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PRINT 01: Postpress trends

Aug 14, 2001 12:00 AM


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Exhibitors at Print 01, Sept. 6-13 at McCormick Place (Chicago), will highlight a variety of solutions for greater productivity, more cost efficiency, and the ability to bind and finish jobs in shorter runs, on demand.

Short-run finishing
Standard Finishing Systems will focus on the short-run, quick changeover drive to automate the bindery. The company will highlight a new 15-clamp perfect binder with inline three-knife trimming, offering what is said to be an unprecedented level of automation at high speeds.

"As you move into the higher-speed ranges, you get into fairly considerable set-up and changeover times from one end of the line to the other," says Mark Hunt, director of marketing for Standard Finishing, which distributes products from Horizon International and Hunkeler, as well as its own line. "Horizon International has made some enormous advances in automating those processes to enable high-volume production with very short changeovers."

Horizon’s major goal has been to compress set-up times down to absolute minimums, using state-of-the-art stepper motors and operator interfaces with touchscreen consoles. "Having already done that in the 1,500 per hour class, Horizon is now bringing those advancements into a new production range, up to 5,000 books per hour," Hunt says.

Standard Finishing will also show new automated folders, including Horizon’s AFC-504, and new accessories on its Standard Horizon SpeedVAC vacuum collating system with inline saddlestitching accessories. Furthermore, attendees can expect to see some new entries in the print-on-demand arena attached to Xerox print engines.

Short-run case binding
The short-run, on-demand trend is hitting the book-production market hard, but while there have been cost-effective solutions for soft-cover binding, the ability to do quality binding of short runs has generally been cost-prohibitive. For this reason, bielomatik will feature its Bookmaster 360, which automatically case-binds high-quality books for the on-demand market.

According to Bill English, vice president, paper division, for bielomatik, the Bookmaster 360 automatically case-binds books rapidly without adjustment or set-up time. Format is between 250 x 320 mm and 105 x 148 mm minimum, with spine heights of 6 mm to 60 mm.

To ensure a seamless workflow, the Bookmaster 360’s control system permits automatic production flow without downtime for setup or resetting. "When a book block comes off a digital or direct-imaging press, for example, we can do production case binding in 10 seconds," English explains. "Down the road, we will be adding modules to make cases and do embossing."

In the converting arena, bielomatik will show its P2000, a modular offline web finishing system allowing customers to print upside-down, inside-out, back to front, personalize, stick on labels with maximum variability, kiss-cut shapes, remoisten returns, print special features, digitally print variable information and perforate forms, all in line--and all with one machine.

"Pre-set cartridges are fitted to the base unit, so as shops grow or need change, the system can be adjusted to fit your needs, not the other way around," says English. "More than 50 processing units are available."

A trend English sees in the converting market is the use of "smart" labels and "smart" tags. The underlying technology is radio frequency identification, allowing intelligent labels to be embedded with transponder inlays. Bielomatik has introduced a number of solutions for such applications as admission tickets, transit tags, season passes, electronic waybills, pallet labels, library books, airline baggage tags and medical records.

Total postpress solutions
Heidelberg will have an important focus on postpress solutions at Print 01, featuring a total workflow solution that will demonstrate the workflow from cutter to folder to final stitched product. Automation will be applied where necessary to provide higher productivity and more control.

Products highlighted in the booth will include Polar cutting equipment, including a System 6, a System 3 and a new DC10 label-cutting system that can produce square or diecut labels. Folding equipment include the TD52, 66 and 78, all automated with Compufold software; the Flexomailer, a modular system that allows plants to slit, score, perf, fold, glue, inkjet, apply card tip-ins, make envelopes and more. Heidelberg will also debut its new banding system, and feature ST 270, 300 and 1000 stitching equipment.

"We are finding postpress solutions to be very important to our customers," says Larry Tanowitz, Heidelberg vice president of postpress marketing. "Since most of the value of a job has already been applied before reaching postpress, mistakes or spoilage in this area are the most expensive. A printed piece may be the most beautiful print job you have ever seen, but if it is cut crooked or folded wrong, it’s a piece of junk."

Productivity boosts in lamination
D&K will focus on speed and productivity at Print 01, with its latest laminating equipment. It will be featuring three key models: the Double Kote High Speed, System 3210 and the wide-format Expression.

The System 3210 features the NT roller, which produces heat evenly across the entire surface of the roller. "The NT roller offers many advantages, including consistent quality of lamination, the ability to run a true temperature, maintenance-free operation, durability and reliability," says Holli DeLong, marketing communications coordinator.

The 3210 separator features technologically advanced positioning and overlap sensing systems, reportedly enabling complete sheet separation without bursting so customers can run a wider variety of films (including polyester, polypropylene and Curl-Free, D&K’s nylon film).

"Plants can expect to achieve true production speeds of up to 100 fpm with this machine," says DeLong. D&K also recently added a pressure-sensitive rewind to the System 3210.

D&K will also showcase its two-side Double Kote High Speed laminator with the NT roller. Comprising a high-speed feeder, laminator and cutter, the Double Kote High Speed offers fast speeds on thick films, as well as one-person operation and quick setup. Production speeds reach 125 fpm.

The Expression is a wide-format laminator available in three styles: multifunction for encapsulating, mounting and laminating; hot top roller for mounting and heat-assisted laminating; and cold roller for mounting and laminating pressure-sensitive materials. It is available in 42- and 62-inch widths.

Everything but the kitchen sink
To help increase manufacturing efficiencies and throughput, Muller Martini will highlight a full complement of postpress equipment for printers of all sizes.

For general commercial printers, the vendor will showcase inline capabilities by incorporating a new inserting and film wrapping system, Onyx/Rubin, with its mid-range Bravo-S Saddle Stitcher. The 12,000 c/hr. Bravo-S is for 29- and 40-inch sheetfed operations, web printers and trade binderies that need to efficiently produce a large product-size range.

Newly designed from the ground up, the Optima Saddle Stitcher offers a new, electronically controlled stitching unit and a swing action trimmer that incorporates an innovative cutting principle never seen before. Setup and changeover are significantly faster and easier, resulting in a more versatile machine with the capability of handling a wider range of work, with a choice of signature opening systems.

The 20,000 c/hr. Tempo Saddle Stitching System is designed for magazine and catalog production, with a sophisticated computer-driven control system that allows for high-speed, mid- to high-volume product customization. The Tempo is said to enable faster makeready and optimization for maximum running speeds.

To meet the needs of the growing finishing on-demand market, Muller Martini will show the AmigoPlus Perfect Binder. The newly redesigned 1,500 c/hr. system is a compact, hand-fed binder with PLC-assisted makeready ideal for samples and short runs of high-quality books. Its single-person operation and ease of use make it ideal for on-demand applications. Straight-line glue application by two glue rollers with PLC-controlled doctor blades and true side gluing by applicator wheels are said to ensure high-quality binding.

Also aimed at the on-demand market, the Acoro Perfect Binder offers what Muller Martini calls "the quickest size changeover on the market." The machine runs at speeds to 5,000 c/hr. and is ideal for short- to medium-length runs. Fast turnaround is achieved through automated makeready using the Commander software and touch screen. A product changeover from a 6 x 9-inch, 32–page book to an 8.5 x 11-inch, 16-page book will be demonstrated live in under 90 seconds.

Bringing it all in house
"Commercial printers are seeing the margins on their core products decreasing, so they are looking to add value to those products," says Michael Aumann, director of sales and marketing at Brandtjen & Kluge. "This usually means doing some of the finishing operations in house."

Brandtjen & Kluge will show the latest technology in each of its product groups: hot stamping and embossing, folding and gluing, and web press systems.

The company will feature its latest foil-delivery system on its foil-stamping presses. The system utilizes an electronic PLC-driven unit that offers precise foil registration, resulting in less waste and therefore lower supply costs. It will also show its folding and gluing machines with new feeding capabilities. "With these new capabilities, the operator can either vacuum pile feed or bottom feed with friction feeder," explains Aumann. "These features will be available on our UniFold, a 24 x 29-inch machine, and the FlexFold, a 30 x 36-inch machine."

Aumann is particularly excited about the company’s new shaftless web press, which he hopes to bring to Print 01. "Customers will find the new shaftless technology integrated into our web press system increases both offset and flexo print quality while reducing makeready times and waste," he says.

Turbo-charge it!
Rollem Corp. will show a variety of custom and specialty finishing equipment for all types of scoring, die-scoring, perforating and slitting/collating applications, including the Champion Turbo Airfeed, TR Die-Score System and Slipstream playing card two-directional card slitter/collator.

Designed for finishing stock from digital presses, the Champion Turbo Airfeed’s patented feeding system prevents cracking or marking. Reportedly well-suited to short runs and equipped with easily adjustable heads, the Champion is designed for high-quality scoring, perforating and slitting, with minimal set-up time. Available in 17- and 23-inch models, the system can handle stock up to 14-pt. cover, with processing speeds reaching 18,000 per hour. Sheet sizes range from 5 x 5 inches to 23 x 23 inches.

The TR Die-Score system will show what Rollem calls its "revolutionary single-pass die-score capability." Able to process up to 15,000 sheets per hour, the system perforates, scores and slits, and when combined with existing folders, is said to deliver finished product five times faster than conventional methods. At Print, this system will perform the two-directional perforating, scoring, trimming, gluing and folding of a two-up mail piece in one pass.

Rollem, with printing by Heidelberg, will also feature inline production of a two-up playing card deck--from a 28 x 40-inch press sheet into a wrapped deck, all in one pass, via three inline machines. The Slipstream will take the press sheet, slit it in two directions, then collate and stack the cards into individual card decks. The decks will feed into an R&S machine for round cornering and automatically feed into a Marden Edwards wrapping machine.

"This is the only system of its kind capable of processing all types of cards at speeds up to 500,000 pieces per hour," says Susan Corwin, marketing manager for Rollem. Other applications include trading cards, game cards, coupons, post cards, business reply cards and currency.

To register for Print 01, visit www.print01.com or contact the Graphic Arts Show Co. at (703) 264-7200.