Impel’s Beyond Adhesives initiative enthralls Kerala binders

Mumbai-based Impel Services (Welbound), the post-press and book specialist kickstarted the ‘Beyond Adhesives’ campaign through their Knowledge Yatra team in Kerala.

19 Aug 2019 | By Sriraam Selvam

G Venugopal addresses his team during the training session

“The story that led to the this Yatra to talk about binding and adhesives in Kerala is personal for me,” said Sajith P, director of Impel Services.

Sajith’s tryst to pick bestselling Malayalam books by author Subhash Chandran and published by the popular DC Books was the starting point to the whole initiative.

“I realised in a short period of the time the specific book was in the fifth edition which in itself is fantastic news for the industry. To top that, DC had other similar bestsellers on their shelf like Chidambara Smarana which truly moved me,” said Sajith.

“But the fact that the books were not that well-bound started my conversation with Ravi Deecee who was not only enthusiastic about the idea but also readily agreed to a daylong engagement for retraining their printing and binding partners and employees,” he added.

Representatives and owners of SN Binding, Rajans Binding, SR Binding, in addition to DC Books’ printing and binding department, took part the in the training conducted by Suresh M Nair, CTO of Impel and one of country’s leading experts in the field of bookbinding.

Sharing his feedback about the session, Ravi Deecee said, “The session was an eye-opener. Our team and the vendor partners could understand what can be done to improve the quality books that we produce.”

Paper formats, GSM, grain direction, folding, quality of adhesive and machine settings were covered through a presentation, practical touch and feel examples, on the machine training and testing. The Welbound PPT (Portable page pull tester) was also used to demonstrate the effect of poor planning on the quality/strength of binding. He also visited these bookbinding units in Kottayam who provide services to DC Books and suggested improvements in their processes.

The participants included the sexagenarian Sadan chettan (as he is fondly called) and were quite interactive. Several interesting questions like, the importance of book feeding squareness, the right method for milling cutter and notching tool re-sharpening, Importance of reverse spinner and temp settings, how to avoid excessive side glue, and should they bang the book spine after delivery and so on was answered.


The team’s next stop in the Kerala yatra was the reputed Sterling Print House in Kochi where the nuances of softcover binding and especially on modern techniques like PUR was discussed with the company recent investment in Horizon’s PUR machine brings it to the fore.

Suresh’s session included basic tips on machine maintenance at their plant, and went on to take the team through the page pull tests of various book samples they had collated. The reasons for better or poorer quality was explained through the issues in planning, selection of paper (grain), machine settings and choice of adhesive.

“Overall, we believe that poor planning is the biggest reason for a book to fail and this was the focus in both the sessions,” said Suresh.

The concept of ‘Beyond Adhesives’ is the brainchild of S Sunilkumar, business director of Henkel Adhesives India, which Impel-Welbound is planning to take to with printers and printer-associations, across the country.

“These engagements aim at helping the Indian book print industry to understand costs as well as quality in the right perspective. Suresh and his team will travel the length and breadth of the country to re-educate the book print community so that books stay well bound,” concluded Sajith.