The proliferation of digital cameras has driven a change in the way photos are being taken and processed. It is also driving a big revival in hard case bookbinding for photobooks. Internet ordering systems linked to modern digital colour systems such as HP Indigo machines are placing orders for high quality bound photobooks in larger numbers.
This type of binding is difficult to automate as it is a mixture of sizes and page numbers in single examples or extremely short runs. Fully automated equipment is impossible to use in this environment, due to setup times and the inability to process mixed sizes.
There are various desktop systems which use gluing or clamping methods into a prepared hard case. Several equipment solutions are available that speed up traditional bookbinding for short run work such as those offered by Schmedt. Renz Masterbind are Australian agents for Schmedt book binding systems.
The Managing Director of Renz Masterbind, Rod Fowler says that they have seen a remarkable change in the demand for this type of equipment. These equipment were previously sold in small numbers to traditional handcraft bookbinders but today Renz Masterbind are selling complete production lines to digital copy operators.
The Schmedt equipment range helps to speed up each stage of the hard case process, block gluing, case making, casing in and pressing. Operators can choose to buy the whole line or individual equipment to remove certain bottlenecks in the process. This type of equipment requires virtually no setup time and operators can quickly and simply change from one books size to the next and achieve speeds of up to 2 to 300 books an hour.
Abbey Plastics Managing Director, Christian Macgregor, says that their company has installed a range of Schmedt case binding systems in order to support this growing demand. By installing the Schmedt equipment, Abbey Plastics were able to produce a broader range of products in a higher quality at a productive speed.
Glenn Innes based Photo Create, have also invested in wire binding equipment available from Renz Masterbind. They use Renz Ring Wire for producing personalised photo calendars and photobooks for the customers.