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Under the Hood

Duplo iSaddle Pro

Brian Sims considers how Duplo’s iSaddle Pro Digital System can help with higher run length work

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The Duplo iSaddle Pro Digital System can handle sheet sizes ranging from as big as 364 x 525mm, to as small as 120 x 210mm

Meeting the demands of customers

If you have read any of the previous ‘Under the Hood’ articles you would be aware that, as an engineer at heart, I am always looking to see how a piece of equipment we review can objectively meet the publicity that generally proceed new equipment reaching the market.

This month, we are looking at the Duplo iSaddle Pro Digital system. Even my cynical engineering mind looked at the concept of the newest release from Duplo and was quickly minded to believe the concept could deliver on the promises made.

At the heart of the system is the separately available high-speed DSF–6000 sheet feeder and saddlestitcher. The DSF-6000 has the ability to deliver to the stitcher a varied number of sheet formats and paper sections, while paper weights from 64 to 300gsm can be passed via the DSF-6000 at speeds of up to 600 sheets per minute.
Printers have struggled for a number of years to find a solution that provides for customers requiring higher run length products of various formats, and that has been down to compromises in design that mean many systems have a couple of key strengths, but also some serious weaknesses. As I have said before, whenever you combine a number of processes, you need to be careful that you do not become a victim of diminishing returns. Just because you have coupled three or four processes together, it does not necessarily mean the overall process is more effective.

A combined process can only be as efficient as the output of the preceding process; no process is 100 percent efficient, so after three or four processes, a compound ‘overall operational efficiency’ figure can be seriously compromised.

This is where the Pro Digital System comes to the fore; it can feed into the stitcher a myriad of different combinations in either landscape or portrait orientation. Sheet sizes of 364 x 525mm, to as low as 120 x 210mm, means that the scope of product can meet even the most difficult and demanding of clients. Secondly, the ease of operation makes downtime as low as possible.

Duplo dreaming

The key to being able to sell to an ever-demanding market is for suppliers to modularise their product. As an engineer, the number of sales meetings that I attended where potential sales were dependent on the most obscure of combinations was the key to securing deals.

Firstly, there is the stitching unit and DSF-6000 feeder, but also you can request the additional DSF-Twin Feeder unit. This will allow covers and inserts to be added to the product from 64 to 300gsm, which is more than sufficient for the most extravagant of promotional material.
The DSF-Twin feeder also comes with a 2 x 60 bin capacity, as well as the option of adding 1D and 2D bar coding. The bar coding can be added on feeder and exit, ensuring each item can receive a personal touch. While this may seem overkill, think of just how many products now use 2D bar coding for referencing you to additional web-based information.

Duplo has been able to bring together a number of different pieces of equipment that must make this stitching system a salesperson’s dream

As engineers, we look at waste more than any other aspect of a machine’s performance. It is not always how do we get to run quickly—speeds are always relevant—but also how we can reduce waste by making sure the up-time of a machine is as high as possible. In lean manufacturing, waste can be described as anything that does not add value to the end-user. A machine that takes hours to change is very wasteful, but this is something you cannot say about the Duplo iSaddle Pro.

Wrapping this machine up, at the heart of it is a number of very impressive core elements; feeding and stitching. But add onto that the ability to bar code, score, trim, and fold, and you have a flexible piece of equipment that will meet the most demanding clients.

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