While the glitter and flash of ebooks, e-readers and tablets get all the mainstream media attention—and pundits predict the end of printed books—traditional printed volumes still represent enormous opportunity for print providers. According to Caslon & Company, monochrome books will account for up to 85 billion pages through 2016 and color books are expected to make up some 15 billion pages in the same period. Little wonder that savvy print providers are adding capabilities, technology and workflows to carve out a presence in this burgeoning market.
Printers generally like to talk about investments they’ve made in print technologies—offset or digital. Perhaps that’s because it suggests they’re doing well and that they’re investing in their customers’ businesses. Besides, talking about a slick, new machine that requires little to no makeready time and gets up to color with minimal effort is sexy. Well, comparatively speaking. The clunkier “back-office” equipment found in the typical finishing department is perhaps not as provocative, but talk to most any book printer or trade binder, and they’ll likely confide that the bindery machines are the real workhorses. Indeed, investing in the bindery is just as important