Finishing Touches Play Pivotal Role
In the years since the last Drupa, demand for increasingly diverse finishing work has gone hand-in-hand with the trend toward mostly small run sizes. Along with this, trends toward greater use of color and a general demand for higher quality products have gained momentum.
Novel finishing solutions introduced back in 2004 have since become integral elements in the printing process. Techniques such as coatings, gold and silver inks, diecutting, embossing and foil application are now routinely used to add value to high-quality print materials. Machine and material manufacturers at Drupa 2008 will be introducing products and services in line with this market trend.
Both printing press manufacturers and companies marketing postpress equipment will be offering extensive finishing solutions with in-line technologies given priority. Shorter makeready times in all machine classes will attract a great deal of attention because run lengths will continue to shorten, while demand for color and finishing techniques will continue to rise.
The combination of offset preprints with gravure, screen or flexo printing is a finishing option that is not yet being used to the maximum. Combination finishing techniques covering the entire spectrum can be supplemented with hot or cold foil stamping, holograms or diecuts to add value to the finishing process. Large-format offset presses will play a key role in the finishing sector in the future.
For many exhibitors, competence in finishing will not just be a slogan at Drupa 2008, but an accurate description of the machine technology and materials on display. The following is a sampling of what visitors can look forward to seeing in key segments: