Author: Jeff McRitchie
Fastback® is a fast and professional method of binding that creates a clean and polished document. Powis Parker offers a variety of binding machines, the most common of which is the FB15xs. The FB15xs is capable of binding a document from 2 to 350 sheets, or 1.5" thick in as little as 15 seconds. The process is very easy and virtually eliminates the possibility of operator error that may occur in punch and bind systems:
- Square the pages of the book block together with the front and back covers.
- Fan the pages of the book block. This is an important step in all thermal binding applications and helps to ensure that adhesive will make contact with the individual pages.
- Place the book block into the opening on top of the Fastback® FB15xs. Use the clear fence to hold the pages upright and make sure that the book is flush to the right and the pages are square.
- Depress the large green bind button, causing the clamp to close.
- The machine will indicate the proper size of binding strip to use. Simply begin to insert the strip into the opening on the right side of the machine. The FB15xs will take the strip and automatically begin the binding process.
- Once the binding process is complete, remove the book and place it into the cooling rack located on the back of the binding machine.
- Wait until the book is cool to the touch before use.
While Fastback® if an extremely easy system to use, it does have a couple of limitations:
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- One nice feature of Fastback® is that virtually any cover stock can be used for the front and back covers. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the machine heats up to an amazing 400 degrees and will cause most clear and poly covers to warp (the heat causes a wave effect along the binding edge). There are a variety of high temp clear covers that can withstand this intense heat without warping.
- As with all thermal binding systems, Fastback® does have problems with certain papers. Thermal adhesive have a hard time sticking to certain calendered paper stocks. Calendered paper is an ultra smooth paper stock that resembles a glossy or coated stock and is very popular for use with digital printers. Powis Parker has created the new CP strip to combat however it is not as secure of a bind as the traditional strip with regular copy paper. Some users have used sand paper to roughen the spine of the paper to create a more porous binding edge with varied results. The best fix is to staple the binding edge of the book block prior to binding. This works well for some thermal binding applications and hard covers.
- In addition to paper stocks, some printers can cause issues as well. Most laser printers use fuser oil to cause the toner to adhere to the paper. Some printers use an excessive amount of oil that can coat the paper to the point that the adhesive may not be able to penetrate the paper. This tends to be more of a problem when binding a bleed. The result is that the paper may slip out of the bind. The toner will remain in the adhesive and the edge of the paper will be white. As with difficult paper stocks, the best method to fix this problem is to staple the book block.
- While the FB15xs does have an edit feature that is limited to the addition or deletion of only a few pages. Wholesale changes to a document are not feasible with Fastback®.
Jeff McRitchie is the director of Marketing for MyBinding.com. He has written more than five hundred articles on topics related to binding machines, binding supplies, presentation covers, ring binders, index tabs, laminators, laminating pouches, roll film, shredders and paper handling equipment. If you have any questions about Fastback Binding Equipment or Fastback Binding Supplies check out MyBinding.com.
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