Many more domestic publishers are turning to adhesive binding aka perfect binding, as the preferred form of bookbinding. The increase in demand for educational books is putting pressure on existing capacities, across the country. In India, more than 250 million students attend schools and colleges. This has slowly but steadily seen the demand for books rising. This trend has been confirmed by many of the leading educational publishers and exercise notebook manufacturers.

Leading book printers like Repro India Ltd have increased their adhesive binding capacities. Also, recent entrants like HT Burda Media Ltd, a joint venture between HT Media Ltd, India and Burda Druck GmbH have set up book binding plants that rival some of the European facilities. The company is in the news because it has bagged a 16 millon Euros printing contract with the exclusive printing partner with a French company for the next two years. This means printing of 100 million catalogues every year for the company’s three brands.

HT Burda won the contract despite competitive pitching by printers from Italy, France and Germany. HTB will print 20 different types of catalogues. The company is in an advanced stage of negotiations with two large international retail brands for annual printing of 12 million catalogues.

All this will require very high-end post press kit. And the point is, today companies like HT Media Ltd have realised this. Their independent venture into commercial print, have installed Welbound’s 12 clamp perfect binder and trimmers to supplement their high-end Manroland R700 HiPrint sheetfed press at their Noida plant.

Likewise Repro India Ltd - the leading book printer exporter, installed a WB 3600–12 clamp perfect binder in addition to book binding lines from Europe. Temple Packaging Ltd., a leading specialty packaging converter, installed a  WB 3600 for pad-making at their Daman plant.

Boom in notebook manufacturing

I feel these are the recent trends which are emerging from the exercise notebook industry as well. This is a segment which is focused on delivering cost effective books, in the shortest duration possible. The new trend is to cover-paste the thread sewn books using adhesive binders – a process which will deliver flat books that are durable and aesthetically pleasing.

The last three months witnessed a number of WB 2000s being installed up by exercise notebook manufacturers, in South, West and North India.

Consider Mumbai’s Shah Book manufacturers (Prabhat), Paris Paper Mart and Vatican Paper Mart in Chennai , Majestik  Impex, Nadar Press and Micro Fine products in Madurai.Then there are ARS Stationers in Erode, Staple Paper Prodctus in Hyderabad, Cee Bee Book Manufacturing in Bengaluru.

Also Pragati Siksha Bhawan – the Lucknow based stationery manufacturer, who installed a complete book manufacturing line in addition to a WB 2000.  Even though wire stitching is a cheaper and faster option to bind exercise notebooks, adhesive binding delivers safe and pin-free alternative. Better product branding is possible, given the larger and square spine. This method which is deployed for hard-cover exercise notebooks is popular in the rural markets.

The demand for the single-clamp binder (specially designed for the notebook market) has been unprecedented.

Educational Publishing on fast track

The New Delhi capital region saw perfect binders installed by commercial printers as well as book printers. The publishing regions of both Meerut and Agra have seen a nod for WB 2000s in the last two months. North-based educational publishers like Jyoti Book Depot of Jalandhar installed their third WB 2000, while Malhotra Book Depot (MBD) picked their fifth. Sahitya Bhawan of Agra purchased their second WB2000 in three months.

New Central Book Agency, the leading Book Publisher and Book Seller of Kolkata, who is a national leader in segments like medical books, bought a special model of WB2000 that can handle hefty books.

Clearly, it is an exciting time. Watch this space for more information.

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