Paperback books are spewing out on a conveyor belt

An article from Expressen
(Swedish daily newspaper)
Saturday 15 May 1976

The large machine hall vibrates in the roar from the presses.
At a speed of 70,000 copies per hour sprays book machine forward “Night of the Dead” and “Lure in Destruction” – at the same time. The production is going without interruption from paper roll to full finished paperback novel with cover.

The book machine – named to Book-o-matic – owned by Wanlström’s publishing house and is located in Korsnäs outside Falun.
In one year it produces 12-14 million books: detective stories, novels, children’s books, youth books and manuals. Here press not just Wahlström’s itself, but also a line other publishing houses.

The book machine is one of the fastest methods for book making which exists. Technically, it is light years between it and the small workshop in Germany where the art of printing inventor Johann Gutenberg in the middle of the 15th century hand picked the types to a book.

Soon the book machine will get accompanied by a even more advanced relative, Book-o-matic Il, which currently being tuned in by the specialists. When both machines drive at full speed while rising the production capacity to 21,000 book copies i the hour.

The heart of the machine consists of two gigantic cylinders. Each and everyone of they can print text to two normal paperbacks. In the “old” Book-omatic must be lifted by hand over the glued together the books to the drying oven (where the glue in spines dry). In the later version this is also managed by machines.

Before the cylinders can be loaded with the printing substrate to the future book pages, the manuscript must be treated according to a special method. Important aids are computers, photo technology and plastic instead of lead which the substance with which one prints.

This is how Sweden’s only book machine with computers, photo technology and plastic works

1. Perforatris Christina Carlander transfers the manuscript to a book to punch strip. That is the first point in the manufacturing process.

2. Tore Bolin feeds the strip into a computer connected photosetter which sets 250 lines per minute. The result is a film with finished text.

3. The film is developed and copied in a special device. The copy has the shape of a long strip of paper the width of a book page.

4. The errors that occur are corrected. Hans Romberg does this with a monitor, connected to the computer’s memory.

5. Åke Malmström tears the copy into book pages, which are pasted on paper. The sheets are photographed with negative film.

6. The film is placed on a light-sensitive plastic disc, and illuminated with ultraviolet light, which hardens the plastic under the bow rods.

7. The non-illuminated plastic is rinsed away in a bath. Now only remains raised letters on a thin bottom foil.

8. Leif Lilja cuts out the book pages and mounts them on a plastic “printing plate”. The plate is clamped onto the cylinders in the book machine.

9. Here are printed “Night of Death” and “Enticing in Perdition”. Kjell Hedman oversees the machine that folds the leaves into a book.

10. At the same time as the text is printed in the large press, the covers are printed in another press. They are coated with a thin plastic film to make them glossy.

11.This machine glues the book spines and clamps the covers. So far, “Dödens natt” and “Locka i verdärvet” sit together in a so-called book block.

12. The finished book block passes through a drying oven (for the glue in the back to dry), cleanly cut all around and cut apart with a saw