Hobs in Abingdon is the first branch of the Hobs Repro group to install a Fastbind PUR/EVA XT binder from Ashgate Automation. This table top binder provides PUR and EVA melt glue for soft and hard cover binding in one machine, using a choice of interchangeable cartridges.
‘All Hobs’ branches have a Fastbind Elite XT EVA binder. We have been using ours for about eight or nine years and it works very well for the normal run of the mill binding requirements We started to look for a PUR solution because we print and bind hard back books , high end proofs and manuscripts for a local publisher,’ explained Simon Davie, business manager. ‘Besides the improved quality of the PUR glue for the hard back books, we needed the superior strength and durability of the binding on the heavily used proofs and manuscripts as well.’
‘Ashgate, who are one of our premier suppliers, recommended the Fastbind PUR/EVA binder, and we placed an order after we went to their showroom for a demonstration,’ Simon continued. ‘Ashgate have been supplying us with finishing equipment over many years and we have built up a very good relationship. The PUR/EVA met all our requirements and was within our budget so we didn’t look elsewhere. It fits in well with our other finishing kit. We also use it in conjunction with the Fastbind Casematic casemaker.'
Built on the same chassis as the Fastbind Elite XT, virtually any binding job up to SRA3 or A4 landscape format and up to 45 mm thick can be accommodated. Hobs mainly use it for jobs up to A5 size. ‘It was an easy upgrade for the staff who had been using the Elite XT but as we had two new operators, Ashgate gave us a brief training course. Although we have kept the Elite machine, we tend now to put all our binding through the PUR/EVA because the quality is better.’
It has a system for roughing the papers and self adjusts for book thickness from one to 1000 pages. There is a new type of rail mechanism for the glue application. The applicator, which has large handles, glides smoothly over the book block with almost no resistance and there is an electronic adjustable temperature control with single operation when switching between glue types.
‘It is a simple to operate, robust machine which does exactly what we want,’ he added. ‘It is early days so we have not actively promoted it yet but we are having conversations with customers who use our Elite binding service, explaining its benefits. One of the jobs which we have done, which we would not have been able to do without PUR was a run of 100 books. We expect it to bring in new business, particularly from students who require bound dissertations, which are digitally printed on our two Xerox machines – a 7700 and a Versant 80.’