Ever since humankind started writing on paper instead of cave walls, tablets, and papyrus rolls, there has been a need to bind single pages together. Once the printing press enabled mass printing, bookbinding methodology also advanced to accommodate the growing demand for affordable books.
In a similar manner, the history of comb, wire, and coil binding developed in the 1950s & 60s as the newest method of bookbinding, and is tied to widespread use of office copy machines and desktop publishing. As printers and copy machines have become the norm for small jobs, binding machines enable a user to prepare dozens of good-looking reports, manuals, handbooks, and presentation packages.
Bookbinding for All
Today, office copy machines can collate and staple large numbers of printed pages. While stapling is a handy technique, it is inefficient for multi-page documents, as the pages pull out with usage, and the document won’t lie flat. Comb, wire, and coil binding machines offer viable alternatives to stapling, adding loose papers to a folder, or having to purchase binding services at a copy center for low volume jobs. For higher volume jobs, copy centers have advanced binding systems that can handle these at a reasonable price.
Versatility is the name of the game in office machinery today. Businesses grapple with outsourcing printing and binding, or they do it in-house. Modern spiral binding offers a logical way to divide work, as there are binding systems suitable for small to mid-sized quantities, as well as equipment designed to handle high volumes, thicker and larger documents, and special papers for internal pages and covers.
Who Binds What?
Businesses can find a wide range of manual or electric comb, coil, and wire binding machines to handle many binding jobs onsite, for a small investment of a few hundred dollars. Professional printing centers may invest thousands in faster, more advanced machines, with versatile interchangeable dies and accessories, to handle customized hole patterns and spacing for large volume work. Businesses value their time; when their requirements for bound documents exceed what they can quickly do in-house, they rely on the capabilities of a well-equipped print shop.
Printing And Spiral Binding Machines In A Digital Age
In this digital age of eBooks, Nooks, and Kindles, what is the future of bound, printed documents? The book publishing business may be suffering, but the future for spiral-bound documents is bright. Digital files convey some information that is often not printed, but there will always be a demand for having complex or frequently accessed information physically in-hand. Annual reports, in-person presentations, and employee manuals are a few of the types of materials that users might want to check frequently, or mark up.
Also, as authors turn to writing eBooks, spiral binding offers the ability to circulate a limited number of printed copies more economically than other binding processes. Binding machines offer non-profits, schools, homeschoolers, and individuals the ability to publish and professionally bind cookbooks, workbooks, calendars, and photo books economically. Since a home user can acquire a very simple binding machine for $50-$150, individuals can bind scrapbooks and genealogy materials, for example, with ease. Since equipment manuals for TVs, cell phones, and software are online, a consumer might even print and bind what they need.
A Bright Future For Binding Systems
As the Internet continues to change how information is conveyed to people throughout the world, on-demand printing and spiral binding will expand as the way to acquire and keep important materials. Binding systems, whether they use combs, wire, or plastic coils, will be an important part of commercial and home printing operations for years to come.