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The Braille binding solution

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The industry-changing vorTEX/////doublebind machine.

How does it work?

    How is it possible to come close to the strength and layflat characteristics of PUR binding, using EVA?

    The unrivalled quality of doublebinding is made possible by inserting a layer of glue in-between every two pages in the book, not merely on the top of page edges. The same ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) glue is used as in perfect binding. However, there are major differences.


The vorTEX/////doublebinder
in action 1.27 MB
click here to download file (Windows Media Player).
On YouTube: http://youtu.be/BDxHeiz4pQE

Doublebinding explained. 1.72MB
click here to download file (Windows Media Player).
On YouTube: http://youtu.be/rqoJGVSmyCY

 Firstly, with perfect binding, books first have to be cut or "notched" before the glue can be applied. In order to achieve a strong bind, the glue needs to be applied fairly thickly.

     This results  in a thick spine which resists bending. Since glue is applied predominantly to the top ridges of pages only, perfect bound books are not particularly strong, but they can be produced affordably.    

     Doublebinding has no notching at all, which immediately dispenses with the irritation of noise, dust and maintenance that are associated with cutting. The effect is achieved on the vorTEX/////doublebind machine by pre-heated the pages of the book.

     The books are then passed across a glue roller which turns in the opposite direction of the travel of the book. Just before passing across the roller, the page leafs are separated by a pulsating jet of ionized air. The glue itself is also unique, being amongst other things, thinner than regular EVA glue which is used in perfect binding.


The vorTEX/////doublebinderin action. 2.70MB
click here to download file (Windows Media Player).
Cell phone format 1MB (

Doublebinding applies glue in-between page leafs.

     The combined effect of these dynamics is that glue is forced in-between the page leafs on being separated by the air. The roller assists the process by turning against the movement of the book, while the paper more readily absorbs the glue on account of being warm. The result is a layflat book which is so strong that it is historical.

What are the advantages of doublebinding?

The advantages of doublebinding on a vorTEX/////doublebinder are the following:

  • True layflat results - what the market wants is what the market gets.
  • Unprecedented page pull strength. The paper will fail before the binding does!
  • Binding cost that is at least as low as perfect binding.
  • Great advantage above competitors. Many competitors cannot use PUR or Smythe sowing on account of the high cost of equipment and * complexity of operating the machines. vorTEX/////doublebinder you can be the first in your area to confidently offer layflat binding!
  • The vorTEX/////doublebinder is exceedingly affordable - well within the range of even smaller printers/finishers.
  • Reliable results.
  • Books may be handled in approximately 5 minutes after binding. Books can be trimmed approx. 15 minutes after handling!
  • Spines are incredibly strong. Books can be jumped on, thrown about and generally abused with far less chance of damage.
  • Book covers are applied in-line.
  • Book covers are semi-scored during application, provided that paper grain of covers runs parallel to the spine.
  • The vorTEX/////doublebinder produces the strongest pads possible.
  • NCR books work amazingly well on the vorTEX/////doublebinder - charge a premium for something your competition may never  be able to offer!
  • Covers and spine-tape of NCR books are applied in-line, thus saving enormous labour.
  • The vorTEX/////doublebinder is easy to operate. Operators can be trained in a short period of time.
  • Production capacity of approx. 200 books per hour.
  • No need for notching paper.
  • No noise and no dust caused by notching.

Can you perform the "subway" test on a soft-cover book without cracking the spine and destroying the book? With a vorTEX/////doublebind machine you can! Bending back the cover against itself results in no damage at all!

Why should I want a vorTEX/////doublebind machine?

     This question was asked by owners of telex machines when then first fax machines became available. It is the same question asked by betamax owners when VHS machines came out, or by telegraph users when the telephone came into use.

     If you can see the future, you will see that what the future looks like tomorrow, is what customers want today. Therefore it is easy to know what we need to do today in order to keep flourishing in tomorrow's business environment.

From the customer's point of view:

     Today the universal demand of customers is for layflat books that are affordable and that won't fall apart. Until now most customers have chosen to live with perfect binding, simply because the low cost of perfect binding has made up for the inconvenience of books with practically zero layflat characteristics and which have a tendency to fall apart when abused.

     For most customers, PUR binding is simply too expensive. With doublebinding, however, literally all the advantages of perfect binding, such as the same low cost, can be offered, together with the advantages of PUR binding! Given this option, why would a customer ever choose perfect binding again? Does this explain why the future of book binding will be without any question or doubt, doublebinding?

     PUR binding and Smythe sewing remain fantastic options. But they are too costly for most customers and they are certainly too costly for most producers of books. There is practically no reason to believe that this will ever change.

     What all of this means is that for the first time ever, the doublebinding makes it possible to give the customer what the customer wants. Period. Anybody who understands anything about business at all knows that this is the key to surviving and prospering both now and in the future.

From the book finisher's point of view:

     It is very simple. Do you want to produce books easily and affordably of a kind that will delight your customers? Then doublebinding by far the best option you have! Here are more reasons, however, why finishers want to move towards the future by offering doublebinding:

The printer's nightmare

     As any book binder what his greatest nightmare is? Finding out that a customer is rejecting a delivery on account of defective binding, of course! While PUR binding is a fantastic binding method, the problem is that PUR dries extremely slowly. By the time quality testing is possible, you may already have produced a thousand books, only to find that the binding is defective.

     Not only that, but everybody knows that book binding is the last link in the book manufacturing chain. When there have been delays, the finishing department is under the greatest pressure to hurry up and deliver. For many producers this means that books are shipped without proper quality testing. This applies to perfect binding as well.

     With doublebinding on a vorTEX/////doublebinder, the operator knows immediately whether the book is correctly-bound or not. Books can be handled after approximately five minutes or even less. And they can be trimmed in approximately fifteen minutes. By being able to produce books that are so strong that the paper will fail long before the binding does, the finisher gets peace of mind of a kind that has never been possible since books were sown with needle and thread!

Every printer's nightmare - this is why you want to avoid by using doublebinding on a vorTEX/////doublebind machine.

Competitive advantage

     We all know that local markets are a relatively small place. The customer who comes to you for a quotation will probably visit your opposition as well. And we also know that generally-speaking, prices are fairly comparable all round. What will happen when a customer comes for a quotation on book binding?

     Three finishers in the same street provide comparable quotations. The fourth finisher, however, has already entered the future. He has told his customer to remember that unlike the opposition, he offers layflat doublebinding. Armed with this knowledge, the customer now enters the market, determined to insist on receiving the same value for his money.

His question to other firms that quote will be: "Are you able to offer layflat binding?"

     It follows that, all things being equal, any quotation that cannot offer layflat binding at comparable terms will be at an immediate and enormous disadvantage. If this happens in your street, could you possibly afford not to offer layflat binding?

     This scenario clearly depicts the fear of not having, which is a realistic concern. The positive outlook can be explained like this: What if YOU are the customer who has a vorTEX/////doublebinder machine and can offer doublebinding as an option? What will you be telling your customer? It is obvious.

     You will be assuring your customer that, "you can obtain quotations from the opposition, but just make sure they quote you on layflat binding as I do. Remember, nothing less than genuine layflat binding should be acceptable to you!"

     You can imagine the results. Some providers will have to accede that they are not able to offer layflat binding. The rest will have to reveal that there is no way they can offer layflat results at perfect binding prices. Can you see the opportunity for yourself in capitalizing on this incredibly strong market positioning?

     In fact, if you are among the first to offer doublebinding as a binding option, you may even be in a position to charge a premium for it. It is very likely that, once the customer has seen the very definite difference between a doublebound book and a perfect bound book, he will be more than willing to pay a slight premium for the better quality and greater peace of mind.

Again, is this not yet another excellent reason for converting to doublebinding?

The vorTEX/////doublebind on gloss paper - notice how the paper failed, but not the binding. This surpassed even the designer's own expectations.


     By this time the post-print finisher will already understand why doublebinding is the technology of the future. But even so, the next question is typically cost. How much does a vorTEX/////doublebinder cost and can you afford one? Owing to exchange rates and geographical considerations, the price in your region may differ somewhat.

     In general, however, a vorTEX/////doublebinder should cost about as much as one of the better mid-price range perfect binding machines. What this means, is that for the price of a halfway decent perfect binder, you can be investing in the technology of the future. And you can claim the advantages discussed above for yourself.

     To put it into another perspective: A vorTEX/////doublebinder costs roughly six times less than an entry-level PUR binding machine. Until now, if you wanted to put out healthy production volumes with layflat results and a strong bind, PUR binding used to be your only option. Now you can generally buy six vorTEXes for the price of one PUR binder, and probably still have change left over!

     There are still many large industrial printers who want layflat characteristics in their products, but who are unwilling to deal with the technological complexities of PUR binding. For them, doublebinding is an ideal option.

     Can you therefore afford a vorTEX/////doublebinder? If you can afford a perfect binder, you can afford a vorTEX! In fact, the question you may want to ask yourself is, "can I afford NOT to have a vorTEX...?" To dollarize the question, however, you may want to take the purchase price of a vorTEX/////doublebinder and divide it by what you are currently charging per book bind. That will indicate how many books it will take to pay your machine.

     Calculated at a conservative average price range per bind, you will probably find that it will take between 12,000 to 20,000 books to pay for your own vorTEX/////doublebinder. If you are running at a theoretical speed of only 250 books per hour, this means that the machine is paid in 48 to 80 hours! Of course, this is a theoretical value. In actual practice, you may not run so continuously at all. Allowance has to be made for interruptions, but it does illustrate how exceedingly affordable the vorTEX/////doublebinder can be for your business.

     The question therefore begs to be asked: "Compared to the ease of operation, the reduction in scrap, greater security and the enormous competitive advantage that doublebinding offers, isn't this perhaps the most affordable book binding machine you could every purchase...?"

An 8.5kg chair hanging by a single page from a book bound on a vorTEX/////doublebind machine.

Ease of operation

     Even if the machine produces what that market wants and it is affordable, you as a print finisher still want something that is hassle-free to operate. Most of the binding alternatives have a considerable hassle factor involved. Especially PUR binding is widely regarded by many users as a satisfying, but extremely demanding technology to use. What about the vorTEX?

     Fortunately the vorTEX is extremely simple to use. Once an operator has had a little experience, it is generally possibly to bind a book correctly at the very first attempt. When binding expensive, limited editions which have been digitally printed, nobody wants to waste too many set-up copies. In the print-on-demand (POD) market, this is of the greatest possible importance.

     If in doubt, of course, the way to make sure the first book comes out right, is to simply run a set-up copy using scrap paper first. After that, vorTEX machines tend to give many long hours of simple, safe and hassle-free operation. Mostly the operator might occasionally adjust the blowing pressure to compensate for different thicknesses of books and paper. And on very cold days, it may be necessary to adjust the glue temperature upward slightly.

But that is, for the most part, the greatest part of effort involved. The rest is a matter of pressing a button and feeding the paper.


     Safety is an aspect that users tend to think of last, but it can be an important consideration. The vorTEX/////doublebinder has been built with safety in mind from the beginning. Every effort has been made to shield moving parts and electrical circuitry away from the user. In fact, the vorTEX/////doublebinder is so safe that it is currently in development for the use of blind operators binding Braille books!

Braille books

Did you notice the mention of Braille books? It is worthwhile to note that for the first time ever, absolutely perfect Braille books can be produced. In the past, most industrial book binding techniques yielded questionable results on Braille books.

This is because in order for the book's spine to be bound, the paper generally needs to be clamped hard before notching can take place. Hard clamping squashed the Braille lettering, which erased the words for the reader! With doublebinding the clamping force could scarcely even be described as a clamping force. It is better described as a "holding pressure."

The paper merely needs to be held in place. The results are still beautiful layflat books of unparalleled strength and reliability. And as an added bonus, the vorTEX/////doublebinder is so simple and safe that even blind operators can use them! This advantage is of an importance to the Braille book binding industry that is so big, it can only be described as "historic!"


     The best technology in the world is of limited value of that technology is not reliable enough. The vorTEX/////doublebinder has been designed to be suitable even in developing countries where service and parts supply infrastructure may be limited.

     To the greatest possible extent, electrical parts have been used that are freely available anywhere in the world, and which can be replaced by generic alternatives without compromise. Similarly, the mechanical parts are of simple and robust design so that they can be re-manufactured by any competent local engineering shop if needs be. The vorTEX/////doublebinder generally requires very little service and repair.

     All new machines carry a 6 month guarantee. If purchased through a local distribution agent, local service is provided. Replacement parts are supplied via the Powerbind factory, through the local distribution agency.

Notice that even when attempting to pull a page from the top down, the paper will fail, but not the binding. The ragged edges of the torn out sheet show paper fibres, but no glued surface. This indicates that the binding has remained 100% intact!

How can I own a vorTEX/////doublebinder?

     If by this time you have already become convinced of the necessity for your business to own a vorTEX/////doublebinder, as we think you will be, you would want to know how to make it possible.

     The vorTEX/////doublebinder is sold and distributed through local distribution agents. Powerbind is currently in the process of setting up local distribution agencies in various parts of the world.

If you would like a quotation, please visit the Request a Quotation page.


The vorTEX/////doublebind - a strong machine built for people who want the results of tomorrow today.

Technical specification sheet for the vorTEX/////doublebind (PDF file, 1.78MB)
Video on YouTube: 
Video 2 on YouTube: http://youtu.be/rqoJGVSmyCY

Associated articles: 16 Reasons to go vorTEX 
How YOU can afford a vorTEX
How to scare the opposition and impress customers with your NCR book quality
More vorTEX pictures

How can we help you?

Contact Information
+27 (44) 805 7109 (International enquiries)
+27 (44) 878 0559 (South Africa enquiries)
+ 27 (44) 878 0559 (Factory)
E-mail us (all enquiries)

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