Don Piontek

Don Piontek

Don has worked in technical support, sales, engineering, and management during a career in both the commercial offset and digital finishing sectors. He is the North American representative for IBIS Bindery Systems, Ltd. of The United Kingdom.

Digital Finishing – Your Way

Increasingly, customers are looking at the finishing end and wanting finishing solutions that are far from standard. The era of the “vanilla” book, mailing piece, or booklet is over. Printers are attempting to be more creative than ever (with good reason), and the prospect or customer applications that I’m tasked with require machine modifications that range from the minor, to very major.

Finishing Options for Photobooks

There is a wide range of finishing automation for photobooks of all quality levels. But larger machines are not inexpensive and a photo book printer needs adequate volume to justify the capital expense. And this leads to the question of demand.

The Dealer's Dilemma

The overall shrinkage of the print market has challenged dealers like never before. A smaller potential customer base forces them to diversify their product lines further, and to try to enter new potential markets. This is far from easy, as (successfully) entering a new market — especially against existing competitors — takes lots of time and money. And this also works against new suppliers trying to enter the U.S. market.

Salute to the Bookbinding Conservators of History

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the great libraries in Italy, France, The British Library and others, hold the world’s great historical treasures in printed form. And their continued viability is due to the little-known daily work of these bookbinding and preservation artists.

Tracking Data in the Digital Bindery

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.

The Future of Offset Finishing

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.

Bragging Rights

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.

The Lost Interface

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?

The Latest Paper Trend: Re-Printable Paper?

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.

In-Line Versus Off-Line Finishing: The Eternal Question

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.

An Update on Short-Run Diecutting

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.

Hunkeler Innovationdays; the Search for the Perfect Book Block

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.

(Wide-Format) Signs of The Times

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.