There are many finishing options available for productions printers. Booklet makers allow a production printer to output finished booklets from the end of the machine. These booklets have staples that are driven into the fold of the booklet to bind the pages. Booklet makers have a folder to create the fold or spine where the staples or “stiches” are inserted. Folders are also a popular finishing option, but they are usually offered as a part of a booklet making capability.
A booklet maker will trim the edges of a booklet as part of the booklet making process. This is important if the booklets have “bleed” or printed image that runs off the edge of the page(s). One important feature of a high-quality trimmer is the ability to quickly and efficiently collect and eject the scrap paper that is trimmed off the edges.
Another in-demand feature is square folding. A square folding booklet maker makes two folds in the spine area of the booklet and inserts a staple in the center of the spine. The result is a booklet that tends to lie flat and looks like a perfect bound booklet.
In-line perfect binders are probably the most expensive finishers available for a production printer. A perfect binder can make large, thick paperback books to be made in-line with the printer. The pages are collected in the finisher until there are a complete stack of book pages. The stack of pages passes through a grinder where the spine or bound edge is ground in preparation for hot glue binding. The glue is applied, a cover is fitted to the stack of pages, and the three edges of the book are trimmed.
There are a wide range of costs for production printing finishers. A basic finisher can cost around $3000 to $5000, while a full-featured booklet maker with all the options can range from $20,000 to $50,000. Some of the faster, more feature-rich in-line perfect binders can cost over $100,000, sometimes more than the cost of the production printer itself.