Postpress Efficiency — Bringing Up the Rear
Integrated automation may not make economic sense for all printers, Lamparter cautions. If he were building a company from the ground up today, Lamparter would make as many pieces of equipment JDF-compliant as possible. Many companies can’t justify replacing a viable piece of machinery without the payoff promise.
Many digital printers evade the subject of integrating their digital presses with in-line finishing equipment, opting instead for near-line finishing, Lamparter notes. These printers simply have too many varieties of printing in need of a multitude of binding equipment; thus, it is not practical to integrate press with finishing.
“To me, that’s a sales failure. The way in which you make money is to have a line that services predominantly one type of product,” he says. “There are very successful people doing that, because they know how to sell to the equipment that is integrated. That takes talent.”
Over the long haul, Mason expects to see printers and related businesses take an entirely new approach to streamlining postpress.
“We’re already seeing firms like DME and EPI Companies—both of which do a great deal of printing—take a holistic view of what they do,” he says. “They see printing as part of a much larger, and more complex, manufacturing process. Companies like this can be expected to take printing business away from printers that focus too extensively on the pressroom and prepress functions.
“Businesses that will benefit most from automation view manufacturing as one continuous process, from beginning to end.” PI