Big Picture - October 2016 - 30

Finishing Services Offered 2016 86.6% Lamination 81.3% Grommeting 76.6% Mounting 67.8% Installation 56.7 % Fulfillment 53.2 % Die cutting/Laser cutting 48.0 % Routing 37.4% Sewing or seaming 32.8 % Warehousing 27.5% Sewing 22.2 % Bagging/Tagging 6.4% Doming Vacuum forming/Molding 4.1% heat-bending lines; they also offer sewing and kitting. "In my mind, the heat bending and kitting can cause the most issues. We can print the best image, laminate, etc., but if you pack it incorrectly you will never have a happy customer." Automation ISA's report 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." But as great as stepping away from a cutter and letting it work its magic can be, is that what is actually happening on shop floors? For Leavey and Ortiz, price point and lack of space are too big of obstacles to make the automatic switch. "Full automation doesn't work for us today," says Leavey. "We don't have the room to add the additional equipment, and with our job changeover and juggling that we do, we can't seem to justify it." Ortiz can't justify it either: "The initial financial investment is the biggest issue with going to full automation." BIG PICTURE October 2016 Laser Versus Knife 30 Source: 2016 SGIA Specialty Graphics Industry Survey Benchmarking Report Whether you're printing banners, wallcoverings, billboards, or building wraps, most digital print jobs are rectangular or square. With a wide-format cutter, you are able to stack a wide variety and a large amount of materials in a small amount of time. And (at least, with today's technology) you can't laser-cut a stack. But there's definitely interest in laser, as it executes computer-directed complex cuts with intricate details that a standard knife cut just can't make. "Laser finishing is one of the things that we have been looking to possibly add to our shop," says Ortiz. "We like the extra capabilities that it offers that routers are unable to offer." Leavey agrees: "We have looked into a laser but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Laser is the way to go if you run a lot of acrylic." Media Perhaps the most important concerns when evaluating your finishing department lie in your supply of media. Do you need equipment that can cut a wide range of substrates, from standard rollfed media to rigid substrates to textiles? How important is contour cutting to you? What kind of speeds do you feel you must have in order to stay relevant with deadlines? And, of course, what sizes are you typically dealing with? With indoor media options increasing, from various rigid materials like wood and metal to textiles for interior décor, what would be the finishing option to withstand traffic? "We currently are printing quite a bit of wood and have been routing it on our digital finishing equipment. We also knife-cut textiles on our digital finishing equipment with very few issues," says Ortiz. Creative Printing doesn't run any fabric to date, but Leavey suggests using a liquid clear coat for wood or metal applications. At the end of the day, whether you've purchased fully automated machines or have made the decision to install a laser cutter instead of a paper cutter, there will still be bottlenecks. But offering finishing options to your clients, backed with proper training, understanding of the machines, and a great crew working for you will inevitably help. "You need to have good employees to make any of this equipment work," says Leavey. "Surround yourself with a good team and you can accomplish anything.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - October 2016

Big Picture - October 2016
Contents
Insight
Wide Angle
Upfront
Business + Management
It’s Wise to Specialize
The Long, but Rewarding, Road to Sustainability
Cut It Out
R+D
Explorer
Big Picture - October 2016 - Big Picture - October 2016
Big Picture - October 2016 - Cover2
Big Picture - October 2016 - Contents
Big Picture - October 2016 - Insight
Big Picture - October 2016 - 3
Big Picture - October 2016 - 4
Big Picture - October 2016 - 5
Big Picture - October 2016 - 6
Big Picture - October 2016 - 7
Big Picture - October 2016 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - October 2016 - 9
Big Picture - October 2016 - Upfront
Big Picture - October 2016 - 11
Big Picture - October 2016 - 12
Big Picture - October 2016 - 13
Big Picture - October 2016 - 14
Big Picture - October 2016 - 15
Big Picture - October 2016 - Business + Management
Big Picture - October 2016 - 17
Big Picture - October 2016 - It’s Wise to Specialize
Big Picture - October 2016 - 19
Big Picture - October 2016 - 20
Big Picture - October 2016 - 21
Big Picture - October 2016 - 22
Big Picture - October 2016 - 23
Big Picture - October 2016 - The Long, but Rewarding, Road to Sustainability
Big Picture - October 2016 - 25
Big Picture - October 2016 - 26
Big Picture - October 2016 - 27
Big Picture - October 2016 - Cut It Out
Big Picture - October 2016 - 29
Big Picture - October 2016 - 30
Big Picture - October 2016 - 31
Big Picture - October 2016 - R+D
Big Picture - October 2016 - 33
Big Picture - October 2016 - 34
Big Picture - October 2016 - 35
Big Picture - October 2016 - 36
Big Picture - October 2016 - 37
Big Picture - October 2016 - 38
Big Picture - October 2016 - 39
Big Picture - October 2016 - Explorer
Big Picture - October 2016 - Cover3
Big Picture - October 2016 - Cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20150102
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201410
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201408
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_201404
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/bp_mediainksourcebook1314
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