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