JUST-IN-TIME FINISHING — Flying to the Finish

BY CHRIS BAUER

The whole point of on-demand printing is to get the customer his or her print order in a short amount of time. So you have an army of 100+ ppm printing devices and you can churn out short-run, digital documents like there is no tomorrow.

That is all well and good, but customers are looking for finished documents—books that are bound, brochures that are folded and marketing materials that are cut, slit and punched.

Out of necessity, digital and on-demand printing has become more and more popular in the commercial printing world. According to CAP Ventures’ 2000-2005 U.S. Print On Demand market forecast, print volumes in the digital color market are increasing by about 25 percent annually. Obviously, the need for on-demand finishing capabilities follows right along with these figures.

One prime example of a commercial printer that understands the ins and outs of both on-demand printing and finishing is Carol Stream, IL-based Copresco, which is strictly a digital printer. By not using traditional offset presses, the company has a distinct advantage when it comes to on-demand work, notes Copresco President Steve Johnson.

No Drying Time

“This means no offset inks and no drying time,” Johnson points out. “That is an essential consideration for on-demand finishing, where the binding process may begin as soon as the first copy of a book comes off the press.”

Johnson stresses that Copresco never allows the fact that its jobs are printed on-demand to limit the client’s binding options. Nor is print-on-demand an excuse for inferior quality, he says. Copresco offers wire stitching (corner, side, saddle), mechanical (GBC, plastic coil, double-loop wire) and adhesive (perfect, tape) binding, as well as drilling, shrink-wrapping and insertion into ring binders for looseleaf books. Case binding (hard cover), Otabind (lay flat) and single-loop wire (spiral) are outsourced to trade binderies.

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