Shailesh Sharma of Inndus reviews finishing products

As a digital print service provider, integration of finishing is not only important but attractive as well.

07 Jul 2012 | By PrintWeek India

With manufacturers offering automation and speed – it has come as a welcome recipe for providers of digital printing and finishing products.

At Drupa, there were digital post-press machines from Hunkeler, Muller Martini, CP Bourg, Lasermax Roll Systems, Kern, EMT, Magnum Digital, and Kolbus.

Hunkeler introduced its Starwheel Stacker with glue dots, which was part of a complete bookbinding workflow that begins with pre-printed digital rolls up to 30 inches wide while Muller Martini displayed 10 machines, including systems for modern digital book production.

I was impressed by the demonstration of CP Bourg’s desktop duplication technology, which showed how an operator or supervisor using an Apple iPad can start, stop, change or query operating parameters, enable diagnostics, and track the performance of any CP Bourg finisher. This was, I am told, the first implementation of print finishing products operated remotely through a mobile computing device.

Though my set-up is a digital one, I do source offset jobs. And I also see offset printers bringing digital print capacity in-house necessitating a look at finishing system that does not separate their offset workflow from digital work. A smooth in-line and near-line production process will be the way.

In this direction, there are companies that have worked closely to develop an open, standard finishing device interface. At Drupa, I saw Canon and Oce showcase a high-capacity stacker that offered unlimited stacking capacity through a functionality that facilitated continuous production.

There is no doubt that JDF and JMF optimises workflow in bindery. Key to optimising daily work is to incorporate those digital workflow solutions that will best enable book binderies and other print-finishing businesses to raise their levels of productivity by merging today’s data exchange technologies into their work processes. I think digital technology, which assists the printers to great productivity will enable those using JDF to be more competitive and more profitable.

In lamination, Autobond let out a combination of laminator/embossing machine including models for digital print sector. GBC’s 8500HS Cyclone was the fastest lamination machine at Drupa. It’s the same machine which set a new Guinness World Record at the last Drupa by setting the fastest time for laminating 102.2 sq/mtr of paper in size 70x100 cm in just 40.53 seconds.

At Drupa, there were two great packaging and finishing solutions –Scodix (has made an entry into India, to be specific Chennai) and Highcon. Screen took the opportunity to exhibit the Truepress JetSX together with the Scodix S digital press and Highcon Euclid system.

In the exhibit with Scodix’s UV inkjet digital embossing system, Screen outlined the high value-added packaging that can be created using a UV clear ink-based digital embossing effect and new glitter function. With Highcon’s digital paper folding and cutting system, Screen presented a total solution reflecting the trend toward diversified, short-run and on-demand printing. Highcon talks about Euclid being suitable for runs up to 10,000 sheets.

By Shailesh Sharma, managing director of Inndus Cards & Gifts, Mumbai.