Modernizing An Age-old In-plant
CHERYL BUXTON is pretty up-front about the fact that some of the equipment in her Topeka, Kan., in-plant is older than the employees who run it.
“As someone said, ‘you’ve got to start getting rid of some of your World War II equipment, Cheryl,’ ” she laughs.
In June, the director of the Division of Printing and Surplus Property for the state of Kansas took this advice to heart and replaced a 30-year-old stitcher with a state-of-the-art Muller Martini Bravo-Plus saddle stitcher with AMRYS (automatic makeready system). This is just the latest of several equipment upgrades for this century-and-a-half-old in-plant, spanning the past couple years.
Twice as fast as the shop’s old stitcher, the BravoPlus produces saddle-stitched work at 11,000 books per hour, Buxton says. Setup time is incredibly fast, she adds, thanks to the AMRYS. Operators can now make quick changeovers to meet deadlines that previously required overtime to complete.
“The speed of this machine [makes it] more productive than any saddle stitcher I have operated,” attests Danny Terry, senior bindery operator. “This machine runs smoothly and quietly even at very high speeds.”
The new stitcher can store up to 1,000 jobs, Buxton adds, which is great because “we do a lot of repetitive jobs.”
The Division of Printing produces numerous saddle-stitched booklets in a variety of formats for agencies across Kansas. Run lengths range from a few thousand up to 400,000. The stitcher can also double as a collator for coil bound jobs when run lengths are long. Being able to gather and trim three sides in one pass saves time and eliminates a lot of the hand work previously required. Buxton estimates that the new stitcher will pay for itself in cost savings before it is two years old.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.