Duplo Puts Finishing On the Spot
For the better part of the past five years, so-called digital embellishments have become all the rage, using techniques like embossing, foil stamping, die-cutting, UV coatings, and more to make printed pieces stand out and “pop.” None of these are new techniques or technologies, but recent advancements have brought them into the digital age, making them capable of economically handling short-run, even customized and personalized applications. It’s the next generation of finishing.
“If you want your message to be heard, you have to say it with the piece,” says Si Nguyen, VP of Sales for Duplo USA (Booth 1225). “You have to enhance it and make it alive.”
Enter Duplo’s brand new DDC-810 Spot UV Coater, which is the centerpiece of Duplo’s booth at PRINT 17. The machine uses 600x600-dpi inkjet heads to lay down a UV-cured clear, gloss varnish to selected areas of the substrate. It supports a maximum paper size of 14x29", and its small footprint doesn’t require a large amount of shop floor real estate.
“Spot UV is the next dimension to bring a four-color piece to life,” says Nguyen, “but one that is affordable.”
Affordability and ease of use are important aspects of today’s finishing equipment, says Nguyen, but for a unique reason: Duplo has found that an increasing number of its customers are not print service providers, but end users and brand owners.
“Four years ago, when we looked at the leads we got at PRINT 13, we found that 40% of them were not printers,” says Nguyen. As more end users start installing digital printing and complementary finishing equipment, the need is to make graphic arts products more like office equipment. That is to say, they need to be compact, easy to use, quiet, and, above all else, affordable.
The essential difference between the two sets of customers, says Nguyen, is that “printers are out to make money, and brand owners are out to save money.”
As it turns out, the same demands that an end user has vis-à-vis finishing equipment are not a million miles removed from those a print service provider has. User-friendliness, automation, a small footprint, and affordability are all welcome traits that commercial printers look for as well.
The Spot UV coater is the focus of Duplo’s presence at PRINT 17, but the company is also showing its expanding range of multifunction finishing units, such as the DC-746 Slitter/Cutter/Creaser, targeted to digital printers with medium to high production jobs. Duplo’s multifunction units also offer either standard or optional (depending on model) perforating modules that enable “dynamic perforation,” or perfing that can appear anywhere on the sheet, and even change from sheet to sheet, enabling a kind of “variable-data perforation.”
It’s opening up a lot of creative applications. “It’s a lot more than cutting and creasing, which have become so common now,” says Nguyen. “The next level is adding the dynamic perfing.”
Still, the spot UV device is what Duplo is excited about at this year’s show. “Spot UV is the next slitter-cutter-creaser,” says Nguyen. “It’s a technology that’s very new to our customer base. It’s very exciting.”