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11.09.2018 / Patrick Treyer

Incorrectly stitched signatures: The Asir 3 serves as insurance against this type of error

Have you ever lost money because of incorrectly stitched or glued signatures? Read about the problems that occurred at of one of our customers and what could have been done to prevent them.

“What a morning: Just as I was about to leave the house I spilled hot coffee on my T-shirt. As a result, I was going to be late to work again. I had hardly walked through the door when the next stressful situation began. A large express order had to be ready on the saddle stitcher by 4 o’clock in the afternoon in order to get it to the customer by that evening.

I was anxious to make sure the paper had already been delivered. A quick call to my colleagues in the delivery department reassured me for the time being. They were in the process of bringing the pallets with the printed paper from the truck to the saddle stitcher.
The team leader caught me on my way into the production hall and explained the details of the express order to me. ‘I’ll be in a meeting all day,’ he said as he walked away. ‘You’re responsible for making sure the express order is delivered!’ Great, everything once again depended on me.

Stefan, take the ejected copies and place them in the correct feeder.
No time for manual controls
80,000 copies with five different changeovers in eight hours – it was going to be tight. But at least the paper had been delivered and the pallets were waiting in front of the feeders. My colleague Stefan and I worked together to prepare the machine and position the signatures along the feeders. We set up the feeders and got to work. I checked the first copies, went through all of the signatures again, looked at the page numbers and sequences of the signatures. They looked good. I gave the production approval.
In order to make the changeover we had to insert the new signatures into the feeder. After making three changeovers, I looked at the documents – there was little margin for error. As so many copies had already been ejected, it would be extremely tight. I needed a second person to help me with the machine: ‘Stefan, take the ejected copies and place them in the correct feeder.’

Major production disaster
We almost did it. We were on the last the changeover. While we worked together to re-insert the sorted signatures, the final copies were running through the machine. Whew, we had finished earlier than planned!
But when I returned to the pallet to review the final batch of completed magazines my heart skipped a beat. One signature had been stitched incorrectly!

The front of the signature had an ad for a repair shop – but the address imprint on the back had changed! Feverishly, we checked the finished products. It appeared that we had only inserted the final signatures incorrectly. At the same time, we noticed that because of the time pressure we had inserted the reprinted signatures incorrectly.
We could have used some insurance for this sort of mistake...
Who bears the financial loss?
I immediately called my boss from his meeting. ‘We produced 1,500 copies incorrectly,’ I admitted right away. The team leader was on the phone with the printing plant. They had some paper left over, which they would send to us by courier. ‘This is going to cost us,’ my boss grumbled. ‘The transport! The overtime! And the customer will complain if we deliver late now. I hope this doesn’t cause us to lose this important customer. We could have used some insurance for this sort of mistake...’”

Does this story sound familiar?
Maybe you’ve had this experience as well at some point and would have been happy to have some insurance. Automatic signature image recognition in the feeder prevents precisely this sort of error. Using image or barcode comparison, the Asir 3 guarantees that magazines and brochures are complete, compiled in the correct sequence and have the right content. And it doesn’t matter if you have a saddle stitcher or a perfect binder.

Asir 3: This insurance provides you with satisfied customers.