Digital finishing requires automated processes to help offset labor costs, streamline operations and allow print service providers to handle multiple finishing tasks simultaneously. It often enables efficient ways to produce high quality finished documents with variable and personalized...
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Digital finishing requires automated processes to help offset labor costs, streamline operations and allow print service providers to handle multiple finishing tasks simultaneously. It often enables efficient ways to produce high quality finished documents with variable and personalized information on either pre-collated cut-sheet or roll-fed output. Digital finishing can also bring specialized techniques, such as spot UV—that can be profit drivers.
“As digital print continues to make strides, print finishing technology is doing a good job of keeping up by offering more fully integrated and automated solutions, from feeding to printing to finished product, with fewer manual touchpoints and greater provisions for quality control, tracking, and inspection throughout the entire process, says Standard Finishing Systems’ Director of Business Development, Bob Flinn.
Standard Finishing’s suppliers, Horizon International of Japan and Hunkeler AG of Switzerland, have partnered to create tightly integrated roll-to-inline finishing solutions to respond to the needs of the digital print operation.
The Horizon/Hunkeler Roll-to-Booklet saddlestitching solution, featuring the StitchLiner 6000 Digital, is one example. Designed to run in-line with continuous print engines, process booklets from a printed roll or finish pre-collated cut sheet output at speeds up to 6,000 booklets per hour, the system is also capable of full variability including page count. When equipped with Standard’s VIVA inspection software, both fixed and variable page count can be processed with full integrity including sheet-level, book-level, and text/cover matching verification.
In-line with a digital print engine, the solution also supports full-width web inspection for print quality through the WI6 Web Inspection System to ensure a fully automated quality control system with end-to-end communication.
The “flexibility” of these new systems should not be confused with increased “complexity, ” says Flinn. “The good news is that these advancements are accompanied by increased automation and other features designed to make operation seamless and intuitive. Things like job format selection and memory, accurate automated set-up and a simple touchscreen interface will allow an operator unfamiliar with finishing to be proficient at producing books, and a seasoned bindery person even more efficient as more and more print shifts from offset to digital.”
The ability to efficiently produce high-quality books on demand, be it a run of a single book or thousands, is the biggest factor in binding today, notes Elizabeth Jordan, Sr. Program Manager, Nordson Corporation. “Production of a high-quality, digitally-printed book often necessitates use of polyurethane (PUR) adhesives as the oils, inks and sometimes papers used in digital printing can interfere with the binding properties of traditional ethylene vinyl acetates (EVA),” she says.
Production efficiency, adds Jordan, “is dependent on quick, easy start-up and shutdown of the binder, as well as quick changeovers; having all components of the binder integrated is most ideal.”
Nordson’s answer to these requirements is its recently introduced EP48 BoD (book on demand) applicator. This extension of Nordson’s long-established EP48 PUR adhesive applicator family is designed to fully-integrate into the binder, allowing for automatic set-up and adjustment for spine widths from 0 mm to 60 mm. Varying width books can be run one after another without having to change programs or adjust pressure settings.
As part of a closed adhesive application system, the EP48 BoD protects PUR adhesive from exposure to air that can cause premature curing and diminish bonding properties, explains Jordan. And the slot nozzle technology uses positive pressure and clean cutoff for consistent, reproducible coating thickness across a single book spine or a larger production run. The EP48 BoD applicator can also incorporate side gluing if desired.