Digital Finishing: Crossing the Finish Line
Folds Caused Cracking
Technology quickly corrected many of the issues that accompany digital finishing. Trombino notes that TecDoc initially had difficulty with single- and double-folds cracking the toner on the color digital pieces—an aspect that several printers here noted. A number of printers, TecDoc included, turned to a Morgana auto creaser to solve the dilemma.
Mindful that the finishing of digital products requires equipment specific to those needs, Fresh Color Press, of Eden Prairie, MN, debuted in 2003 with the required gear. Still, diligent preparation during the ramp-up process can't fully anticipate the problems that may arise. Brian Johnson, Fresh Color's co-owner, notes the company found difficulty with lamination adhesion to heavy-coverage materials that bleed, a familiar foe to digital finishers. It was remedied either by using a heavier, thicker laminate or by using stick laminate.
Fresh Color finds that its finishing department is easily up to the task of handling output from its three Kodak NexPress and two Kodak Digimaster presses, thus the decision to go with an off-line finishing workflow. Post cards, self-mailers, booklets, point-of-sale materials, invitations and pressure-sensitive labels head a product category which Johnson calls general commercial digital printing.
It is cost-prohibitive for many small digital shops—a term inherently redundant, given the size of the typical digital specialist—to boast every piece of digital finishing gear for every need that may arise. That won't stop Johnson from striving to keep all work in-house.
"Since so much of what we do requires fast turns, there's no time to send jobs out to be finished," he says. "There's also so much cost relative to sending work out—gathering, packing, doing a PO, dropping off, waiting and picking it up. We have always, from day one, wanted to finish as much as we can. For us, it's a big point of differentiation.