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Digital demand

Feb 1, 2008 12:00 AM

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The On Demand Conference & Exposition ( is right around the corner. More than 10,000 print-for-profit, corporate in-plant and publishing professionals will descend upon the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center March 3-6 to learn how to establish, manage, market and grow their printing business with the latest digital printing technology and automatic finishing solutions. For the digital printer, On Demand is the event to attend, featuring the latest digital printing technologies, solutions and business opportunities.

Over 200 suppliers will display their latest innovations: digital production hardware/software; workflow management; color management; Web-to-print solutions; lights-out production; variable-data printing; wide-format printing; mailing services and solutions; substrates and consumables; binding and finishing equipment and services; and cross-media marketing tools.

On Demand also will feature a conference program with more 50 sessions. Visitors will hear real-life case studies on how to:

  • Identify the most promising digital printing market opportunities.
  • Assess and select the right equipment and software vendors.
  • Create a realistic and profitable technology investment strategy.
  • Gauge your organizational readiness for digital adoption.
  • Develop and promote products and services that fill real customer needs.

Here are a few cutting and folding options for the digital print market, many of which will be on display at On Demand.

Small-format folder

Available in either pile or continuous-fed models, Heidelberg's (Kennesaw, GA) USA B 20 offers high-quality folding for small formats and short runs. It features the DCT 500 digital control system, a KBi 52 right-angle folding unit after the first or second buckle plate folding unit, and it is available in pile-fed and continuous-fed models.

Heidelberg also offers the Stahlfolder Ti 52 with Ti 36 2nd station. It features continuous feeding capability, low operating and investment costs, the DCT 500 digital control system and the KBi 52 right-angle folding unit after first or second buckle plate folding unit.

Small-format cutting

Heidelberg's programmable Polar 66 is easy to operate and service. Even reams with diagonals above 26 inches (max. sheet length of 26 inches) can be turned on the front table. The cutting precision is optimized by the direct precision measuring system and the sturdy construction of the machine. The positioning system has a pulse generator, specially developed for Polar, which is positioned directly on the lead screw without the need for intermediate elements. This reportedly eliminates all measurement deviations that might otherwise be caused by the transmission elements. The backgauge is driven by a frequency-controlled motor allowing for the advance speed to be adapted to the respective distance constantly.

High-speed cutter

The Polar 78 cuts almost any kind of material in size DIN A 2. It can handle material up to a cutting width of 78 cm. Even reams with diagonals above 78 cm can be turned on the front table. It can be combined with peripheral equipment (stack lift, automatic jogger) to ease the workload and increase the quality.

The Polar 78 is available in two different versions. The programmable basic model Polar 78 XS is fitted with all of the major functions for a semi-automated workflow. The top-of-the-line model Polar 78 XT works with a touchscreen. Benefits are said to include reduced setup times, fast and easy knife change (OptiKnife assisted by operator guidance) and automatic stop at dead center.
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Inline finishing

Xerox (Rochester, NY) is expanding finishing options for the 50-ppm DocuColor 5000 digital press with the entry-level Standard Horizon ColorWorks 500 inline bookletmaker, which is connected to the press. It allows customers to produce folded brochures and saddlestitched booklets such as catalogs and training manuals. As volume grows, the entry-level system can be upgraded to an existing Xerox offering: the Standard Horizon ColorWorks 5000 bookletmaker with creasing and full-bleed trim finishing options.
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Variable sheeters

MBO America (Westampton, NJ) makes two sheeters to meet the varying needs of printers or binderies doing conventional or digital work. The SVC 520 C fully variable sheeter runs at speeds of 615 fpm, controlled via a touchscreen panel and a few main function buttons. Easy operation is accomplished through digital format size and cut-out change. The variable format range extends from 3- to 40-inch format lengths without cut-out (80 inches optional), and from 5- to 40-inch format length with cut-out. Cut-outs can vary from 5 to 80 mm with cutting accuracy of +/- 0.2 mm.

The SVC 520 C stores jobs in its memory to recall later. It runs pinfed and pinless paper with no changeover time — if the job is stored — and with a short setup time if the job is new. Its design provides easy access to the cutting knives for maintenance. This sheeter can be operated inline with a digital press and is suitable to run near-line or off-line.

Also available is the VC 520 C with a running speed of 10,000 in./min. Both sheeters boasts a high quality cut via the shear cut method for cross- and length-cut. An external vacuum exhaust system removes cut-out.
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Automated floor-model folder

Standard Finishing Systems' (Andover, MA) Standard Horizon AFC-566FKT automated floor-model folder includes advanced setup automation through a user-friendly 10.4-inch color touchscreen control panel that displays all common fold formats and sheet sizes. It also features fully automated setup, including gap settings. Precise stepper motors drive end stops and fold plates to the exact location for the selected sheet size and fold style. It has been designed to serve the digital print market with quick changeovers and the ability to handle sensitive digitally imaged sheets without marking, enabled by specially designed combination roller and scoring systems. The AFC-566FKT is equipped with six fold plates, allowing for a variety of fold patterns at 42,000 sph.
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Creasing option and accessories

The Spine & Hinge Creaser from Technifold (Montague, NJ) will create up to four simultaneous, letterpress-quality creases as close as 3/16 inch apart. The new device is an option on Technifold's TCM tabletop creasing machine, designed for on-demand creasing and microperfing. It also is available to fit certain MBO and Stahl folders.

Technifold also offers the Multi-Tool, which delivers two capabilities customarily thought impossible with your typical floor-model folder: guillotine quality trimming and die quality microperforations. The cutting components of this multiple-use tool feature specially designed knives made of extremely hard, precision-ground steel. A scissor style cutting action permits trimming of folded cover or text stocks up to about 0.045 inch thick with a finish equal to a guillotine cut.

Cover stock now can be run 2- or 3-up, for reduced production times. Downtime for knife changes reportedly is reduced from once every shift or so with conventional cutting knives to once every 10 shifts or more.

The microperforating elements produce flat, nearly invisible perforations at up to 72 teeth per inch, all at folding machine speeds. Sheets can be run through laser printers or copiers and double perfs can be run as close as 1/8 inch apart.
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Crack-free folding

Morgana Systems has released the latest versions of its AutoCreaser 33 and AutoCreaser 50. The AutoCreaser provides an automated solution to the problems caused by the tendency of digital print to crack when folded.

Bringing together the blade and matrix method used in the AutoCreaser with specially developed and patented folding technology, the DigiFold combines the functions of creasing and folding in a single unit.

Morgana also provides the DocuMaster, a complete finishing system that offers feeding, creasing, folding and high-quality bookletmaking in one machine. It can be used as an independent creaser when the stitching capability is not required.
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Finishing for midsize runs

The Champion ETR system is one of the newest models in Rollem's (Anaheim, CA) line designed for midsize runs. Features include die scoring, microperforating, automatic pile feeding and accurate registration. The ETR can load up to 30 inches of stock at one time, and it can run inline with any 8-page folder. It processes coated or cross-grain paper at speeds up to 18,000 sph. Users can perform edge trimming, bleed slitting, scoring and stop-perforation on products ranging from direct mail pieces to brochures, telephone cards, variable-data sheets and more.
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Stacking solution

The LX Stack solution from Lasermax Roll Systems (Burlington, MA) processes high-volume cutsheet output inline from web-fed digital printers. Running at up to 450 fpm, the LX Stack can handle paper weights as light as 11-lb. bond (40 gsm). Book blocks are stacked up to 10 inches high and can be delivered 1-, 2- or 3-up. For applications requiring pinfed or pinless slit merge processing, the optional Merger allows a 2-up printed web to be slit and merged into a single, collated paper stream. The LX Stack is an ideal solution for print-on-demand and transactional printers.

Lasermax's RS Stack solution stacks book blocks 1-, 2- or 3-up at speeds up to 350 fpm and is available with pinless slit merge, hole punching, strip cut and microperforation. The RS Stack's precise page offset option enables efficient processing of independent side-by-side, 3-up book streams with varying book lengths or 2-up merge applications with odd page number sets.

Signature folding

Lasermax's LX Signature Fold solution integrates with most of today's major signature fold and digital print vendors, cutting and delivering paper sheets to an inline folder. Signatures up to 32 pages in length are created at speeds up to 450 fpm. It is compatible with paper weights as light as 11-lb. bond (40 gsm) and is available with pinless slit merge capabilities.
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Air suction folder

Duplo's (Santa Ana, CA) DF-1000 air suction folder technology reportedly avoids static buildup and will not mark or scratch the surface of the printed page. It handles bond stocks and art/coated paper to a maximum weight of 200 gsm and can fold and batch up to 240 sheets/min. for inserting or mailing. The DF-1000 reportedly is ideal for folding direct mail pieces such as brochures, flyers and invitations, as well as official documentation such as invoices and letters.

Digital color document finisher

Duplo also has extended its range of digital color document finishers with the DC-615, capable of slitting, cutting and creasing digitally printed sheets in one pass with minimum operator intervention. The DC-615 replaces the DC-545 HCEX. It can be customized for each user to include option modules, such as ultrasonic double detection, Job Creator software and business card stacker. Standard features include image skew adjustment and adjustable creasing depth.

The DC-615 can handle substrates up to 300 gsm and a variety of sheet sizes. It is said to be ideal for producing business cards, postcards, greeting cards, photo books and more. For more high-volume applications, Duplo offers the DC-645 production color finisher.
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Duplo, Ultimate partner for finishing

Duplo (Santa Ana, CA) and Ultimate (Montreal) have announced a partnership to deliver a system that will automatically slit, cut and crease digitally printed applications on Duplo's 26 sheet/min. DC-645. Ultimate's Impostrip On-Demand Digital software enables the placement of a barcode on a printed sheet, which is then read by a barcode reader on the Duplo equipment. Based on that barcode, the DC-645 automatically sets itself to the precise position; those setups can coincide with the Impostrip hot folders, enabling customers to drop jobs in a hot folder knowing that the finishing will be completed automatically from that point.
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