Finishing Flexibility

The pressure of on-demand finishing is not for the faint of heart. Still, in all the hoopla over print-on-demand output and marketing, little attention is showered on the specialized bindery demands that help realize on-demand’s full potential.


Ask Claude Monette, president and COO of Thebault DI—the digital printing arm of L.P. Thebault—what struggles his operation finds in the vast array of on-demand finishing combinations it must execute daily and Monette will offer a plethora of thoughts.

“Typically, the struggles of finishing in an on-demand printing environment are with the seemingly endless finishing combinations that on-demand products lend themselves to—from a simple trim-and-pack job to a customized diecut, embossed and personalized print product. Each presents their own set of unique challenges and time demands,” Monette explains.

“For on-demand finishing, we deal with an enormously diversified customer base. We combine many digital services under one roof and so, logically, our finishing effort becomes a full-service bindery for many complex applications,” he continues. “As an on-demand printer, we are constantly looking for finishing equipment that can deliver high quality saddlestiching, scoring, trimming, saddle-wire binding and more without cracking, scuffing or marking our toner-based products. It’s a real challenge.”

Obviously, an on-demand printer such as Thebault DI—which relies on Agfa Chromapress technology—must be able to assure customers that deadline-sensitive print jobs will be produced on time. After all, there’s little advantage to digital color output if a job cannot be finished quickly.

As a result, in-house finishing capabilities are necessary for an on-demand printing operation, which must decide if in-line or off-line finishing, or more commonly a combination of the two, will bolster its digital printing effort with enough postpress power.

The benefits of in-line finishing include high set integrity, as well as a streamlined production path.

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