Within days of arrival at Printing Methods, Inc., North America's first Kugler-Womako ProBind W binding machine runs 700,000-piece job

Printing Methods is one of very few printers in the U.S. to have in-house wire binding, with the ProBind W (in the background) complementing an already extensive bindery department.
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Sheboygan, Wisconsin/Rochester, New York, USA, June 30, 2009 - Printing Methods, Inc., one of the country's largest African-American owned and operated commercial printers, has installed America's first ProBind W binding machine in its Rochester, NY, facility. The automatic in-line punching and Wire-O (double wire) binding solution is manufactured by Kugler-Womako, a company of the Körber PaperLink Group.

"This in-house capability enables us to secure jobs that previously we were not awarded or had to outsource," said Olanrewaju "Lanre" Olotu, CEO and Owner of Printing Methods. "It also affords us the opportunity to capitalize on special finishing features by using this production workhorse as a stand-alone service."

He added, "Based on our customers' large print quantities and other needs, having the automation that the ProBind W brings to our finishing operation was a production-investment must."

First task: Finish 700,000 books

This particular workhorse started pulling mightily, straight from the barn. It flawlessly produced a 700,000-piece job immediately after a fast-track installation.

Anticipating the assignment, Mr. Olotu looked into the capabilities of several machines, including those of other manufacturers. None offered the automation capabilities of the ProBind W.

Expedited testing and purchase process

The looming job left very little time for delivery, so the two companies streamlined the testing process. Printing Methods sent a completed product sample, including tabs, to Kugler-Womako, who then simulated a production run at the manufacturer's facility in Nürtingen, Germany. Printing Methods was then confident that the machine could duplicate the example.

"This was a very nice reassurance that the ProBind W could handle the job," Mr. Olotu said. "We anticipated that tabbed books would be the challenge. Ordinarily, that presents a jogging issue with the various page widths, but the ProBind W system handled it admirably."

The pre-prepared machine was up-and-running 3 days after arrival.

"We pride ourselves on being efficient and flexible," said Dean Heim, Regional Sales Manager for Kugler-Womako sister company and North American agent, Pemco Inc. "At times like this, such capability is invaluable." Kugler-Womako and Pemco coordinated the installation, and as a precaution included an extra technician to assist with initial production.

According to Greg Clonick, Printing Methods' VP of Manufacturing, the entire print job - a Wire-O bound booklet for a pharmaceutical client - went without a hitch.

ProBind technology

Kugler-Womako developed the ProBind concept as an economical alternative to small, manual binding machines, as well as to more expensive, fully automatic machines for mass production. The ProBind can be configured for spiral (ProBind S), plastic (ProBind P), spiral and plastic (ProBind S+P) or, as it was configured for Printing Methods, Wire-O bound books (ProBind W).

Versatility is among the many strengths of the ProBind W. The machine accepts manually pre-collated books, does layer splitting, punching, and binding, to output a finished product.

"At up to 35 binding cycles and 105 punching cycles a minute, the ProBind W combines production efficiency with outstanding product quality," said Claus Fischer, Product Manager at Kugler-Womako. The ProBind W can process books up to 23 mm thick.

A cover feeder will be delivered to Printing Methods in the near future. Although Printing Methods did not purchase a book hopper feeder, spine trimmer or book corner rounding, these features may be added to any ProBind W machine.

"It is the premier finishing operation on our production floor," CEO Olotu said. "A high-end complement to our binding capabilities."

Visitors to the PRINT 09 show in Chicago, IL (September 11-16, 2009, McCormick Place) can learn more about Kugler-Womako solutions and see a ProBind W machine in operation at Booth 3600, Hall B1.
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