Most printers have already completed the move to digital printing. It is taking over the industry and for good reason. It gives your customers more options to create the materials they need to set them apart from their competition. There are some things you need to consider to ensure your document binding is done correctly for digitally printed documents.
Digital output differs from offset or litho documents, so you have to keep in mind how it reacts differently. You don’t want to lose profits with unwanted waste.
1. There is a lot of color in digital printing compared to offset. Now, you are dealing with heavy digital ink or toner coverage on coated stocks. Make sure your bindery equipment can easily feed coated paper and not touch the ink or toner.
2. To make the short run projects more profitable, the more you automate, the more you make. Make sure your equipment is automated and easy to operate. It makes doing short runs faster and more profitable.
3. You can have it both ways. You can use equipment for both digital and offset production. Just make sure the equipment you are purchasing bindery equipment and finishing machines that can handle both kinds of output. As an example, binding and finishing equipment will have to deal with both the uncollated output of offset and the collated output of digital.
4. Paper substrate coming from a digital press is more difficult to handle in the finishing stage. That’s because, in digital printing, paper will curl from the heat of the press fuser, there’s much more static from drawing the moisture from the substrate, images are easily scratched off because toner is only set on the surface of the substrate, and images are subject to shifting because there are no paper grippers during an image-setting process inside the press.
5. You have to accommodate the change from scoring to creasing. In a digital process, rotary scoring blades would cause sheets to crack once they are folded. Cracking is less of a concern with the new creasing machines because they use a male and female reciprocating die to put the impact crease in the sheet.
6. While offset and digital printing require different skills of the operator, the operators of both kinds of printing need to understand the binding and finishing machines that will handle their output.
The finishing department needs to figure out what machines work best for each job and plan accordingly based on the jobs you have moved through your operation.
Digital is here to stay. There are differences between how off-set and digital react to document binding. Keep these things in mind.