Create a Strong Finish
Finishing can add profitability to a product portfolio.
One of the strategies that distinguishes some very profitable manufacturers and distributors of printed products is a strong focus on post-printing operations that add value through product features or print-related services.
Printing industry participants have traditionally looked upon press production as the heart of their business—and press capabilities certainly continue to be very important—but market trends and overcapacity in the printing industry have reduced the ink-on-paper part of many printed products to commodity status. This includes forms, labels and commercial printing, where the ability to add value with press capabilities has gradually declined.
At the same time, opportunities to add value by post-press finishing or print-related services have increased to the point where suppliers of forms and related products find finishing and services more profitable than printing.
Cut Sheet Possibilities
The product mix of both forms manufacturers and distributors includes a growing proportion of cut sheet products for the rapidly expanding population of sheet-fed laser printers. Forms suppliers, looking for new products to supplement traditional forms business, often find opportunities in the large and growing market for common types of commercial printing. This creates major changes in the types of finishing equipment required to support forms presses dedicated to cut-sheet production and the increasing number of sheetfed presses found in forms plants.
Many forms plants are installing sheet folders, sheet collators, booklet makers, signature collators, saddle stitchers, three-knife trimmers and more efficient guillotine cutters. Products resulting from these new finishing capabilities are sold by most distributors today and include booklets, brochures, newsletters, manuals and other products that start as printed sheets.
To increase the value of cut-sheet products, manufacturers have many sheetfed equipment options, including foil stamping, holograms, embossing, diecutting and other auxiliary operations. One example is the new Twin Tower NSF sheetfed stamping press from Thermotype, Nokomis, Fla., which can apply two colors of overlapping foil, blind and foil embossing and diecutting.