Just-In-Time Finishing — Finishing Touches
Spoilage and waste can be a problem with personalized, one-to-one marketing products, because a mistake in the finishing stage can mean the entire process needs to be repeated. But that is less of a fear at KIT Packaging because it does its finishing work off-line.
"Spoilage is so minimal when you do it off-line," Gagnon reports. "We've been led to believe that there is fairly high spoilage on webs when you have print head problems. We avoid that by going off-line because if a print head doesn't print, we only lose a sheet or two. It's become a non-issue for us."
New technologies should be available for the just-in-time finishing segment in the coming years. Some of these innovations include binding lines geared for digital, short-run manufacturers, with almost instantaneous makereadies featuring touchscreen pads. Also on the horizon are thermal stampers, which have no dyes involved and print the type with a foil on a case-bound book.
"We are in digital printing for the long haul," Edwards Brothers' Mohr asserts. "We understand it is the future and that's why we got in in '97. We learned the ropes early on; we plan to stay in it and we're excited about the future of digital printing."