The Finishing Touch

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    The Finishing                                                                        Touch
    By Denise M. Gustavson
          When it comes to furnishing a print service provider with equipment, in many cases finishing equipment—from lami-
     nators and seamers to cutters and routers—many times will fall to the bottom of the priority list. These days, however,
     with the growing install base of flatbed printers and digital cutters and routers—as well as the need for durable graph-
     ics—the post-press department is becoming more and more essential to a successful print business.
          We interviewed several experts from the post-press side of the business. In the following pages they’ll discuss many
     of the questions print service providers have about finishing equipment. Such as: What is the most important piece of
     finishing equipment in a shop—the one piece I shouldn’t do without? Should I buy new or used? How much time will it
     take to train my staff? I have a flatbed/roll-to-roll/hybrid solvent/UV/aqueous/latex printer. Does it matter what finishing
     equipment I purchase?

     What type of finishing equipment are the                         the print shop is offering additional benefits to their clients
     most popular additions to a print shop?                          while generating additional profits for their shop.

                                        David Conrad, senior                                          Tim Saul, business
                                   product manager, finish-                                       development manager, D&K
                                   ing, Neschen Americas: It                                      Group, Inc.: A laminator is
                                   all depends on the applica-                                    a popular addition to a print
                                   tions being served. For vehicle    shop. Most often, when a print is made, it simply looks
     wraps and outdoor signs a reliable cold roller laminator         like a paper print. With a laminator in the shop, they have
     can be used for applying a protective layer of pressure          the option to apply a laminate and enhance the print.
     sensitive film over vinyl and for mounting images to rigid       The opportunity to create specialty graphics comes alive
     substrates is key. For photo finishing, a small format,          due to the different types of laminates and finishes avail-
     water-based liquid coater along with the appropriate liquid      able. Laminates can be applied to the print for added UV
     finish to support such projects as book covers, menus            protection or to make prints for POP, trade show, floor
     and photographs is important.                                    graphics, backlit translights, and vehicle graphics.
          In a production environment where both pressure
     sensitive and thermal applications will be present, you          Which equipment should any shop
     will want a versatile production based roller laminator          not do without?
     with dual heated roller capability that can keep pace with
     printer output or possibly even a bi-directional machine. A           Conrad: A shop must have a reliable laminator that
     small or newer print shop just getting introduced to finish-     will provide years of uninterrupted service, deliver profes-
     ing may find entry level laminators a wise choice for ver-       sional results as well as additional services and products
     satility, ease of use and dependable service. If the shop        that only can be achieved through print finishing. A reli-
     is looking to add support for walk-in business or for retail     able table top and wall mounted multi-substrate cutter/
     environments, pouch laminators are the simplest wide for-        trimmer is also necessary.
     mat laminator in the world to operate. Utilize it to provide
     kiosk type services for the print
Description: For the printer and laminator equipment, as long as the existing printer satisfies the requirements of the shop and can provide the expected output necessary to retain high quality and customer satisfaction. For example; if you have a 60-inch inkjet printer and you are running 60-inch prints, then it makes sense to purchase a laminator that is at least 60 inches wide.
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