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Watkiss Automation's new 420PUR perfect binder has successfully completed customer testing and is now available in the UK. The 420PUR has its own niche as an entry level machine offering the benefits of PUR binding on a budget. It has a 420mm x 50mm maximum spine and a closed tank glue system.Adrian Wood, Sales and General Manager at test site Advantage Digital of Dorchester, says: "We were looking for a PUR solution, but we thought the available options were over-engineered and overpriced until the Watkiss machine was presented to us - some of the processes may be manual but there are real cost savings for us and our customers. We can now offer short run PUR at a fraction of the cost of traditional trade finishers."The company runs an iGen4 digital press and previously had a hot melt EVA binder. "We could cope with lighter stocks, but a common requirement was 150 gsm silk or gloss with a 350 gsm cover. To produce work like this with a traditional hot melt machine using digital compatible stock just doesn't work, books start to fall apart rapidly," says Mr Wood.One of the key features of the Watkiss 420PUR is a unique recirculating glue system, meaning the glue is not simply supplied to the point of delivery in one direction, minimising the potential for clogging. Viscosity is maintained by keeping it in motion via the careful management of temperature and pressure. To this end, it has four connected glue tanks so that different temperatures can be maintained in different parts of the machine. Another feature is 'on demand' glue melt; in many systems, a whole PUR candle must be melted each time - the Watkiss system has an insulated candle housing, where heat is applied from below, meaning the glue can be melted incrementally, saving on both cost and maintenance.Book blocks and covers are manually loaded. From there, the process is largely automated, with the vice and clamp automatically adjusting according to book width. The spine dimensions for gluing are set via a photo sensor, ensuring that the correct amount of PUR adhesive is applied, every time. The floor standing Watkiss 420PUR features a milling disc which takes a fine layer off the spine rather than just cutting notches, which results in better spine preparation, better adhesion and a flatter spine. It has a vacuum extraction system as standard.The Watkiss 420PUR Perfect Binder is priced at a competitive £25,000.

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