Banding Over 12 Million Pieces a Year for Over 10 Years

Herff Jones

Indianapolis, IN


The Company

Commercial printer, and supplier of graduation accessories, class rings, yearbooks, educational publishing, motivation & recognition robes & apparel, globes, sports jewelry and awards, fraternity and sorority jewelry.


Herff Jones, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana is a commercial printer with a long tradition of producing graduation announcements, yearbooks, accessories and much more. 


They serve high schools, colleges, universities, churches and other institutions.  Their business began in 1920 when they started manufacturing class rings out of a fire engine building. 


Today, Herff Jones supplies more than 12 million graduation announcements each year. 


The situation


Herff Jones needed a reliable automatic banding system for their end-of production process just before they packaged and shipped graduation announcements.  Producing quality graduation announcements can  take up to two weeks to print, dry, score, and fold before the announcments are ready to be counted, banded and shipped. 


The old banding systems “were pretty much a nightmare to me,” Mr. Wilbur Miller, Maintence Manager at Herff Jones in Indianapolis, said.  “They were always down for maintenance.  If the bander messes up by leaving marks, bends, or chews-up the product, we have to start all over again.  We don’t have the luxury of missing deadlines.  Two weeks is a long time.” 


Herff Jones purchased and installed four (4) ATS Triple FSB Ultrasonic Banding systems of which two run about 20 hours a day.   The other two are for back-up or run about 10 – 14 hours a day during high demand months.  The units count, stack, collate and band the product to pre-programmed instructions.  These units have been in service for over 10 years and need little maintenance.  “If everything ran as smoothly as these four machines,” Miller stated, “I’d be a very happy man.” 



Used for Critical Step


Herff Jones utilizes the banders which are set into an automated Triple FSB system that can run a variety of programs, in the final step of packing before shipping product.  The programs are easily changed for different inserts and counts to accommodate their orders. 


“The first one we installed,” Mr. Miller said, “was pretty impressive.  It ran two times the volume of the old bander without a hitch.”  These banders run full time and are cleaner than the old banders.  They require very little maintenance and are more flexible because they can run a variety of jobs. 


This critical last step must be done cleanly and quickly.  Product cannot be damaged during the banding process.  The company has only one chance to make sure the product looks great as it ships to the customer.  Deadlines are extremely important also, graduates need their announcements on-time. 


Felins Complete Solution


As part of a complete package, Herff Jones maintenance staff attended custom training sessions at the Felins’ factory when the systems w

ere new to them and they utilize the on-line and telephone help-desk from time-to-time.  Mr. Miller states that the Felins’ Service Department is great to work with and solves their issues quickly.  The company likes to send photos of their HMI panel via email to the Felins’ Service team and the service staff calls them quickly to troubleshoot an issue. 


The Herff Jones system includes:

  • 4 ATS Triple FSB Ultrasonic Banding systems
  • Installation and start-up service
  • On-site operator training
  • On-site maintenance training
  • Preventative maintenance service
  • Inventory management program


The system runs twice as fast as their old system which is important when you need to get over 12 million graduation announcement shipped on-time.




The last step before the customer sees them



Herff Jones is ready to deliver with their automated ATS Triple FSB Ultrasonic Banding systems.The banders gently hold the graduation announcements and envelopes with a white paper band to keep them secure. 


“As a company, we are really happy with the banders,” stated Mr. Miller. 


The banders are the last step before we ship and before the customer sees their announcements.  Graduates celebrate a great achievement; we want to deliver the best we can for them.”