The older and younger management team at IBW Industrial Binding together in one picture: front from left: Olivier van der Haert (Business Development), Steven van Belle (Technology), rear from left: François van der Haert (Director of Finances), Patrick van Belle (Production/Technology), Luc Dosselaere (Product Manager Muller Martini Benelux), Bernard van der Haert (Delegate of the Board of Directors).
With a daily volume of over one million perfect bound and saddle stitched products, IBW is not only the most important bookbindery in the Benelux countries, but also one of the biggest in all of Europe. The machine line-up in Oostkamp near Bruges is equally impressive. In addition to ten saddle stitchers, IBW, with its 170 employees, uses seven perfect binding lines – all from Muller Martini. They bind solely for external customers, their products covering heavyweight magazines (IBW produces many reputable women’s, fashion, car and computer magazines), but also produce catalogs, brochures, annual reports and books.
The two new 3696 gathering machines bring IBW significantly higher levels of flexibility.
Also New: The ZTM 3696
IBW’s basic concept includes using two copies of each machine type with the same configuration, not least for backup purposes. They even have four CoronaCompact CC12 lines, all equipped for PUR production with the new VPN book spine nozzle. The last two were commissioned in August and September of last year along with two Acoro lines and a modular binder.
In contrast to the other two CC12 lines, the two new systems – which also include two three-knife trimmers from the new Orbit generation as well as a splitting saw and an Easy Fly front trimmer each – are equipped with the latest bookbinding innovation from Muller Martini: the 3696 gathering machine. One has 16 stations and the other has 20.
“The two new ZTM 3696 machines increase our flexibility substantially,” stresses Patrick van Belle. And, in the same breath, the long-standing IBW external consultant for production and technology adds: “Nowadays, a high level of flexibility is a must for any modern bookbindery. For us it is all the more important because we receive all our orders from external partners and the production time slots are much shorter than before.”
So, for example, for an African women’s magazine published in a run of 90,000 copies, there are just 24 hours between receipt of the signature and delivery to Brussels airport.
More and More Cards in Softcover
Patrick van Belle names two aspects of the ZTM 3696 that have significantly increased flexibility: on the one hand the fast changeover speed of the feeders, which, in the name of optimized production, are not infrequently moved from one line to the other – and on the other hand, the card gluer. While glued-in and loose cards have long been the standard in saddle-stitched magazines, Patrick van Belle thinks there is now a corresponding trend with softcover products. Before the ZTM 3696 was commissioned, IBW used a saddle stitcher to apply the cards. “Now,” says Patrick van Belle, “we can do everything in one work step – and save lots of time in the process.”
The Book Data Center (BDC), which records the relevant book measurement data for the entire perfect binding line and can be called up by the individual machines, also plays a considerable role in boosting the production speed. “Another fundamental step forward in our two new perfect binding lines is the fact that the ZTM 3696 and the Orbit are configured automatically,” stresses van Belle.
“An Important Step toward the Future”
Thanks to the increased productivity of the individual systems, IBW is now increasingly working in a two-shift operation instead of three. There are significantly fewer night shifts – which is a crucial cost criterion in light of the current economic situation. Of course IBW is also feeling the effects of the economic downturn in the printing sector, which is why the latest investment might be surprising at first glance. But for Patrick van Belle it is “an important step toward the future, which keeps all our options open. We want to be ready for the pick-up in demand.”
All four CoronaCompact lines at IBW are equipped for PUR production with the new VPN book spine nozzle.