One on One — Ulrik Nygaard on Finishing
Ulrik Nygaard became CEO of Baumfolder Corporation in 2002, capping a graphic arts industry career that began at Danish East Asiatic Company, some three decades ago. In that time, he has had responsibilities in Asia, Germany, Britain and the United States for an evolving series of organizations, including Heidelberg Eastern, AM Graphics and Harris Graphics. During the NPES INDUSTRY SUMMIT in Chicago, he shared his insights on finishing today.
What have been the most striking changes in finishing? How much has the automation revolution affected the postpress department?
I think there has been a very significant change toward more operator friendly machines, in the direction of semi-automatic and to fully automated machines, and of course JDF is the next step. I think that is driven, in large part, by the fact that it has become more and more difficult for our customers and users of the equipment to find skilled labor. They are looking for machines that are more operator friendly, easier to set up and more productive.
How closely integrated is finishing with pressroom and prepress now. Is JDF workflow a reality?
It is, but it is moving very slowly into the finishing department. There is a lot of talk about it, and a lot of companies that offer it, (us included) but I think there are a lot fewer printers that actually use it. Part of the problem is a legacy issue. There is a tremendous amount of equipment out there in the marketplace that doesn’t have that compatibility. So the printer can’t just say, “As of next month we want to do total JDF workflow integration,” because the equipment can’t do it. And he can’t just say, “Well then, I’m going to change the whole fleet of equipment out.” It’s going to be a gradual process in the finishing department and in the whole printing company.