On a day in June of 1967 my father came home from work and asked me if I would like a summer job. I had just graduated from high school and was not sure what direction my life was headed, so I readily agreed.
My father was a web pressman in the Chicago area and the company he worked for was looking for help in the bindery. Little did I know that my first day on the job would lead me to where I am now 41 YEARS LATER! I started my career by loading pockets on a McCain stitcher. It wasn’t long until the operator of my machine got drafted (this was during the Vietnam conflict) and the bindery Foreman offered me an apprenticeship on the stitcher. I started running and repairing my machine at the age of 17. I did this for the next 7 years until our place of business went bankrupt as so many printing companies have. Fortunately I was offered a job in Southern California running publication work on a Sheridan stitcher-trimmer. It was there that I met Bob Roth who came in to service the folding machines. Bob had just started his own business and we quickly became friends. He asked me if I would like to do some “moonlighting” by servicing stitchers and I became hooked on the job.
In 1977 I moved back to Chicago and took a job with McCain manufacturing as a service technician. The printing industry was flying high then and McCain was working two shifts a day to keep up with orders for new equipment. During this time I met several customers that complained that they could not afford or justify the price of a new saddle binder and they could not find anyone to rebuild one. The light went off in my head and the rest is history. In 1978 I started Smart, Inc. with the idea of bridging the gap between a new machine and equipment bought “as is”.
We are a small close knit company of talented engineers, technicians, and mechanics that specialize in saddle binding equipment exclusively We only produce a limited amount of machines each year. Most of us are ex stitcher operators who have been with the company for over 20 years, so we not only know the mechanics of the machinery we also have the production knowledge and experience! We can make recommendations to improve production speeds and reduce make-ready time. So from the thousands of used saddle binders in the field we can help you select the make and model that fits your needs and price range. We can build a machine to your specifications and even do modifications to allow smaller or larger work than normal to be produced. We also excel at field service as well as relocating your present machine.
All of our rebuilt or reconditioned machinery is thoroughly cleaned, all worn parts replaced, all metal guards are repaired and painted the original color, and plastic guards are repaired or replaced. The machine is then fully assembled with all guards fitted and installed. We then test run the machine with paper to eliminate the “bugs”. I personally check and re-check each machine before it gets my approval to go to the customer. You can be assured that I will not release a machine unless I would feel comfortable buying it for my own print shop or bindery. Each machine sold by us receives lifetime technical support. Buyers have access to our 24 hour tech support line.
Since we refurbish so many saddle binders, we have access to thousands of parts that we keep in stock, either new, used or new old stock. If you have an obsolete machine that you cannot find parts for you may have some luck with us. We also stock new, used and rebuilt stitcher heads, stitcher head parts, new and used trimmer knives, rubber and vinyl suckers, new gathering chain, belts, sprockets, and our machine buyers receive discounts on stitching wire. Our superior customer service will keep you coming back. We also sell add on equipment such as extra feeders, coverfeeders, vacuum pumps, and counter stackers.
So when it comes to your saddle binding machinery needs join our hundreds of satisfied customers and call Smart, Inc. I can guarantee your satisfaction.
President and owner
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