Welbound to initiate technology forum

In spite of leading commercial-book printers in India successfully running PUR operations, there remain many queries. Sriraam Selvam reports about Welbound’s initiative tries to demystify PUR

19 Jan 2013 | By Sriraam Selvam

Welbound Worldwide, India’s leading manufacturer of post-press equipment, is organising a technology forum for Indian book printers for 2013.

The initiative has been taken by Welbound for the “advancement of the Indian book printing industry” and will be regularised into monthly customer meets at its Thiruvananthapuram factory, which Welbound intends to showcase as a “technology base in book binding”.

Christened as Welbound Book Printers’ Society (WBPS), the first such meet will be hosted on 1 February 2013. The theme revolves around business and technology, and is akin to initiatives by Bobst open house at their Competence Centre in Lausanne and now Pirangut – and likewise the Hunkeler Innovation Days.

“The book business is being challenged by the digital technology - be it internet or e-books. In order to do well in this situation, we must take stock of our current strengths and weaknesses. Effective engagement between all the stake holders - publishers, printers and technology providers is the best way forward”, says K C Sanjeev, chairman and managing director of Welbound.

Knowledge initiatives
As in the past through their knowledge yatra with top publishers or even the NBPC initiatives for the Book City or at London Book Fair and Frankfurt Book Fair, Welbound looks at knowledge dissemination through Welbound Technical Services.

Sanjeev says, “This will provide book printers with knowledge in business and technology, latest trends and best practices. Our technology partners from Germany like Henkel, Wohlenberg and GUK will also get involved, along with the knowledge bank from external agencies, depending upon the theme.”

“We are looking at it as an alternative to participation at national print exhibitions and as something focused. We need intense and regular interactions,” said P Sajith, director, marketing and sales at Welbound. “We will invite to our customers and prospects providing details about the immediate next event on 1 February. We plan to have a maximum of 20 printers attending each of these sessions, so as to provide the special attention to their specific issues and requirements”

Au revoir to Anil Krishna
The idea for WBPS originated from the send-off arranged by Welbound for Anil Krishna, the outgoing CEO and general manager of Henkel Adhesives India. A meet for 15 book printers, publishers and binders was organised.

Henkel’s long term partners in the graphic art industry, Welbound Worldwide organised a farewell function at Thiruvanathapuram to celebrate contribution of Anil Krishna, the CE and general manager of Henkel Adhesives India to the print industry, who is retiring from the organisation.

Anil Krishna is a well known adhesive technology specialist and has earned a reputation for his technical presentations. Krishna has a huge contribution in bringing in the right product mix and application know-how that made adhesive binding a preferred method.”

A number of printers, across the country, who are interested in PUR bookbinding technology, were invited to the presentation by Anil Krishna in Thiruvananthapuram. Welbound organised a factory visit followed by the curtain-raiser on their new, yet to be launched products.  A series of perfect binders with multiple speed, configurations and gluing options were demonstrated. Welbound has developed a number of options for hotmelt and PUR application. These products will be available in India in the coming months.

A demo of Welbound products was organised at a customer facility. This included the Wohlenberg Lucro with sprinter gatherer. A  WB 3600 – 12 clamp binder designed for cover pasting and side-stitched books using ‘water based adhesive’, attracted some of the textbook printers present in the group.

Anil Krishna’s presentation
Meanwhile, Krishna in his presentation had discussed key issues related to failure in bookbinding:

– (a) inability to bind high quality printed books with heavy inking and over-coating

– (b) books bound with hotmelt adhesive failing in extreme climatic conditions and

– (c) the so called safe bet: thread-sewing being a time plus space consuming operation leading to escalations in cost. According to him the only solution is PUR binding. The delegates who were present had questions about ideal conditions, type of applicators, type of jobs and costing related to PUR adhesives were discussed.

Asif Shaik of Mumbai-based Nectar Prints stated, “We had a great time at Thiruvavnathapuram, learning more about book binding plus an in-depth view of the machines in general. To add to that, the technical presentation on crucial aspects of gluing applications and the discussion was highly informative for me.”

Open House in Kerala
The first Open House will be hosted by Welbound on 1 February 2013.

The topics for the February meet will be (a) PUR perfect binding and (b) Inline binding and building efficiencies.

PUR perfect binding has generated interest in India, one of the largest producers of books. Sajith says, “The need for the binding to withstand extreme climatic conditions and to hold diverse and cumbersome substrates are cited as the key reasons for this interest.”

Many of the leading commercial-book printers in India like Pragati Offset, Parksons Graphics, Replika Press and Sahaya Print Mumbai have installed and successfully run PUR binding operations in India. Sajith adds, “However, there continue to be queries from publishers and printers alike, on its technical and cost aspects. We hope to answer these questions in Thiruvananthapuram.

The team at Welbound feels that inline binding, be it saddle-stitching or perfect binding is the only way forward for medium to high quantity book production. In a low-cost book production country like India, it is important to understand the relative efficiency of such systems and the business sense in such investments.

In addition to the Open House at 1 February, Welbound also plans to partner local print associations and organise technology seminars to discuss the challenges. “It is like going to the grass-root level. We will employ the budgets meant for trade shows to facilitate such interactions with book printers of the country,” concluded Sanjeev. 



An Open House on latest trends in bookbinding in Thiruvananthapuram

Venue: Welbound Worldwide Factory in Plot No: 39, Monvila Ind Development Plot, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

Date: 1 February 2013: 11 am to 6 pm

Program: Demonstration of PUR systems, one to one discussions on PUR binding with experts plus a technical presentation “Better books with PUR” by Sandeep Pai of Henkel Adhesives India

Please nb: There will be slots for demonstration and one-to-one discussions; plus a presentation which is scheduled for 4 pm



A view of the WB2000 six-clamp perfect binder at the Thiruvananthapuram factory