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Trade Comment

Improving Profitability

Brendan Perring asks: “Can you explain how your flagship systems can help printers save money, be more productive, and ultimately improve their profitability?”

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Bryan Godwyn, managing director, IFS

Affordable automation

A key talking point for our customers is affordable automation that supports productivity and profitability. They are looking for solutions that drive down production costs while improving product quality, delivery times, and margins.
This is why we ensure our systems are fast to set up and easy to operate. It is also why they support the operational need for staff to be able to run a wider range of services and deliver high quality results, quickly and effortlessly. Automation is crucial as are workflow efficiencies that ensure every production minute counts.

Among the new systems IFS has recently added to its portfolio is the next generation Horizon Stitch Liner Mark III that targets booklet production for general commercial printers, inplants, and CRDs. It runs at a maximum speed of 6,000bph and up to 12,000bph with two-up production, and is capable of producing A4 landscape booklets at speeds of up to 5,300bph. Building on the hugely successful innovative Stitch Liner series, it offers enhanced operation with fully automated job set up in less than a minute making it 30 percent faster than the Stitch Liner 5500.

It, like many other additions and enhancements to our portfolio, has been developed in response to customer demand for solutions that can help them adapt to market developments and support their future needs.

Automation is crucial as are workflow efficiencies that ensure every production minute counts

It is this customer insight and understanding that we feedback regularly to all our principal manufacturers to help them develop best in class products and solutions. Foliant is one company that has taken these suggestions and incorporated them in the new next generation Taurus 530 NG 4X4 double-sided laminating system suited to higher volume, double-sided lamination.

To keep their ‘up time’ at a maximum, printing operations need as many processes to be linked where possible. As such we expect automation to constantly be enhanced and the integration of different products to continually move forward.

Bond of trust

Richard Tarrant, director, Tarrant Machines

Tarrant Machines, a supplier of niche finishing kit, has been around in the UK and international marketplace for over 23 years and in that time many trends in finishing have come and gone. As a small company we have tended to do our best to look after a small number of customers, which have typically been small themselves and able to act dynamically in order to take advantage of trends and changes. We can all think of some of the giant companies of the 90s and noughties permanently in the media spotlight.

Ostensibly these were the ‘leading lights’ driving change and demonstrating superb profitability and so on, meanwhile they are mostly gone and the smaller independents keep going, paying their way and contributing to the economy.

As with most of our colleagues, competitors, and friends on the machinery supply side, we at Tarrant Machines have been and are privileged to have travelled widely and visited unbelievable numbers of factories (both machinery manufacturers and end users/finishers). This gives us all an insight as to what is new elsewhere, and of course what the pitfalls both technically and commercially of such innovations may be. It is important that the ‘bond of trust’ is not broken between machine supplier and customer, and we are no better or worse than our competitors in that sense.

We take great pride in introducing new or potential customers to our existing customers in an ad hoc way in order to help them to help each other

Times have changed so much in the way in which we all purchase and learn, however, we still believe firmly in the notion of specialised small machine exhibitions as a way of being in touch with one another. To this end, The Print Show has certainly delivered for us and our customers over the last two shows. We take great pride in introducing new or potential customers to our existing customers in an ad hoc way in order to help them to help each other.

Finally, it may sound cheesy, but many older printers and finishers talk fondly of times when it seemed as if it was more fun. Well, the good news is, there are lots of exciting things going on, and they really are fun.

New dimension

Dean Stayne, sales manager, Terry Cooper Services

Operations are under production pressure to differentiate with cost-effective and efficient finishing. Bringing processes in-house saves time and costs, and supports throughput flexibility for a more streamlined process. We have built up a varied portfolio of laminators, which enable operations to easily do just that thanks to their production speeds, product flexibility, value for money, ROI, set up times, ease-of-use, carbon footprint, and environmental sustainability.

With laminating it is not just the machine that needs to be assessed, it is the laminate film and how this is going to perform with regards to the varied print jobs being handled. The right products will give better results from the outset and prolong the life of the product produced.

Lamination increases both the perceived value and quality of a printed item and protects the ink, with today’s choice of film laminates: gloss, silk, matt, and soft touch matt. There is also the option to add foiling on some of the systems. This really does give the end product a whole new dimension.

Further supporting quicker and smoother operation when laminating multiple digital jobs, Bagel has developed a new double film changer. It was designed to expand lamination versatility and avoid the need to change and lift heavyweight films each time a new job is started. As a result, two film reels can be run simultaneously and swapped over effortlessly and instantly from one to the other. Customers can set up their consumables once and forget about them for days and even weeks.

The right products will give better results from the outset and prolong the life of the product produced

Our portfolio includes the new easy to use Digifav B2 v18 laminator. Available from March, it is designed to be more adaptable and intelligent than previous models. Its new feeder system doubles the productivity of its predecessor and it can intelligently handle different paper types. It is ideally suited to applications including book covers, shopping bags, photobooks, and various consumer packaging. Also new is the next-generation Bagel I Lam Pro SRA3 laminator that enables double-sided lamination in one pass and has a gold foil attachment. There is also the Mini Lam B3.

Once the process is brought in-house operations can take full control of it and are better placed to cost-effectively take on shorter run, faster turnaround work. They can even offer the lamination process, without extra charge, to add value to a high-quality print job.

Versatile kit

Darren Vernon, managing director, B and R Moll

With pressure on print-service-providers greater than ever to ensure quick turnarounds and almost zero wastage, where we step into is to provide technology that is easy to set-up, highly productive, and based on a highly-durable and heavily tested production system.

The focus of our technology evolution, step by step, over 40 years has been balancing these factors with true cost-effectiveness. It is very modular; what we tend to find now is that a lot of people do small-run, quick turnaround work rather than the long-run jobs. We can do either, but the emphasis remains on streamlining the process for the operator, so when you change from one job to another, it is not complicated to do so.

We get a lot of digital printers wanting to do more complex finishing as compared to offset firms. And one of the biggest challenges they face is floorspace. So, you need technology that is capable of handling a versatile range of products from packaging to commercial print products such as envelopes, direct mail, greetings cards, and other shorter-run products. As a result, you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. You have the one machine for all of this, rather than having to go out and buy four of five machines to do the individual jobs.

We have so many customers say to us that they didn’t realise just how much our machines can do, compared to more expensive kit from some of our competitors

A key trend we have seen recently, and our technology is well placed to meet, is the boom in demand for high-quality packaging and mailing products. At The Print Show 2017 this was certainly in evidence and there was a very significant amount of interest from print-service-providers with a digital print workflow looking to make more out of it in terms of productivity and efficiency gains.
This is because if you keep all your work in-house, you have got control right through the process. Increasingly printers do not have the time to send staff out to pick up work from somewhere else, check it, and send it back if there is a problem. And therefore, we ensure that our print finishing technology is just so versatile. We have so many customers say to us that they did not realise just how much our machines can do, compared to more expensive kit from some of our competitors. And that ultimately is how we are helping to ensure the profitability of our customers.

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