New Ways to Cut a Profit in the Bindery
The following post was contributed by Rick Ciordia, Territory Sales Manager at Standard Finishing Systems and member of the BIA Board of Directors.
Traditional diecutting in the bindery has been around for many years. There are many types of diecutting. In this case we are discussing diecutting for the commercial print and light packaging industry. Rotary diecutting is one of those processes that has always given a printed piece a look and vision of class, elegance, function, and, most importantly, higher profit margins for the manufacturer. Diecutting had traditionally been an area of high investment, complex die creation, highly trained operators, and long runs.
Today diecutting is getting a makeover. With the advent of digital print devices, shorter runs, fewer skilled operators, tighter margins, and turn-around, diecutting is now entering a new phase of simplicity, with the same qualities of higher-end machines in a small package. New small-format rotary magnetic diecutting units from several manufacturers allow the customer to use magnetic dies from a plethora of sources around the world. Many of the die manufacturers have been making these types of rotary magnetic dies for the flexographic, forms, and packaging industries for years. The dies have been manufactured for runs of hundreds of thousands to millions, depending on the requirements of the run length and substrate. Typically the rotary diecutting was used for webs and flat bed for cut sheet. Cut sheet diecutters are for medium to long runs but are very high in price ($450,000 and up). Older flatbed letterpress devices are typically modified for diecutting but hold mediocre registration, are complex to set up, and many times are unsafe.
The new family of rotary magnetic diecutters, such as the Standard Horizon RD-4055, allow an unskilled operator to produce a very short run or a longer run with ease and quality. Kiss cutting, embossing, scoring, perfing, and stripping are all available on some of these systems at a much lower cost than traditional diecutters, along with exact registration and even the ability to step and repeat in order to keep die costs low, which is important for a very short run. The ability to store jobs in memory and recall them at the touch of a button is also very useful when there are many jobs that rerun on a regular basis. This allows your customers to truly request diecut work on an on-demand basis, saving them storage space and allowing more scheduling flexibility.