Bufalo Rondofix

Since 1973, the perfect binder has been providing quality cold adhesive binding for the small- to medium-run finishing sector.  The manufacturer’s Bufalo range, which replaced the Sulby Liner, has been on the market for 35 years and its popularity shows no signs of diminishing.

There were two models available, the Bufalo 500 and the Bufalo Rondofix. Both could use PVA, EVA or PUR adhesives, but what distinguished the two was speed: the 500 ran at 500 books per hour (bph) compared to the Bufalo Rondofix’s faster 1,600bph. The Rondofix also featured a special spine preparation.

The machines could operate automatically through a sensor fitted into the feed plate. This allowed a delay of up to 10 seconds for product handling by the operator.

“The clamp can be jogged forwards and backwards by a hand control,” says Giddins. “On the 500 model, there is a device for small books available and a vibrating table option for jogging loose paper or sections. Features such as inline backlining, large- and small-format options and hot melt were also available.

Automatic control
Targeted at book, pad and brochure producers doing small- to medium-runs, the machine used a hydraulic system with electronic control technology. It was designed for hand-feeding loose paper, book sections and sewn book blocks into the transport clamp. Control of the clamp could be automatic via sensor and timer, or manual.

“The book is transported through a milling unit equipped with fully adjustable sanding disc to prepare the spine for adhesive,” explains Giddins. The book also passes through a routing station, which mills slots across the spine for additional pull strength. The hot-melt unit applies adhesive on the spine, while two rollers and a heated scraper regulates the final layer on books between 0.5mm to 1mm thick. Side gluing wheels apply hot side adhesive and are separately controlled to allow different grades of adhesive to be used. “Covers up to 400gsm, can be applied without pre-scoring,” adds Giddins.

In the late 1990s, guarding and electronics were improved to comply with the current health and safety legislation and can be retrofitted to older machines.

Optional extras include a backlining unit for applying gauze, crepe, linen, paper and lining material to books up to 60mm thick. “The complete unit is supplied with roll feeder, rotary cutters for cutting book length as fed from reel and parallel precision blades for cutting at point of application onto book,” adds Giddins.

More than 20 machines have been installed in the UK and up to 300 worldwide. The market for the Bufalo is very niche, so the machines are hard to find secondhand. PBS will take back an old model as part exchange and also sells used models in the UK and Ireland. Spares are kept in stock by PBS and are available for machines up to 20 years old. “But there is a low take-up due to the quality of engineering,” says Giddins. PBS has three engineers based across the UK. A new Rondofix will cost Around $AU185,000 with cover feeder and hot melt. A 2004 Rondofix was recently delivered and installed in the UK with all options, except PUR, for $AU125,000.

Max book size 550x330x60mm
Min book size 70x80x0.5mm
Max speed 1,600bph    
Wider side gluing from 10-16mm
Cold Glue tank
Small-format 70x80mm
What to look for
• Switches
• Chain Conditions
• Glue tank

For up-to-date Australasian details on pricing, distribution, phone numbers and other matters relevant to this article, we suggest you contact the relevant companies via their websites.

Read the original article at www.printweek.com.

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