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Work smarter – not harder
by Michael Seidl
Meeting the ever-increasing possibilities presented by new printing processes and applications is keeping finishing machine manufacturers on their toes and the results of their continued innovation will be seen at drupa. Increased automation is assured while solutions will also satisfy environmental standards, provide unique selling points, and be suitable for small print runs.
Once the poor cousin, the finishing sector has reinvented itself as an essential process in the completion of a printing project. There is no point in having a fast offset printer, or the latest digital printing machine, if the finishing is not right and paper is wasted in the folding process or the single photobook leaves the production line poorly trimmed. Modern finishing technology is sophisticated and innovative, and can hold its head up high alongside other developments in the industry.
A dominant trend will be the drive to increase efficiency and productivity with a simpler, smarter operation delivering faster make-ready and avoiding errors – vital for smaller print runs and buoyant markets such as book-on-demand printing.
Of course the increased take up of digital presses has impacted demand for high-performance finishing solutions with a range of offline and integrated finishing systems addressing the spectrum of volume requirements.
Sustainability is also a key topic in the bindery and while automation plays a part so, too, does the development of energy efficient solutions, for example, drive systems that allow the individual modules to be shut down separately to save energy, or equipment that creates eco-friendly products such as 100% recyclable paper-bound ring binders.
Then there are high-output machines for multishift production, which now offer more intuitive operation, and a wider range of variants as well as inserting systems designed to cater for the individual needs of newspaper operations.
So is there any potential left for innovation in finishing? Absolutely and the emphasis is to develop the right applications for emerging trends. It is also hoped drupa will remove the investment barrier with regard to digital presses and ease the knock on effect on the finishing sector.