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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.

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 >>

Industry Centers:

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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For Digital Finishing, Static=Havoc!

Static has been a perennial villain (and sometime friend) in both the print and finishing process. Controlling static is vital in the digital finishing process, but fortunately, the tools are there.  Read More >>

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Bridging the Offset and Digital Divide in Finishing

I had the pleasure of attending a rather festive "open house" event last week at a major offset printer. This firm had implemented a digital print and finishing platform in a big way. Re-fitting a space within their plant, they outfitted the new digital "module" with an HP continuous inkjet press, HP Indigo presses, and several high-speed cut-sheet toner printers.  Read More >>

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Taking Automation a Step Further in the Bindery

Most of us in the finishing world are familiar with machine-level automation, which has made enormous progress since the early 1990's. Craftsman-level machine adjustments and makereadies have been largely automated and can now take only a few minutes. But finishing material workflow has been a more difficult challenge.  Read More >>

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Is Offset Finishing R&D Finished?

Are we finished with offset finishing? What remains to be done with the future of the offset bindery? I am of the opinion that (mostly) most of the major breakthroughs have been accomplished, Been there, done that.  Read More >>

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Don't Forget to Take Out the Trim!

Trim extraction systems solve many problems at once. These typically consist of a series of ducts that use fans and blowers to create a strong vacuum. Connections are made to the waste pickup point of each machine. Paper trim and paper dust are "vacuumed" up into overhead ducts.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Digital Press to Binder..."Hello, Are You There? Hello?"

When it comes to the finishing end of digital print, there is still a lack of "connectivity." The offset world saw the introduction of JDF (Job Definition Format) more than 15 years ago. Enter digital print. Each vendors' print engine ran on a different software workflow. There was no JDF equivalent of a universal digital print-to-finish "language."  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Where Will 2014 Take the Bindery?

We've been through many challenging years for print, and as finishing is an integral part, it's fair to ask where we're going, and where new opportunities may lie. So let's break out the old crystal ball and gaze...  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Is There a Future in Finishing?

Digital print advances will create many new finishing opportunities. The finishing expert of the near future will truly have to "think outside the box" to be able to create products in new and innovative ways.  Read More >>

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Why Digital Press Salespeople Need to be Bindery Savvy

The press and finishing system must be considered as a complete module. This is especially important because the offset-to-finishing workflow is often completely different from the digital-to-finishing one. And although digital print can be a more efficient print process, it's also a more expensive one than offset. So designing the most efficient, least costly bindery process for digital becomes essential.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

The Elephant in the Bindery

The finishing systems salesperson has to work pretty hard to sell new against used, but it can be done. You've got to sell the ROI in today's workplace. That means labor savings, automation, accuracy and speed. In short, adapt your selling skills to the realities of today's printing industry.  Read More >>

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Digital Print and Newspapers

Years ago, I had listened to presentations on the personalization possibilities that digital print would bring to the newspaper industry. So far, those predictions have not come to pass. As inkjet continues to evolve (and gets faster), this market may finally evolve.  Read More >>

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It's A Small World After All

Hard-cover bookbinding is a craft that has a history measured in centuries, and one of my discoveries was how small the specialty machinery world in hard cover actually was.  Read More >>

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'True Finish' with Coatings and Film Laminates

Digital printing has thrown a curve at both coating and film systems manufacturers due to the surface properties of many toner printed pieces. These make it difficult for many films and coatings to properly adhere to the substrate.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Bookbinders, Take Heart!

Hard-cover production is shifting more and more to an "on-demand" model, which has lifted the sales of vendors manufacturing modular machines that can make cases and case-in hard-cover books in small quantities.  Read More >>

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The Finishing Salesperson's Guide to Survival - Part 2

If you're in finishing, you need to really examine which other sectors or industries offer growth opportunities for your technology. I can think of two right off the bat.  Read More >>

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The Finishing Salesperson's Guide to Survival - Part 1

Many traditional finishing systems manufacturers are now making systems that cross over into the digital space and its applications. But you need to get familiar with the key players in that space and familiarize them with your technology. I'm not saying that this is easy. But it's vital if you want to stay in the finishing industry.  Read More >>

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