drupa 04 Report Binding & Finishing — Building Better Binderi
Trend III: Specialty Finishing Operations Are Poised to Migrate Toward the Pressroom. At Drupa 2004, numerous functions traditionally performed off-line—often by trade finishers—seemed poised to move into the pressroom. Foil stamping and embossing are two notable examples of this trend.
MAN Roland showed its new six-color Roland 700 LTTLV press, which does foil stamping directly on the press. The process requires two press units—one that 'prints' an adhesive pattern for the foiling, and a second that uses the impression cylinder to transfer foil from a roll to the printed sheet. According to MAN Roland, the new machine should be of interest to printers producing labels and packaging, and will permit them to retain work previously sent out to trade finishers.
Foil stamping and embossing have long been performed on preprinted materials, from either rolls or sheets, but examples were seen at Drupa of this specialty finishing being done either in-line with presses or at essentially press speeds, thus foretelling the future. Bobst, for example, showcased equipment from its Steuer acquisition doing intricate foil stamping at printing press speeds. Brausse, one of the IMG companies, showed similar capabilities, as did Iijima.
Trend IV: The Popularity of Digital Printing Is Spawning New In-line Finishing Concepts. Although Drupa 2000 was termed the Digital Drupa, digital printing truly hit its stride at Drupa 2004. Companies like Xerox, Xeikon, NexPress, Nipson and Hewlett-Packard demonstrated the latest in digital printing—in many instances with in-line finishing. Labels were being produced and finished live at the show, and complete books were printed and bound in one continuous stream.
And while in-line finishing has been around for some time, speeds are increasing and the latest equipment is more flexible. Moreover, as more and more printing is being done digitally (as much as 10 percent of all printing, by some estimates), the need for appropriate finishing grows in tandem.