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Work Smarter, Not Harder, in the Bindery

February 16, 2012 By Michael Seidl, Print & Publishing magazine
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One thing is for sure—at Drupa 2012, there will be plenty of fresh ideas in finishing technology. All of the manufacturers we spoke to confirmed to us that they are hard at work on new or enhanced products. And that’s just as well, because an industry that stands still will go backwards, and that is something none of us wants to see. Particularly when the industry again needs to gather momentum after the difficult years following the financial crisis.

So Drupa 2012 comes at a good time, and will surely show that the decline in the industry has been dramatically reversed since the last one. While markets such as China, India and South America are growing at an enviable rate in spite of the crisis, things are not so encouraging on the established markets in the West.

Print potential is changing and print runs shrinking even though there are more types of products being produced. Margins are falling, costs need to be kept under control and customers are becoming more price sensitive. This situation requires both printers and finishers to develop innovative, new solutions. Time is money, and every mistake has an impact on the bottom line. This applies to both large print jobs and digital print runs of one.

For years, finishing has been the poor cousin in the production process; but recently, this traditional situation has been overturned. Why? Simple: the finishing sector has reinvented itself, becoming no longer just a means to an end, but an essential process in the completion of a printing project.

These days, there is no point in having a fast offset printer or the latest digital printing machine, if the finishing is not right and carefully saved paper is wasted in the folding process or the single photo book leaves the production line cut at an angle. Modern finishing technology is sophisticated and innovative, and can hold its head up high alongside other developments in the industry.

Join us as we explore the latest trends in this area of the print industry. It might just give you an exciting insight into what awaits you at Drupa 2012.

Automation: Have We Reached the Ceiling?
In recent years, binding systems have become highly automated. As to the question of whether this trend will continue or if automation has reached its limit, only Drupa 2012 will tell. If there is no more progress to be made in this area, where else might development be focused?
 

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