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CEO of Finishing Resources, Inc

The Finish Line

By Don Piontek

About Don

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.

GRAPH EXPO 14 Tales, Part Two: Longevity

One of the terrific things about trade shows is that they act as a sort of annual reunion where you get to catch up with many of the contacts you have missed during the past year. You may only have a few minutes to shoot the breeze with each one, but you'd be surprised at the insights you can gain in a two-minute conversation.  Read More >>

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GRAPH EXPO 14 Tales - Part One

Many years of attending GRAPH EXPO have taught me that like the great markets of the Middle East and Asia, sometimes treasures are hidden away in the back of the halls. So I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the Gunther Technologies stand.  Read More >>

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The 'NEW MBO America'—What Does It Mean?

As the world of print tilts more and more towards digital, MBO and MBO America have had to seriously rethink their game plan. Issues such as the trend towards very short runs, the lack of experienced bindery operators and the need to enter the digital finishing and packaging markets have all weighed heavily on them.

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Digital Finishing: To Fold or Not?

The old-line bindery vendors have been working hard to get their new digital finishing offerings into newer markets, and to establish themselves as preferred partners with the digital press manufacturers. But this is a space that has been adequately filled for may years. These "traditional" vendors will have to prove that they've got some new finishing technology tricks to offer that are superior (and cost-effective) in order to claim their share of digital print finishing.  Read More >>

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Digital Finishing for Newspapers?

The inkjet printing revolution is in full swing, with one exception. Newspapers. While many pundits have been predicting the death of the printed paper, I think they're going to be around for some time.  Read More >>

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Can You Do Variable?

I often get calls from printers (and binderies) asking about that "smart" saddle stitcher that they've heard about. There is a substantial difference between a conventional saddle stitcher and the IBIS Smart-binder. I can visualize tiny lights going on in their heads as I explain the Smart-binder's unique technology.  Read More >>

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Made In China?

The lower manufacturing costs in China have begun to look quite attractive. While a terrific number of products we buy in everyday life are made there, the presence of both Chinese-made offset presses and bindery systems in the United States have been minimal so far.  Read More >>

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Simpler Is Better

After a long career helping to configure fairly complex mailing and finishing systems, I have learned to reduce complexity wherever I can. In an effort to reduce labor input, today's offset and digital finishing systems incorporate multiple components.  Read More >>

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Better Finishing Through Chemistry

Adhesives are widely used in finishing, this includes perfect binding, folding, mailing, and folding carton applications. And coatings and various chemical solutions are used in the digital print process to both enhance image quality and make the paper more "finishing-friendly." Both chemistry and environmental control have a lot to do with systems performance.  Read More >>

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Will Master Bookbinder Craft Survive?

I won't lie. I've spent the majority of my time in long-run commercial bindery and digital finishing. But, I've had opportunities to see how "craft" book binderies produce exquisite, valuable hard cover products. How long will this craftsmanship survive in the age of Facebook and Instagram?  Read More >>

'Artificial' Intelligence in the Bindery

Today's cutters, folders, saddlestitchers and binders are extremely "intelligent." This is a necessity due to the need to reduce makeready time, and to compensate for the lack of "old hand" experience in the bindery. In today's digital print environment, training apprenticeships have all but disappeared, and an operator may be thrown into production with a few days worth of training.  Read More >>

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Pricing Your Finishing Systems Correctly

No one really expects their machinery to last 10 years because of changing industry demands and the steady stream of new technologies. These are now introduced every few months, instead of years. Make no mistake, there is a "correct" price for every machine out there, and it pays to do your research when determining the market price.  Read More >>

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The Proposal: Make Sure You Get it Right

If you're out there selling six- or seven-figure systems, make sure you spend the time and effort to ensure that your proposal clearly explains your system, its advantages and all of its configuration and options. Don't hand your prospect a price list generated by software. They deserve better.  Read More >>

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The Book Factory

The Book Factory System (BFS)—created by two entrepreneurs in The Netherlands—is a mechanical and electrical system for the automatic movement of materials from print to finishing, that can increase efficiency substantially.  Read More >>

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Adhesive Binding 101

As print shifts from offset to digital, and run lengths shrink to reduce inventories, a whole new generation of perfect binders has been introduced. These machines are built for short- and medium-runs, and can quickly adjust to changes in both the book block and cover sizes.  Read More >>

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Planning for a Smooth Install

Your company has just ordered a brand new finishing system, and you're excited as all get-out about getting this baby on the floor and operating. Your operators and maintenance people are pumped and ready-to-go. What could go wrong? Plenty.  Read More >>

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In-line vs. Off-line Digital Finishing: The Eternal Question

When planning an in-line system, make sure you consult with someone who has the experience and knowledge to gauge the "fit" of the various components that will be needed. Questions of speed, paper hand-off between systems, and the operating interface between the modules must all be calculated.  Read More >>

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The Lightweight Paper Challenge

Printers have had to contend with an entire universe of substrates since Gutenberg. One of the major challenges has been the very lightweight papers used for financial, pharmaceutical, and legal printed pieces. Printing on these is no joy, as they don't have the tensile strength or body of heavier grades.  Read More >>

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Looking at Print's Future

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending some time at Strategic Content Imaging in Secaucus, NJ. I was there for other business, but I had a chance to see one of their 30"-wide continuous inkjet presses running along at about 800-feet-per-minute. This got me thinking.  Read More >>

The End of Trade Shows?

I don't think the large shows like drupa, Ipex, and GRAPH EXPO will be shutting down any time soon. But we will increasingly see major targeted events run by manufacturers that will compete with (and draw attendees away from) the traditional shows.  Read More >>

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