Put the Finishing Touches on Print Sales
Post-press operations ensure that solutions suit applications to a "T."
Print suppliers looking to add unique perfing and other finishing capabilities often come to New Richmond, Ohio-based Graphics Equipment to make it happen. With backgrounds in engineering and packaging equipment design, partners Mark Martin and Rick Rectin specialize in out-of-the-ordinary solutions for printers across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
At one time, all of Graphics Equipment's business came from the printing industry. Today, only one-third of it does, although orders have increased within the last 18 months. Still, the message to distributors is that different manufacturers offer different finishing options, which can take design efficiency and customer satisfaction to a whole new level.
Form and Function
Martin defined offline post-press processing as perforating, scoring, punching, diecutting, sheeting or any other mechanical treatment of the web done outside of an integrated manufacturing line. "Print manufacturers utilize offline machinery to either augment their press capabilities or, in the case of digital printers, provide all of the processing required for the job," he said.
Often, business form and check designs contain perforations that were not provided for when the perf cylinder was made. For instance, Martin explained that checks are typically 31⁄2˝ in depth, but they can also be 35⁄8˝ or 32⁄3˝. Although a press may have a position to do perforations, a single cylinder may not have a position to accommodate atypical specs. In this case, Graphics Equipment has made special adapters to work with its quick-change gibs, allowing manufacturers to, for instance, move a 31⁄2˝ position to a 35⁄8˝ position.
He went on to say that sometimes forms manufacturers choose to go offline with processes that are too limited in scope or too expensive to include on several presses. "One customer I have produces a 3.4˝ gift certificate on a 17˝ press," Martin added. "Rather than installing a custom perf cylinder on his press, he chose to purchase an offline servo perforator [with a highly controllable, computer-driven motor] that can be used for multiple applications. Instead of a costly and limited mechanical modification to a press for one job, it's more prudent to invest in a little machine that will do that particular job, as well as others."