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InfoTrends: Investment in Finishing ‘A Must’ for Digital Printers

ISA white paper examines postpress capabilities.

Big Picture

ISA has teamed with InfoTrends and MCT Technologies to release a white paper on finishing technologies: “Wide-Format Cutting Devices: An Overview for Sign & Graphics Companies.” The report stresses the importance of PSPs devoting the same resources to their postpress capabilities as they do to the rest of their workflow, saying “Finishing is not an option, but a must for digital printing to march forward.”

The writers repeatedly reference developments in pre- and on-press technologies from substrate to print speed, emphasizing that such innovations will not solve printers’ workflow challenges unless they invest equally in finishing: “Without continuous, significant increases in cutting capacity, material versatility, speed, and material handling automation, continued investments in faster and wider printers may prove fruitless, eventually eroding growth and profits.”

Why such urgency? Print buyers want the whole product, and they want it as a package deal, the report says. “In today’s one-stop business environment, finishing has quickly become a minimum requirement.”

So, what considerations should PSPs keep in mind? First, “end users must consider what types of products they are hoping to make.” Cutting soft signage? Laminating vehicle wraps? Each application may call for a different capability.

The report also suggests automation has become a critical component: “As printed materials get wider and longer, manual finishing methods are becoming woefully inadequate to meet acceptable costs and deadlines … As many PSPs operate and thrive by offering short delivery times, it is critical that the finishing processes (e.g., cutting or routing) do not become major bottlenecks that delay delivery and invoicing.”

The white paper is free for ISA and affiliate members or $24.95 for non-members.
 

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