Henkel and Welbound take the PUR Know-how to Publishers

02 Jan 2012

Anil Krishna of Henkel talking to the Pearson team at New Delhi

 The Longman room at the Pearson Education's swanky office in Noida looked like a class room. Twelve production managers and executives of the leading book publisher and  8 of their print partners sat attentively, when the Henkel Adhesives - Welbound team discussed PUR technology. Anil Krishna, the Director of Henkel Adhesives India took the role of  a teacher - discussing the basics of the technology, application, advantages and precautions. 

PUR hot melt application has matured, world over, with faster curing adhesives and simpler application systems. Welbound worldwide has partnered the world leaders in PUR adhesives - Henkel, to roll out PUR in India. Krishna discussed the various advantages of PUR including superior strength, highest longevity, resistance to severe heat as well as cold, resistance to solvents, lay flat binding and so on.

In educational publishing the biggest advantages are stronger and durable books, flexibility that enhances readability and quicker turnaround in comparison to thread sewing. The printers who attended the discussions, agreed that thread sewing is the biggest bottleneck in book production. Even the fastest of sewing machines take four hours to produce 2000 books of 20 signatures - that will be cover drawn on a six clamp perfect binder in one hour. PUR will de-bottleneck the workflow, thereby increasing productivity drastically. 

Krishna went on to address a number of myths related to PUR - be it about safety, handling and costs. The current generation PUR bound books can be in-line trimmed. The variable cost of thread sewing plus cover drawing, using a EVA hot melt adhesive will match the cost of  perfect binding using PUR. A calculator that will compare the costs have been developed by welbound and for a copy of the same please mail to welbound@gmail.com .

The three hour session saw the production team of  Pearson clarifying various aspects related to environmental friendliness, page pull and flex values and the inroads made by PUR in India. P Sajith of Welbound explained that there are about 8 installations of PUR systems in India. These include HT Burda Ltd Noida, Repro India Ltd Surat, Lovely Offset Sivakasi, Pragati Offset Hyderabad, Sahaya Print Mumbai and Replika Press Kundli. Welbound works in tandem with Henkel and Robatech AG, a world leader in gluing systems, to convert existing binding lines. 

The printers were shown a wide range of book samples, thin or thick, using different mix of paper - coated, recylced, high bulk , lay flat, stiff spine and so on. Anil Krishna explained the few machine settings that are needed to achieve these results. He also emphasised the fact that the print companies will need a systematic work flow and a disciplined team of operators in order to be succesful in PUR technology. This is also becoming very popular for hard cover books. For products like diaries, one can perfectbind the book block with PUR and round the spine within a stipulated interval. 

The coming days will see a lot of interest in PUR binding as publishers like Pearson and Penguin are excited about this technology. As Sajith says : "PUR brings huge benefits for the industry. However, there is a learning curve - similar to the one we had when perfect binding was first introduced in India. We will need to spend a lot of time educating our customers and their operators. We already have a team of  six application specialists from Henkel, Robatech and Welbound who are trained to train our customers" . Anil Krishna had the last word when he said: " Adhesive binding is finally Perfect "

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