.

High utilization is the key to high efficiency, says Taranto, who credits the application of digital technology to ensuring it stays that way with printing capabilities today that are 100% digital and a finishing operation to match.

Like many “in-plants,” Highmark Corporate Printing Services relied on offset presses through the 1980s. But the success of digital printing in the early 1990s convinced management to begin transitioning to digital printing and finishing methods, Taranto notes.

Having joined Highmark in 1995, Taranto experienced much of the early conversion firsthand, applying the knowledge he gained in graphic design and print working seven years in the advertising department of the May Company for their iconic department stores.

In October 2003 as manager, Taranto was tasked with taking the printing services operation 100% digital.

In June 2005, Taranto swapped out the shop’s Xerox DocuColor® 2045 color printer for a largerformat and faster Xerox iGen3® Press. Within two months, he was able to justify a second Xerox iGen3 Press based upon the savings achieved.

“We’ve had phenomenal success on the digital platform,” says Taranto, Noting Corporate Printing Services is now equipped to support nearly all of Highmark’s printing and finishing needs.

Which, it turns out, is quite a lot.

From Manuals to Marketing Pieces

The current printing equipment lineup includes two full-color Xerox iGen4® Presses, two monochromes Xerox Nuvera® 288 EA Perfecting Production Systems and a Nuvera 144 EA Perfecting Production System, along with a Xerox DocuColor 8000 in Pittsburgh; and another Xerox DocuColor 8000 and Nuvera 288 EA Perfecting Production System at the facility in Camp Hill, outside of Harrisburg.

Most of the finishing touches at both locations are applied automatically by equipment manufactured by C.P. Bourg. At the headquarters plant, Taranto relies on a Bourg BCM-x Bleed Crease Module and a Bourg BDF-x Document Finisher connected on-line to one of the Xerox iGen4 Presses to produce mostly finished color work. Another three dedicated Bourg BDF-x Document Finishers stitch, fold and trim booklets, reports and various other documents produced by the two Nuvera 288 EA Perfecting Production Systems in Pittsburgh and the single Nuvera 288 EA Perfecting Production System in Camp Hill.

The in-plant’s entire digital operation is driven by Xerox FreeFlow® Digital Workflow software, with Xerox XMPie® software used to drive variable print production.

Other machines used for folding, die-cutting, plastic coiling, comb binding, 3-hole punching, packaging and padding round out the headquarters finishing operation. This range of equipment enables the Printing Services operation to produce a variety of internal and customer-facing materials covering the lion’s share of what is typically printed in a corporate setting, says Taranto.

“Much of our work involves the production of benefit books, high end sales collateral, enrollment packages, manuals, marketing materials and member letters. We also often work ‘outside the box,’ producing everything from posters and transparent static clings for decorating office windows and walls to personalized customer letters, event invitation packages and die-cut materials.”

The ability to produce personalized pieces printed with variable data is critically important today, and the ability to keep that data within the company is equally important.

“Having an in-house operation makes it possible to achieve both goals. It also means we can handle jobs at the 11th hour that often can’t be done outside,” he says.
“Plus, with the Bourg BCM-x and BDF-x, we’re able to finish full-bleed marketing materials printed on our large-format iGen4  something that even many commercial printers can’t do. If we didn’t have floor-space limitations, I would add a second Bourg Bleed Crease Module for our other iGen4.”

Benefits at the Cutting Edge

Highmark’s Bourg BDF-x finishers combine the three key functions of stitching, folding and trimming in a single compact module. Documents from two to up to 55 sheets can be top-, side-, corner or saddle-stitched, and folded and trimmed automatically.

The Bourg BCM-x Bleed Crease Module is unique in its ability to accept and process full-sized Xerox iGen output at the printer’s full speed, and do it with superior quality, delivering accurately creased and trimmed sheets automatically to the Bourg BDF-x finisher for stitching.

When it was installed in late 2009, the Bourg BCM-x allowed Highmark’s internal clients to design pieces for internal production with color printing that extended  or “bled”  to the trimmed edge. This enabled Taranto’s group to handle more work, while helping the company cut down on turnaround times and pare outside costs.

"The net effect of producing full-bleed color work internally in an all-digital workflow means that Highmark can produce more professional-looking marketing materials while cutting productionrelated costs by more than 40% compared to going outside", he says.

And that’s just the beginning of the shop’s overall benefits.

Because they can respond quickly to company demands, the Corporate Printing Services group can produce most jobs in-house faster and with greater data security. And doing all the work at cost means the group can produce jobs less expensively than using outside services.

“When you add up all the savings  the lower expense for proofs, not having to ship finished product or to warehouse stock overages  our cost savings can be closer to 50%, and that’s before factoring in the quick turnaround times that help us get finished product into customers’ hands faster,” he explains.

“Plus, the color and accuracy of print from the iGen4 Press is superior even compared to the iGen3 Press, and every bit as good as the print from a Heidelberg press,” says Taranto, adding the Bourg BCM-x and BDF-x finishers ensure their finished products maintain that high quality.

“Our customers and clients love the quality,” he says, pointing to the shop’s 99.7% approval rating in 2010 based on nearly 2,800 customer satisfaction surveys. During this time, Corporate Print Services produced 27,328 digital printing and/or finishing projects  16% more than the previous year with literally zero brand compliance issues, defects or privacy issues.

Running Lean

In addition to saving time and costs, the printing services group strives to optimize the entire workflow, in keeping with Highmark’s corporate efficiency initiatives.

As evidence, Taranto cites a pre-sort mailing initiative that in its first year has saved the company more than $100,000 in postal costs by producing work internally.

“We’re also a very skinny operation,” Taranto explains. “All our work arrives electronically through the corporate intranet and much of it is produced automatically through Xerox FreeFlow and XMPie software.

“FreeFlow is integral to our operation from a business standpoint, and all our key printing production lines are networked through it. The great thing with FreeFlow is that my staff can select jobs from the communications queue and run them on the Xerox and Bourg systems at either campus. This keeps jobs flowing and lets us load-balance when needed,” Taranto explains.

“With a digital workflow, my staff literally touches the stock only twice: once when they load sheets in the iGen and Nuvera presses, and again when they collect the finished booklets from the Bourg BDF-x finishers.

“The bottom line is, finishing can make or break our ability to take on a project and for Highmark to benefit from our working on it in less time and at a lower cost. When I sought out finishing gear for the first time to satisfy the digital mandate, I went to all the shows and saw all the possibilities.

“C.P. Bourg had the solution I was looking for. Their reputation and their status as a Xerox Business Innovation Partner made choosing them all the sweeter for me.”

“Both C.P. Bourg and Xerox have been valuable partners in making our range of services possible,” says Taranto  a fact that saves Highmark many valuable stitches in time.

Pennsylvania Career Center Students Gain Hard Knowledge and Soft Skills Working on Live Jobs for Real Clients

May 21, 2014

Pennsylvania, United States

Given the need to operate economically in these trying times, striving for perfection is not how you would expect a print service provider to prosper. After all, sweating every detail just gets in the way of efficiency and reduces profitability.

But at a small print center located in the rolling Pennsylvania hillside a few miles northwest of Lancaster, micro-managing the manufacturing of booklets and other finished printed documents with the help of a new and highly automated booklet maker only adds to their success.

This extraordinary printing facility is the Digital Design and Print Media Center of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC), a regional career and technology school that offers its students courses and real-world training in 50 full and part-time programs taught mainly at the school’s three campuses.

The Digital Design and Print Media curriculum is part of the LCCTC Visual Communications Program, which also offers certificates in Commercial Art and Photography and Digital Imaging. Students in the Digital Design and Print Media Program attend courses taught by state-certified Instructor Daniel McCauley that cover all aspects of graphics design and production, from job estimating and paper buying through design, prepress, print production and finishing.

In keeping with the school’s mission to prepare people for skilled, innovative and productive careers, the work performed by LCCTC students in the Digital Design and Print Media Center is “as real as it  gets,” says Craig Keener, DD/PMC manager and its only paid employee. And, with 31 years of print industry experience under his belt, including 12 years running offset presses and much of the remaining time spent in supervisory and management positions at commercial print shops before joining LCCTC in 2004, Keener should know.

Putting Knowledge to Work

Located at the LCCTC Brownstown campus, the Center and its all-student staff of 20 seniors cater to a client base of 200 non-profit, community and education based organizations in the Lancaster area. Customers include all LCCTC programs and departments, many of the constituents comprising the 16 public school districts and government agencies in Lancaster County, and a few local non-profit organizations – notably United Way and health care provider Lancaster General Health. The center’s primary role is for training purposes through a live work environment. The intention is not to compete with local printers but to prepare students for employment with them.

Students design work on Apple Mac workstations using Adobe Creative Suite and output job files digitally using computer-to-plate capabilities or directly to sheet-fed or large-format digital printers. They also operate a full-service bindery offering mounting and laminating; perfect, spiral and GBC binding; and collating and document finishing services.

Jobs produced by the students cover a broad spectrum, ranging from letterhead, envelopes, binder inserts, time planners and carbonless forms to pocket-size reference guides, course catalogs, sell sheets, brochures, posters, calendars, booklets, books, newsletters, and guides to school shows and sports events.

Benefitting from Experience

“Everything we do is 'live' work, and it’s often done for the school districts the students come from,” says Keener.

The combination of coursework and hands-on experience in design and print equips students in the Digital Design and Print Media program with the real-world knowledge and skills – qualities that are reflected in the national certification each student is eligible to receive from the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (PrintED/GAERF) at graduation.

While the school’s budget covers the instructor’s salary and course materials, the DD/PMC operates within state guidelines as an accumulation center, generating enough revenue to pay for the center’s expenses, materials, equipment repairs – and most recently, the cost of new equipment.

Like any competitive shop, the DD/PMC provides its customers with free estimates, FTP file transfers, excellent quality and competitive pricing, plus free local pickup and delivery of finished products.

“Some of our customers also deal with other print providers, and it would be natural to think they should go easy on us because we’re a school,” says Keener. “But we can’t look at it that way, because we want to teach our kids how to deal with competition. In our view, we’re just another print solutions provider. And like any paid service provider, we have to make our customer counts, estimate jobs properly and provide the same turnaround times our customers can get down the street.”

Tackling Technology that Doesn’t Yet Exist…

“Because graphic communications technology is moving so fast, we’re trying to equip our students today with the skills that will help them tackle technology that doesn’t exist yet,” says Keener.

To help address that goal, an Occupation Advisory Committee comprised of members from the surrounding business community further guides the DD/PMC. The committee members form a good cross section, including people in staff and management positions at prominent firms in the printing and graphics industries, Keener notes.

Although it emphasizes digital production, the school needs to comply with state standards for printing education that mandate some analog printing knowledge, says Keener. To bridge both worlds, the  Center maintains and divides jobs among three Ryobi 2-color offset presses, a 4-color Heidelberg QuickMaster DI with on-board digital imaging, and Ricoh 2090 monochrome and IKON CPP 500 color digital printers, giving students experience across a broad technology spectrum.

To benefit from recent major advances in finishing technology, the DD/PMC recently upgraded its eight-year-old C.P. Bourg booklet making system, swapping a two-tower Bourg BST-10d Suction Tower Collator for a newer BST-10d+ model and replacing the older stitchfold-trim modules with a new integrated Bourg BM-e Booklet Maker. The finishing system is the first of the shop’s new equipment to be purchased solely from profits.

Representing a fresh design four years in development, the award-winning Bourg BM-e is the first highly automated finishing system that efficiently handles even ultra-short print runs from digital printers while easily matching their production speeds. Its large format size, combined with the ability to stitch 30 sheets of 20-lb bond makes the BM-e able to produce single booklets or hundreds at a time of eight to 120 pages in sizes smaller than a CD case to a full 14.5 x 11.75 inches in landscape format, and do it with unmatched efficiency.

The Bourg BST-10d+ is a proven 10-bin collator featuring “vacuum belt” technology pioneered by C.P. Bourg to transport low-friction coated stock reliably along the document path without marking or skipping. To promote job integrity, the Bourg BM-e communicates directly with the Bourg BST, enabling each device to know what sheets or sets the BST should send and what output the BM-e has received.

“I've installed many machines during my career and the BST-BM-e was one of the smoothest installations I've ever been part of – just flawless from shipping to setup to plugging the machines in and starting them up,” says Keener.

Within a week of installing the new booklet-making system, the Print Media Center used it to produce a series of jobs totaling about 100,000 booklets. “We hit it hard early,” he admits, adding the BM-e accepted the initial heavy workload without a hitch and hasn’t skipped a beat since.

Benefitting from Operations

Although the old system was still going strong and the school was able to sell it, the new Bourg booklet maker is a better production tool and a better learning tool, says Keener.

“The BM-e is very student-friendly. It has a color touchscreen with a menu-driven operating system and offers fully automatic setup – the feature set we’re trying to get on all our new equipment.”

In addition to Bourg reliability and quality, the print center manager says the BM-e offered a number of features he found compelling.

He particularly appreciates the BM-e's ability to handle toner-based digital output – critical in an industry where run lengths continue to shrink and where digital printing techniques have made “booklets of one” not just possible but commonplace. The shop’s finishing jobs typically range from 100 booklets to 25,000 newsletters for some of the larger school districts. But if needed, students can interrupt a job in progress to run as many as 50 pieces on demand using the BM-e's touchscreen to set it up and the machine’s hand-feed mechanism to insert it.

The booklet maker also can be set to jog signatures up to three times prior to stitching to dissipate the static electricity generated by digital printing through the grounded metal chassis. Plus, he says, the students can stitch a job and then run it back through the BM-e to quarter-fold it. “It does a nice, hard fold too,” Keener notes.

Small is Beautiful

Although the BM-e offers the largest format available for on-demand booklet-making, the largest stock the Print Media Center runs on its sheet-fed equipment is 12 x 18 inches. “Actually, I was intrigued by how small a booklet we could make on it,” notes Keener, pointing to the BM-e's ability to accept stock from 4.7 x 6.7 inches for top- and cornerstitching and from 4.7 x 7.1 inches for saddle-stitching.

Even operating with the smaller sheet size, the BM-e permits a high degree of finishing flexibility, aided by an intuitive icon-driven operating system that makes it easy to set up each job quickly and fine-tune the stitch, fold and trim dimensions in 1/10 mm increments, on the fly.

While the job is running, the workflow is displayed graphically using easily interpreted international symbols, says Keener. “The run screen shows you the sheet size, where your stitch is hitting the sheet and where it’s being folded and trimmed. It actually depicts an image of the rollers at their tightest position with directional arrows and plus or minus signs available to make micro adjustments very simply on the run. That alone is a great feature I haven’t seen on other systems, and one we use frequently.

“The sheet travel also has been vastly improved, and the accuracy is much higher so we’re getting fewer errors,” says Keener, noting the BM-e automatically ejects any sets that are out of tolerance, allowing the operator to address problems and manually feed corrected booklets back into the work stream.

“In the past, we’d manually pull those sets out, re-collate and set them aside. Now at the touch of a button we can pull up the hand-feed gate, go into Manual mode, feed the problem sets through, and we’re finished,” Keener explains.

Sweating the Small Stuff

The Center does a lot of intricate work that requires fine tuning, says Keener, explaining that, unlike the popular book that advises ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ – the Print Media Center’s mantra is ‘Sweat the small stuff!’

“We look at all the details of a finished job that make our lives as printers easier in the end – from print quality and color fidelity to the crispness of folds, the placement of stitches and how well the piece is trimmed – and we try to produce it perfectly.”

The Center’s “Sweat the small stuff” philosophy extends to instilling the “soft skills” students need to succeed out in the job world – like arriving to work on time, having ownership in their jobs, taking pride in the finished product and being mindful of limiting waste.

“That’s what C.P. Bourg did with the BM-e,” says Keener. “They sweated over and improved a lot of little things that together enhance every aspect of the machine: its speed and accuracy; the mark-free paper transport; its folding mechanism; the paper path; allowing the waste bin to be emptied on the run; its stitch integrity – everything."

“And because it’s highly automated, many of these new features not only boost productivity but also provide a safer work environment,” he adds.

Keener estimates the typical job on the BM-e is being produced about 30% faster and with higher accuracy and consistency than before. He now expects the BM-e to provide the Print Center with a four-year payback instead of the seven years he initially projected – and to achieve that goal without having to raise the shop’s hourly rate.

“Although our mission is to provide our graduates with educational opportunities, I also see it as recycling tax dollars and revenues from our own operations to help the next generation of graphic communications professionals compete for jobs in a dynamically changing industry.

“And,” he adds, “we’re well on our way.”

Virginia Corrections Offers Inmates a Fresh Start with Digital Finishing ...

May 21, 2014

Virginia, United States

Although some prisoners today still make only license plates, many are doing more useful things with their time while “doing time.”

At Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE), inmates manufacture products from furniture and apparel to bed linens and binders. For some, the daily regimen includes learning some of the most advanced digital prepress, printing and finishing technology currently available.

Operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections, VCE was established by the Virginia General Assembly more than 75 years ago as a work program to produce goods and services for tax-supported agencies of the Commonwealth and authorized non-profit organizations. A selfsufficient entity, VCE is supported by revenue retained from the sale of its products and services rather than by tax dollars.

VCE vocational programs help instill a work ethic and teach skills that enable offenders incarcerated within the Department of Corrections to become productive members of society upon their release. They also have helped the state reduce its rate of recidivism, which in the U.S. averages 60%.

The expansion to printing was the idea of VCE Director Don Guillory, who believed that offenders needed to learn how to make more than hard goods like clothing and furniture.

Making a Break

“For many years, we maintained a large offset print shop inside our Powhatan, Virginia prison facility. During the 1990s, our customers wanted their jobs faster and we were unable to meet that demand with offset, which is time-consuming to start with and operates even more slowly inside a prison,” says Stephen Palmese, VCE Group Manager, Print Services.

In 1995, VCE purchased a Xerox® DocuTech® 135. “We had that system for a while, but prison procedures made ineffective,” says Palmese.

By 2001, Print Services’ offset turnaround times of two to three weeks were colliding head-on with customer demand for finished jobs in 24 to 72 hours. In response, Palmese suggested opening digital printing centers outside the prison walls‒—a novel approach that hadn’t been attempted before. Guillory consulted with Xerox Corporation, which embraced the idea.

“After searching for the location, Xerox proposed assuming responsibility for the entire copy work of the State Corporation Commission (SCC),” Guillory recalled. This initial collaboration led to a contract (now in its second generation) and expansion to VCE Digital Works.

Today, VCE’s Printing Services Group operates Digital Works printing centers in Richmond and South Park, each more than 20 miles from the high-security Powhatan Correctional Center that houses VCE’s offset operation.

A More Productive System

In downtown Richmond, the smaller of the two digital centers operates as a convenience printer for the SCC and other local government offices. Here, a Xerox Nuvera® 120 EA Production System and two Xerox® DocuPrint® 4100-series printers produce monochrome work, while a Xerox® DocuColor® 252 color printer handles small color jobs.

The larger facility in South Park includes a state-of-the-art prepress department equipped with two Apples, three PCs and the latest publishing software, including The iGen4 Press operates online with an evenly matched C.P. Bourg booklet-making system that makes quick work of everything from pamphlets and brochures to booklets and manuals.

Consisting of a Bourg BCM-x Bleed Crease Module and Bourg BDF-x Document Finisher, the fully automated stitch-fold-trim booklet making system is designed for on-demand, full-bleed production enabling jobs sent to the BCM-x to be creased and bleed-trimmed at the full speed of the iGen4 before they are passed to the Bourg BDF-x finisher.

The Bourg BDF-x can top- or corner-stitch documents with variable data from two to 55 sheets of 80 gsm, and saddle-stitch booklets up to 88 pages thick. In this way, booklets of one or thousands can be produced by the BDF-x with zero waste and at rates up to 4,200 sets per hour.

“I’ve been familiar with C.P. Bourg forever,” Palmese says of his choice, also citing C.P. Bourg’s reputation for the best finishing products that work online with Xerox® presses.

Shorter Learning Curves

Each of the digital facilities is operated by female offenders who are bused in and out each day to nearby minimumsecurity facilities and closely supervised by knowledgeable staff.

"With average impressions of 16 million black and white pages and 4 million color pages per year, the digital facility at South Park generates 67% of the group’s digital print volume", reports Palmese.

Although digital efficiency comes at a higher price to customers, most are willing to pay for the quicker turnaround, according to Palmese. The more advanced digital operation also makes it easier for offenders to learn binding and finishing skills more quickly and to gain the proficiency needed to retrieve and load jobs, operate the presses and troubleshoot problems without intervention, says Palmese citing a study recently conducted by the Print Services Group.

According to the study, inmates typically learn basic skills on the digital presses in two to four weeks—or seven to 13 times faster than on comparable offset equipment. They can become proficient using the digital monochrome presses in 12 weeks, and skilled on the color presses in about one year—or four times faster than the time needed to learn the corresponding offset process.

The learning curve for the smaller bindery equipment is comparable. Inmates need only four weeks on average to learn the basics, and 12 weeks to become proficient. This compares with eight weeks learning the ropes and 52 weeks, or a full year to become proficient on the larger cutters, folders and off-line binders, reports Palmese.

A Life-Changing Experience

“Our time estimates include learning a work ethic and developing the good habits that come with it—like getting up on time, having a good attitude and taking pride in the job,” notes Palmese. “Keep in mind that many of the inmates employed at the digital facility have never operated equipment before—let alone sophisticated printing and finishing equipment—and many have never held a job.”

The offset facility in Powhatan remains the largest of the three. Upgraded over the years, it now sports three Apples and six PCs, sending jobs to computer-to-plate imaging for the shop’s 15 one- and two color offset presses feeding a well-equipped off-line bindery. Printed output runs the gamut from letterhead, business cards and pamphlets to brochures and posters and from black-and-white to double-run fourcolor process.

The decision to send a job to Powhatan or one of the digital facilities depends on the quantity the customer needs, their budget and how fast they want the finished product, says Palmese.

“We offer 24-hour turnaround at the digital centers, compared to two to three week turnaround from Powhatan. If somebody needs a four-color job quickly, there’s just no way to produce it offset,” he says.

“ Our time estimates include learning a work ethic and developing the good habits that come with it—like getting up on time, having a good attitude and taking pride in the job. Keep in mind that many of the inmates employed at the digital facility have never operated equipment before—let alone sophisticated printing and finishing equipment—and many have never held a job.” – Stephen Palmese

“Then again, if a customer wants 15,000 of the same four-color brochures, there’s no way we can do it economically on the digital presses,” he explains.

Palmese credits the Digital Works program with having equipped hundreds of inmates with the skills needed to land jobs outside of prison, contributing to Virginia’s 27.3% recidivism rate—one of the lowest in the U.S.

“That may not sound like a lot,” says Palmese, “but the opportunity to have their own place, their own car and their own bank account is a life-changing situation for the former inmates who apply the skills they’ve learned here to become productive members of society.”

California School District Saves Millions Each Month Binding Books In-house

May 21, 2014

California, United States

The Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) is not your average public school system. It ranks as the sixth largest in California and the largest in Orange County, serving nearly 54,000 K-12 students at 63 schools in a 24 square-mile area. The school district also employs over 5,000 people, including school principals and teachers; department directors, supervisors, managers, food service and administrative workers.

The Santa Ana USD Publications Department that supports this major school system’s educational and communications needs is also anything but average. The largely digital production unit is based in a single centralized facility that operates five days a week around the clock, prints six million impressions per month – and saves millions of dollars in the process.

This represents a dramatic change from the limited services the department provided in August 1997, when Holger Kasper was hired to revamp it and bring graphic services production in-house to reduce costs.

From Outdated to Updated

Back then, the Publications Department was nestled in a cramped 7,000 square-foot area with an antiquated analog print workflow and no postpress services except for a paper cutter and a tape binding machine. Much of the printing – and anything that had to be bound or finished – was sent to outside service providers, says Kasper.

Within the first year of taking over as department manager, Kasper had upgraded “nearly everything” in the in-plant shop, applying the experience he had gained from 15 years as general manager of several commercial printing outfits to bring the operation up to date.

“In a commercial operation,” Kasper explains, “the more work you do, the more profit you can make. In an in-plant environment, the more work you keep in-house in a centralized facility the more money you save by not having to pay a premium for payroll, benefits and administrative overhead. Plus you control the scheduling rather than the outside vendor.”

Among his many changes, prepress was expanded and brought into the digital age, computerized platemaking was installed to speed print job setup, and a new 4-color perfecting press replaced the department’s aging offset unit. By early 1998, Kasper had taken over a small part of the shop for a new digital bindery that featured the latest equipment innovations available.

He first installed a Xerox Corporation DocuTech® 6180 Production Publisher integrated with a BBF2005 Book Factory manufactured by Xerox Business Innovation Partner C.P. Bourg to produce perfect-bound books on demand. Next to the on-line Book Factory, Kasper brought in a Xerox DocuTech 6135 Production Publisher paired with a compact Bourg BDF-x Document Finisher for integrated stitch-fold-trim booklet-making.

Because each of the binders operated on-line with their respective digital printers, the two setups automated the production of books and booklets in any quantity the District needed – whether single copies or hundreds.

Back to the Future

The original digital production lines proved so reliable and efficient that in 2003, when the first six year lease expired, the department negotiated a second with Xerox to replace the lines with two new Xerox DocuTech 6180s, and a new Bourg BBF2005 Book Factory and BDF-x Document Finisher. Along the way, the department added a C.P. Bourg off-line finishing system with a Bourg BST Suction Tower Collator and modular “t-series” stitch-fold-trim units.

Fast-forward seven years to 2010. Holger Kasper is Director of Logistics responsible for the Publications and Records Retentions departments and warehouse; almost all of the District’s requests for graphics services are received electronically; and the Publications Department produces more than 99 percent of the jobs it receives in-house in an expanded 14,000 square-foot facility.

However, due to the budget woes experienced in California during the current economic downturn, the same on-line binding and finishing systems installed in 2003 are still being used today for full-tilt production – compelling testimony to their equipment durability and innovative design.

Making Millions of Impressions

During the day shift, the Publications Department prints everything from posters and program guides for sports events to NCR forms, homework assignment sheets and various other materials
representing two million of the department’s total six million printed impressions per month.

This is when both of the C.P. Bourg document finishers are used – with the on-line BDF-x and the offline Bourg BST Suction Tower Collator and modular “t-series” units playing key roles by stitching, folding and trimming business materials, teacher-created books, and “a ton of workbooks” and other course materials, says Kasper.

The off-line Bourg finisher carries part of the load, accepting up to 10 11 x 17-inch signatures, or 36 pages plus cover from the BST-10d collator. When thicker materials need to be finished on-line, the Xerox 6180 and its fully automated Bourg BDF-x signature booklet maker take over production. The BDF-x allows sheet size and application changeovers under software control for top/side/corner or saddle stitching and trimming up to 4,200 sets per hour of up to 55 sheets of coated and uncoated stock including cover from 8" x 4.7" to 20-3/8" x 14".

The Xerox 6180’s built-in cover tray allows an operator to add pre-printed color covers during production, enabling production runs of custom-cover booklets. The department prints short-run color covers on a Xerox 5000 color printer. When more than 1,000 impressions are needed, it presses its 4-color Heidelberg offset unit into service.

Saving Millions on Bookbinding Alone

During the second and third shifts from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 the next morning, the second Xerox 6180 printer and Bourg BBF2005 Book Factory synchronized with the printer’s output take over the department’s entire workflow, long ago having replaced the tape-bound books produced until 1998 with exceptionally durable professionally-bound softcover volumes. The books produced can be 1.57 inches thick, in finished sizes from 8-1/4 x 5-1/2 inches to as large as 14 x 12 inches.

“The Bourg equipment is so easy to use, one person can operate it with a little training,” notes Kasper, “and the books produced are very high quality,” he adds.

This highly automated production line is used exclusively for binding the remaining four million page impressions per month, representing hundreds of thousands of softcover workbooks used by students every year and various perfect-bound publications needed by administrators. The digital book production system also gives SAUSD the manufacturing capacity and volume needed to strike deals with textbook publishers, alone saving the District literally millions of dollars per year.

“Because we can bind so many books, whenever SAUSD adds a new textbook series we negotiate with the publisher for the rights to produce the materials, like workbooks, that go with them,” Kasper explains.

The publisher sends one original file called a black line master for each of these materials. The masters are loaded into the Publications Department computer system and publication lists are made
available to the District by ISBN number along with department pricing. Using the ISBNs as unique identifiers, schools fill out an on-line form using the department’s Web CRD software from Xerox Business Innovation Partner Rochester Software Associates to order workbooks when needed. Each order triggers billing, but at a fraction of the price publishers charge.

Proof in the Analysis

In 2006, Kasper was asked to analyze the savings generated by in-house production. For the analysis he assessed a single textbook series used by the elementary schools for language arts, comparing the price the publisher would have charged for workbooks for that one series with the cost of running the entire Publications Department per year including payroll, overhead and equipment – everything except paper.

“The report concluded that our in-house approach to production saved the District $3.1 million per month binding workbooks for that one textbook series alone. It didn’t even include the savings we generate by keeping all the other work we do for the District in-house,” Kasper explains. The Bourg binding and finishing equipment also has proven quite reliable, despite the fact for nearly seven years it has been used routinely 16 hours a day, five days a week. “Over all, I can’t remember a time during the last 12 years when that equipment was down any more than what could be expected,” says Kasper.

As for the quality of the finished product, Kasper points to the fact that the perfect-bound workbooks are used for an entire school year by kids, who can be extraordinarily hard on them and sometimes use them for purposes adults can’t even imagine.

“If you take any perfect bound book and you throw it around and bend it enough, the spine will break and the pages will come out. But in the 12 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never, ever had a call from a school about a problem with a binding.

“There’s not a lot of binding options out there that could keep up with the equipment I have right now, says Kasper. “And we’re going to keep doing it the way we’ve been doing it, because it literally saves us millions of dollars.”

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