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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.
 

Making Your Case

You can set up a short-run, hard-cover module that can produce a few thousand books a day without making a million-dollar (or more!) investment. So don't routinely send the work out if you've got it. Looking at the options for bringing it in-house can add to your cash flow and improve your bottom line.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Digital, Meet Offset. Offset, Meet Digital.

Both the offset and digital community have much to offer each other, and much to learn from each other. I'm waiting for a new finishing community or organization to arise that will help bring them together.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Finishing's Future?

It's no secret that the U.S. print and finishing sector has been quite a challenge for vendors over the past five years, or so. Economic conditions and the continuing consolidation of the print industry have completely re-shaped the landscape they were so familiar with.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Get Ready for All-in-One Printing/Finishing!

There were many attempts to integrate press and finishing over the years. A few actually worked. But most were considered as a drag on press output. When the in-line finishing module stopped (for whatever reason), so did the press. And this was a definite no-no.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Is Packaging Finishing's Future?

While the conventional bindery may be in a bit of danger (long-term), packaging faces a more robust future. It might be well worth it for today's "bindroids" to get up to speed on this market.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Will A 'New Bind' Arrive?

The last major milestone in adhesive binding was the introduction of PUR (polyurethane reactive) glue, which cured by forming a chemical bond with paper. But a newer adhesive system may be about to make a debut.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

PURFection

There are lots of additional techniques that can be used to enhance the PUR process. One new technique is a plasma-discharge station (similar to the electrical corona discharge used to treat many flexible films). This is thought to change the surface tension and polarity of the book block, enhancing the bind strength.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Making The Cut

In a large finishing operation, the sharpening budget can be a major operating cost, so it's the knife life after sharpening that should be watched closely. Not many of us think of knives as being so critical to finishing, but they're essential in your ability to "make the cut."  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Get Your Rear (Workflow) in Gear

While continuous digital presses are a long way from the (close to) mile-a-minute of paper of the fastest offset web presses, they are closing in on the 1,000 feet-per-minute mark. This is creating an issue for the postpress equipment that accompanies the press. Much of the current crop of post-press unwinders, cutter, sheeters, and web perforation systems top out at around 600 feet-per-minute.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Develop Quickly, Or Else!

Back in the heyday of high-volume print, the pecking order among bindery manufacturers was fairly well-established. The "heavy-iron" firms in the U.S. had their place, but the renowned German and Swiss firms (like Muller Martini) were rapidly gaining U.S. market share. But as digital print began to gain traction in the new millennium, a curious thing happened. The mainline manufacturers were slow to match their machines to the new realities of the digital space.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Go EAST Young Bindroid!

It would be fair to say that the combined China-India-Asia print market is now the largest in the world. But the EU firms don't have an easy ride. There are hundreds of local Chinese manufacturers (like JMD Machinery Group) competing fiercely for the business. Still, the bindery is alive and well. It's just that much of it is now in China.  Read More >>

Companies Mentioned:

Industry Centers:

The Laser Revolution in Finishing

Over the past five years, the "digital" approach has started to make headway against the traditional machines. Laser diecutting is getting both better, and faster, and is being combined with other systems to improve its productivity.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

The Life Cycles of Digital and Offset

You will see a digital person's eyebrows raise a bit when you explain that a saddle-stitcher or binder in the offset sector can still be running efficiently 10 years (or more) on. But this disparity is about to change.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

The Digital Finishing Challenge

As the workloads being assigned to digital continue to grow, the existing "digital" finishing machinery is coming up short. Many (but not all) of the available folders, booklet makers, and binders are a bit light for these higher volumes and compressed production cycles. This has created real opportunity on the finishing end, and a diverse lot of finishing manufacturers are jumping into this space.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Realizing the Elusive ‘Book-of-One’ Production Model

Publisher’s of all stripes are after the same goal: an inventory-less workflow in which unique books can be seamlessly printed and bound, one after the other. The capability to do the printing part of that equation is here already.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Labels, Labels, Labels!

You may consider it to be part of the general packaging sector, but label printing and finishing require less equipment (in general) than the other markets segments. Your operation may be a better fit for labels than you think.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

The Dealer’s Dilemma

As the printing industry changes, so too must its dealer network in order to survive. Digital printing systems have now evolved to run 24/7, and at much higher speeds. The existing “digital” binders, stitchers, folders and such were not designed either for these speeds or work volumes.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Hardcover Book Production Coming Up Short

In the ’50s, the race began to automate book binding, with firms vying to produce complete, automated systems that could turn out 50-60 hardcover books per minute. The new production model is a smaller work cell requiring a single operator.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Does Giving Bindery Equipment a Makeover Pay Off?

Bindery system manufacturers have faced a few tough sales years of late. This has spawned a lot of brainstorming about how to generate revenue. One manufacturer has come up with a program to give older machines a complete “makeover.”  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Children’s Books May Be One Market to Grow On

Printers have never been more eager to find new opportunities than they are now. Digital presses have made it possible to create a personalized book template that can be printed on a heavy stock that will stand up to the punishment a toddler can dish out.  Read More >>

Industry Centers: