How important is data in digital finishing? It’s critical. You’re probably relating this to the fact that digital is (by its file-based nature) all about variable data. But beyond creating personalized documents and books, there is the larger question of integrating production data into the plant workflow and MIS systems.
I was at the 2017 Inkjet Summit a few weeks ago. As usual, the buzz on inkjet was intense, with many good presentations covering the latest advances in inkjet technology. But the one item that jumped out at me during one of them was that well over 90% of print was still being created by offset technology. Digital print technology accounts for less than 3% of the total print market.
So, why did I title this small piece “bragging rights?” Well, when we (IBIS) attended the awards dinner on Wednesday at our first Inkjet Summit, it turned out that we had been nominated for the best case study in the publishing segment. We didn’t WIN, mind you, but we got a nomination, in company with some of the biggest industry vendors. It was a great way to end our first Inkjet Summit.
I've been in the industry long enough to have witnessed a small parade of attempts to develop universal print-and-finishing interfaces. In the 90’s, there was an effort to develop a common interface among inkjet printers being used on offset finishing lines. In 1999, a much more ambitious effort by the CIP4 consortium led to JDF (Job Definition Format) ... So, where are we now?
Concerned about all of that paper we’re writing and printing on, the Yadong Yin research group at University California Riverside decided to come up with a substrate that could be “written" on, and subsequently erased, through a variety of methods. This piqued my interest.
With the growth of digital print, lots of consideration goes into designing the optimum finishing process. The short-run nature of digital presses means the finishing process must be carefully analyzed. So let's look at the in-line and off-line options, and the arguments for each.
Although there have been many new finishing systems introduced in the past two or three years, one type of system has caught my attention. The spread of high-quality, cut-sheet digital presses has created a real opportunity for short-run finishing for all sorts of packaging, labels, stickers, boxes, pocket folders, greeting cards, and retail display material.
You can produce short-run, hardcover orders in-house, and with great quality.
Hunkeler Innovationdays are approaching. Over the years, this biannual event has steadily grown until it has become a "must" for companies seeking out the latest in digital finishing technology. And for book printers, this is a chance to see the "best of the best" finishing technology for their workflow.
The term "finishing" can apply a rather large spectrum of products that are printed. Among these are signage of all types. Signs (unlike much printed material) are designed to quickly convey directions or information to the viewer. And the market for signage is vast, incorporating everything from highway, to retail, to institutional, and much more.
We are now in the era of file-based finishing (or as some call it, Finishing 4.0). While there were many prior efforts to transform offset production into a file-based workflow (remember JDF?) digital print has completed the changeover.
2016 was quite a year for innovation and new developments on both the digital print and finishing side. But we’re about to jumpstart 2017 with Hunkeler's bi-annual Innovationdays in February. Unique among the various print trade shows and vendor-sponsored gatherings, Innovationdays is largely a finishing-centric showcase. And not just finishing, but digital finishing.
Any trade bindery owner looking to keep his business going must look at other opportunities outside of traditional print finishing.
Hardcover book production seemed to be under serious threat not too many years ago.
Polywrappers are quite complex machines that are used to provide a polyethylene “package” for lots of different printed media.