Operating as a family-owned business since 1947, Bridgeport National Bindery in Agawam, MA, has a rich heritage creating high-quality case- and library-bound books as well as library book and textbook rebinding. The company began to shift its traditional business model with the acquisition of its first production inkjet printer in 2014, and subsequently spun off its library book rebinding business.
The shift paid off for the company. “In fact,” says Bruce Jacobsen, Executive Vice President and a 56-year veteran of the company, “we needed more capacity, so we set out in early 2020 to evaluate all of the various production inkjet solutions on the market, including not only the printers but the supporting software as well. We have a unique workflow we are in the process of launching that will take advantage of some of these software capabilities.”
Bridgeport settled on the Screen Truepress Jet520HD to meet its increased printing requirements. At the same time, the company evaluated finishing solutions to complement the press and optimize book production throughput. “A large portion of what we do is one-off books of varying sizes and thicknesses,” Jacobsen explains. “We needed a system that would allow us to print them effectively but also to efficiently finish them. We determined that a roll-to-roll workflow would best meet our needs with this new printer and give us more flexibility.”
With that in mind, Bridgeport worked closely with the experts at Standard Finishing and ultimately chose the Hunkeler Roll-to-Roll solution featuring high-speed unwinding and rewinding technology that could keep pace with the printer. Both the Unwinder and Rewinder maintain constant web tension for uniformly tight and straight rolls – important for effectively processing rolls postprint. “The next step,” Jacobsen notes, “is to create book blocks from the printed rolls. We again chose a Hunkeler solution, the Hunkeler Roll-to-Plowfold Signature Book Block Line. Not only is it very robust and reliable as you would expect from Hunkeler equipment, but it runs faster than the printer so we don’t have to worry about finishing being a bottleneck.”