Technology buffs speculate that e-book readers such as the iPad and Kindle are on the way to replacing traditional hand-held volumes, but a family-owned Belgian book-binding company is growing its business through photobooks and notebooks that customers can personalize with their own pictures and information.

Peleman Industries NV is selling its products in about 130 countries, and Alpharetta-based subsidiary Peleman Industries Inc. is to open its first U.S. factory in Georgia in 2013.

Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem told GlobalAtlanta that as children she and her sister Esmeralda toured the Peleman plant near the family home in Puurs, Belgium, and were in awe of the equipment that produced the company’s checkbooks, notebooks and ring binders.

Mr. Peleman, father of the sisters and chairman and CEO of the group’s worldwide operations, successfully expanded the company’s brands and products globally.

As CEO of the firm’s U.S. subsidiary, Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem has been involved in the company’s expansion into personalized consumer products.

In 2005 the firm introduced a line of photobooks through its subsidiary Unibind. A spin on photo albums, customers design the books with their own pictures and construct them with the company’s binding equipment.

The technology earned the praise of U.S. electronic publishers and with their endorsement, Peleman introduced its photobooks to major retailers throughout the country.

The company’s other subsidiary, Unibook, enables authors to publish their own works.

Peleman Industries entered the U.S. market in 1998 and located its headquarters in the Atlanta area after working with local organizations the Belgian-American Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Since then, Unibind’s PhotoBook Creator software has been featured on the “Montel Williams Show” and “The View,” and Ms. Peleman-Vantieghem won a 2008 American Business Awards’ Stevie Award for Best Executive.

Ms. Peleman-Vantieghem said low labor costs and high-quality research and development facilities in the region have the company looking at sites in Forsythe, Fulton and Gwinnett counties for its first U.S. manufacturing plant.

The Unibind factory will initially create between 25 and 50 jobs, and the company is interested in expanding manufacturing to the U.S. West Coast in the future.

According to Ms. Peleman-Vantieghem Belgium’s small size encourages companies there to invest in technology and sell beyond its borders.

“Innovation is always one of the top priorities,” she said. “We have to expand because in Belgium if you want to make it, you can never become a very huge company, so you always have to go and look out and export.”

To learn more about the company, go here.