If you are considering applying holograms in-house, there are now high accuracy die cutters available which can very quickly switch between die cutting and foil stamping. This provides the capacity and economical advantage of performing both processes with just one machine and needing only one crew.
Truly adding a third dimension, such as when making something like a presentation folder, generally involves folding and gluing your die-cut product. This is where a specialty folder-gluer comes into its own. With its origins in the packaging industry, more and more commercial printers are now using a folder-gluer to manufacture presentation folders and to also produce CD/DVD sleeves, tip-ons, and direct mail inserts, as well as any light packaging jobs they may pick up—which seems to be a growing trend.
A good specialty folder-gluer will be able to create a wide range of folders from a couple of millimeters in depth to over half an inch and will do so at speed. Alongside the quality of the cutting and creasing on the blank as supplied from the die cutter, the accuracy of the feeding of the folder-gluer determines the quality of fold on the finished product. A good, modern, folder-gluer will feature an accurate feeding device designed to ensure the blank is in perfect position when it starts its journey through the folding and gluing process. Other factors to consider are how well the folder-gluer can cope with varnishes and with light or synthetic substrates.
What’s the best bit about having the capability to run shaped products? Well they’re increasingly popular and you can charge a premium for them—with or without aliens.
Chris Raney is vice president, Folding Car-ton products for Bobst Group North America, Roseland, N.J. He is responsible for the Folding Carton Business Area for the North American market. Email him at email@example.com