The Finish Line

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.

Many, many years ago there was a children’s book titled “The Little Engine That Could.” Somewhat like the little engine, IBIS Bindery Systems Ltd. was founded in the U.K. in 1999 by a small group of bindery systems engineers. They were the first firm to design a saddle stitching system that was specifically designed to process digitally printed sheets printed on continuous toner or inkjet printers

OK, I digress from my usual finishing tech. discussion this week. Although I’m on the digital finishing side, I spent enough time in the high-volume offset world to become quite familiar with publication, periodical and catalog production.

Don Piontek offers an inside look at the PRINT 17 show floor, sharing some finishing technology highlights that were on display.

With the new generation of finishing systems, connectivity has become a big selling point. Given the shift to shorter runs, machine availability, makeready time, and productivity are all critical to profits. So, accurate metrics have become more important than ever.

Printing equipment is more sophisticated and complex than ever. This is especially true of the latest generation of inkjet presses. This technology integrates electronics, chemistry, physics, software, and mechanical hardware in a dizzyingly complex package. The same goes for the new generation of finishing equipment.

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.

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