WTS system reduces waste at Printplus

Bhiwandi-based Printplus, a leading book print exporter was one of the earliest customers of the digital thickness caliper from WTS. They had procured a pre-owned Muller Martini saddle stitcher and the thickness measurement was not functioning. This led to wastage.

31 Aug 2018 | By Rahul Kumar

On cue, Printplus, installed the WTS digital thickness caliper on their Muller Martini SS 300, a year ago. This system is able to detect even the missing of four pages of low gsm paper, efficiently.

According to Dinesh Gajria, the chairman and managing director of the Printplus group "The digital caliper is a must for any saddle stitcher. Otherwise the books with either more or missing signatures can be a very costly affair. The WTS team provided a different solution in the beginning. Based on our demand, the team improved the same by providing all settings and feedback available through an HMI (human machine interface). We are very happy with the performance of the same".

Printplus boasts of a modern bindery with varied capabilities of automatic saddle stitching, side stitching, automatic thread sewing, EVA adhesive binding, PUR perfect binding. In addition to catering to local publishers, Printplus is also a leading exporter of print services to Africa.

According to P Sajith, director Impel-Welbound, this will be a real boon for the  users of old models of saddle stitchers in India. Due to the issue of processing folded signatures and the quality paper used, the gatherers can either miss or pick up multiple signatures. This results in huge wastage books, paper, staple pins and so on. Also it impacts the machine performance and productivity. Most of the pre-owned machines, the OEM support for such systems will either be prohibitively expensive or not available at all. And the digital thickness calipers are available only in newer machines, manufactured post 2010.

Sajith added, "Through such innovations, WTS will try to assist the print community to upgrade their current machines, which are mechanically in good state and have many years of life ahead of them, with the latest of control systems. This will make them safer as well as reduce the wastage."

WTS, the brand independent technical services arm of Impel-Welbound has introduced a kit called digital thickness caliper for measurement and for subsequent processing. This kit can be retrofitted into any model of saddle stitchers. The system comes with its own PLC controls and a touch panel. The gathered signatures before they enter the stitching station, are measured against the desired thickness on the fly. The books that do not meet the standard are rejected. This avoids huge wastage of printed paper. The system also can be upgraded with options for (a) oblique sheet saddle monitoring and (b) stitch control. Here, if a mis-alignment is detected in a gathered booklet, then it is rejected prior to stitching. And if the stitching is not proper or missing then the booklet is rejected before going to the trimmer.

Printplus set up a plant in Bhiwandi a few years ago, migrating from the galas in Shah and Nahar in Lower Parel because of space constraints. Post this shift, Printplus has made a name for itself in the publishing sector thanks to its impressive book factory. The company was awarded the PrintWeek India  SME Company of the Year in 2015.

Facts about the WTS digital thickness caliper

What does it do?
The thickness caliper is a key component in the in-process quality control for saddle stitching. They come in various avatars - starting from a simple mechanical one. The recent models of saddle stitchers have digital controlled thickness calipers, wherein the thickness of the book is accurately measured against the desired value. This means, any sample which do not meet the same is rejected. Digital thickness calipers are more accurate and very reliable as against the earlier versions, however the pre-owned machines did not support these. Now the users of such machine have an alternate / option to retrofit the same into their system

How does it work?
Measuring thickness prior to stitching a book is very important while saddle stitching. Stitching heads are set for certain book thickness and if a signature is missed or multiple signatures are picked up by the gatherer, the machine should reject the booklet before wire stitching.

What’s the USP?
This kit can be retrofitted into any model of saddle stitchers. The system comes with its own PLC controls and a touch panel