Welbound Knowledge Yatra - Empowering book printers and publishers of India

05 Apr 2010

It is said, each book is a world unto itself, and in it we take refuge. For that to happen, these books have to be created, perfectly. It is with this aim that Welbound Worldwide has been hosting a series of technical sessions on bookbinding across the country. The three-hour sessions, discuss “planning to trimming to perfect binding to adhesive handling.”

“Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.” — Alberto Manguel

It is said, each book is a world unto itself, and in it we take refuge. For that to happen, these books have to be created, perfectly.

It is with this aim that Welbound Worldwide has been hosting a series of technical sessions on bookbinding across the country. The three-hour sessions, discuss “planning to trimming to perfect binding to adhesive handling.”

The past two months have seen bookbinding evangelists from Welbound conduct workshops at Pune and Hyderabad in multiple locations. And later, two special sessions in Noida.

All India outreach

The session at Pune, in January 2010 –  held in association with the Pune Press Owners Association – was attended by more than 80 printers and binders. Anil Krishna, the CEO of Henkel CAC India Pvt Ltd conducted the session on characteristics of hotmelt adhesives and their application. He highlighted the importance of applying adhesives at the right temperature, handling the application tools safely, not resorting to mixing of two different types of adhesives and the post-binding handling procedures.

Later, there were two sessions at Hyderabad on two consecutive days. The first one was conducted at Pragati Offset, which the technical team from Pragati and key book printers from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad attended. The presentation on bookbinding workflow was made by Sajith Pallippuram and moderated by P Narendra.

The second event was hosted at the corporate headquarters of the country’s leading educational publishers – Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd (OB). This was attended by the Directors of Sales, Finance and Editorial, Vice President Production and their Production Officers from Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. These presentations had a user perspective; in order to make it relevant to the ‘print buyer&rsquo. The planning team at OBL felt they should pay a bit more attention on the procurement of text and cover paper, especially related to grain direction. They discussed the unrealistic pressures on production since a very short time is available between planning to delivery.


The senior management of Orient Blackswan

After the session, J Krishnadev Rao, Director Finance of Orient Blackswan seemed pleased: “Welbound provided us with a very educative, interactive session on issues related to adhesive binding”

Capital gain

The next stop was Noida, in the National Capital Region. This session was attended by more than 100 printers and binders.

Then there was an ‘interactive workshop’ at Pearson Education India, at their Noida office. The production officers of both Pearson and their group company Penguin India joined this session. A few members from their editorial team also participated. According to Subhasis Ganguly, VP‑Production, Pearson Education: “My team members enjoyed the workshop. We hope that we could work together to implement a better work flow and improved technology at our print partners”


Pearson Education team, New Delhi

All the Q&A sessions, across the various venues, had a few common concerns: Many printers objected to the insistence on specifications about grain direction. The reason being: they buy paper or board in large stocks, due to cost benefits. Sometimes the information on grain is not provided. In fact these are labelled as GAW (Grain Any Way) in jest. However it was concluded that if printers demand the grain that they need, they will get it.

During the Q&A sessions, there were questions on varnishing and coating of the inside of covers.  Dinesh Ingawale explained that if coating is necessary, it will will have to be spot and localised coating which can be done using a UV printing unit (either offset or screen).Participants were shown the sample of books to link the problems to causes.

Perfectly bound

The session on perfect binding machine and ideal settings were popular among users of such machines. Most of them noted issues related to temperature control, safety and handling of the book soon after binding. They agreed that it was imperative to implement better material movement within their plants once they understood the issue related to wastage.

At some sessions, the costing of perfect binding was discussed. The majority opinion was that binders do not estimate the costs correctly – thereby incurring losses on their print job. Typical case-studies were examined. The findings were a revelation. An adhesive binding job, according to calculations which should cost Rs.1.7 per book, a publisher was offering Rs.1.1 and there are takers.  In most cases, the cost of investment and rent were not calculated. Plus there were antiquated methods of pricing. This included multiplying the variable cost to arrive at pricing. Or else, if “A” book printer can do at Rs X, then of course, “B” book printer can do the same job at Rs. 0.8 X.

Welbound has agreed to support the book printer community in India by empowering them with information that will enable them to “correctly” estimate the costs of their job.

The latest episode of the Knowledge Yatra was hosted at the hugely popular Printing Engineering college at Pune Vidyarthi Grah (PVG). More than 80 final-year students thronged to the lecture hall. While most of them are fresh with the basic knowledge on planning and workflow, they got a glimpse of the practical issues on the shop floor.

With every chapter of Welbound’s Knowledge Yatra, it is work in progress, since the program is evolving in an attempt to address vital issues which are relevant to a book printer. Be it: planning, workflow, wastage, safety practices or estimation of costs.

The Yatra shall continue because Welbound believes, “The love of books, like most loves, must be learned.”

If you or your company or print association is keen to host a Knowledge Yatra in your city, you may contact Sajith at welbound@gmail.com

Related News