Perfect Binding Service, Minneapolis, MN


Graphic Finishing Services offers state of the art Perfect Binding and Otabind “Lay Flat” Binding using superior PUR adhesives.  Their equipment lines are capable of long and short runs of clean, professional-looking paperback publications.  Combined with knife trimming and signature recognition, GFS provides multiple high-quality options.


Graphic Finishing Services continues to invest in binding equipment and technology to better serve its customers and the needs of the printing industry.   Because we invest in the latest technology this gives us more versatility and flexibility to offer reduced costs and competitive prices along with the highest quality available in book binding.


There are a few key differences between the Perfect Binding and Otabind processes.  The paperback binding process most people are familiar with is Perfect Binding.  In this process the spine of the page-block is firmly attached to the cover using a heated adhesive.  In the Otabind process, the hot-glued page-block is capped, covering the hot glue. Then, the cover is attached to the sides of the cap, but not the spine.  Even thick books “lay flat” when opened because the resistance of the cover being attached directly to the spine is eliminated.


The binding processes with polyurethane reactive (PUR) adhesives provide superior strength, flexibility, and durability compared to ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyvinyl acetate (PVA) cold emulsion adhesives.  Developed by Nordson and introduced to North American Binders by National Adhesives Corp., PUR adhesives have unique adhesion characteristics.  Most noticeably, it can be used to bond cross-grain stock, UV coated paper, lacquer, and Mylar as well as standard paper. 


The recommended thickness, 0.01-inches, is half of the standard thickness of hot melt.  This allows for cleaner spines and less “chip out” of excess adhesive.  Because it is more flexible than other standard hot melt adhesives, it allows books, like manuals and catalogs, to lay flat for hands-free reading.   Additionally, books bound with PUR adhesives can withstand a wider range of temperatures (-40° F to 200° F) making it ideal for publications being shipped to other parts of the world or left in vehicles during our Minnesota winters.


Call Graphic Finishing Services today to get a free estimate and start on your Perfect Binding project!


PUR Adhesives

PUR adhesive is an alternative to the traditional Hot Melt adhesive.  PUR Adhesive will enhance the performance of any book by giving books greater strength.  While PUR is gaining in popularity amongst printers because of its superior qualities it’s now being used more then traditional hot melt adhesives.  PUR Superior qualities include:


  • Excellent Lie-Flat Qualities: PUR is more flexible then standard EVA Hot melts.  This ability to lie flat when open allows for hands-free reading.


  • Heat and Cold Resistance: Book bound with PUR adhesive will not fail at extreme temperatures, even over 200 degrees F or -40 degrees F.  These properties are important to printers who may have to ship books to such places as the desert or Siberia.


  • Less wrinkling of Backbone: Binding cross-grained paper with standard hotmelt adhesives causes considerable wrinkling in the books gutter area.  PUR’s lower operating temperature, however, doesn’t drive paper moisture away from the backbone.  PUR is somewhat malleable as it cures, allowing paper fibers to return to their original orientation.


  • Square Backbone: Because only a small amount of PUR needs to be used for binding, less adhesive is squeezed out when the cover station and side clinchers attach the cover and form the backbone.


Binding w/PUR Adhesive

Because of the superior strength and qualities that PUR Adhesive provides imagine putting a standard Hot-melt book on steroids.  With PUR Adhesive you can take the nastiest stocks, whether it’s cross-grain, coated, heavy ink coverage, plastic , you name it and PUR Adhesive can bind it.  Books and Catalogs that need the strength to endure everyday use should always be bound with PUR Adhesive.   Additional benefits of PUR include flexibility and appearance.  Because the glue is applied thinner this allows the books to lay flatter and creates a more square backbone. 


Otabinding (Lay-Flat Binding)

For books that require the strength of PUR binding with the flexibility of a lay-flat cover, Otabind™ is your solution. In the Otabind process signatures are gathered, milled and bound with PUR glue to create a strong book block. The cover is then applied to the first and last pages of the book rather than directly to the spine. As a result, the covers of your Otabind books "float" over the spine, allowing them to open completely flat.


Swiss Binding w/PUR Adhesive

This version of binding is very popular in Europe for annual reports and is gaining popularity here in the United States.  In Swiss binding the book block is capped with a fabric like material and comes in a large variety of colors to chose from.  The process of Swiss binding is very similar to Otabinding in the way that the cover of the book is completely detached from the spine of the book but is only held with the side glue on the back cover verse Otabinding which is held on the front and back cover.  The front cover and spine completely open up so you can see the spine and page 1 completely.  By adding color for the wrap around the spine gives Swiss bound books a very upscale, high end, classy look!


Tape Binding w/PUR Adhesive

This style of binding is used to add color and would “Jazz” up any book binding project.  Visualize a standard perfect bound book but instead you would see a color tape around the spine and ¼” up on the front and back cover.  Graphic Finishing Services offers a large variety of colors to choose from.  From a job planning perspective covers need to be laid out as 2 – 2pgr’s rather then a 4pg wrap around cover.  Instead of the cover wrapping around the guts, the colored tape will take it’s place.


Perfect Binding Tips

Graphic Finishing Services can help you with the Do’s and Don’ts of your Perfect Binding projects.


Making mistakes in the planning process can be a nightmare for you and your perfect binding vendor.  Below is a list of the most common mistakes made in the planning process.


1. Covers are the wrong grain: The grain of your cover stock should run parallel to the spine.  Covers that are wrong grain tend to crack on the backbone scores and do not have a square looking spine.


2. Signatures or pages on the wrong grain: Books that are wrong grain can have numerous problems.  Books that are bound with Hot Melt adhesives are difficult to open or lay properly and have a lack of durability.  Users push the book open to read the copy in the spine area, in turn this weakens the book even more. I.e. (pages falling out or weak page pulls occur.)  PUR Adhesive will bond to cross grain stocks.  Graphic Finishing Services binds all books with cross grain stocks with PUR Adhesive for durability and peace of mind.


3. Stepping the covers in the prep department: The covers should be 1/16th” longer for the head trim and 1/8th” longer for the foot trim.  The covers when stripped should be stepped ¼” longer then the longest signature to eliminate backbone glue adhering to the nipper station and transferring spine glue to the next book.


4. Determining spine thickness: It is best to create a dummy using the same paper stock to be printed.  Hot Melt glues do not adhere well to inks or coated surfaces however PUR Adhesive will.


5. Page layout is very important: Books with 2 or 4 pages in the layout should be placed in the middle of the book.  If the 2 or 4 page signature falls in the front or back of the book it will cause problems.  The weight of the book traveling down the gathering line causes the signature to collapse and wrinkle, creating excess spoilage and extra machine time to complete the project.  Place your 16 pages or larger signatures to the outside of the book.


6. In the Planning stage: Photo’s or solid ink coverage that runs to the gutter of the book should be knocked out.  Ink does not adhere to the spine of Hot Melt Adhesive causing a poor page pull or even the pages to fall out.  PUR Adhesive can save a company from costly reprints as it will adhere to solid ink coverage if the knock out was missed.


7. When folding: It is best if you perforate the backbone of each signature.  This allows the book to lay flat when entering the binder and the milling station.  Make sure you use the correct perf to eliminate the backbones from breaking open. 


8. Planning for the percentage of allowable overs: It is best to run a few more covers than signatures.  You can always rebind books to make count.


9.  When it comes to reply cards, tabs, maps, foldouts, cover flap or any other special requirements: These options should be discussed with your Graphic Finishing Services Representative in the planning stage to avoid costly mistakes.  The benefits of partnering with your GFS team before the project is printed, makes everyone’s life a little easier. 

Get Free Estimate

Graphic Finishing Services wants to help you with all of your binding needs! Contact us today to get a free estimate and discover how affordable it is to work with us!