No announcement yet.

A Duplo Upgrade As A Weapon Against Commoditization


  • A Duplo Upgrade As A Weapon Against Commoditization

    Few observers of the commercial print industry have missed the fact that the industry now changes at hyper speed, even as it continues to consolidate. These days, most of these technology innovations fall under the aegis of automation, as efficiency becomes ever more critical to competitiveness. For better or worse, the machines keep getting smarter and taking on more of the workload as skilled operators become harder to find.

    Change is generally good – especially when it improves productivity and lowers job costs - but the speed at which new technology can be rolled out also means a narrowing time window of competitive advantage. Commoditization follows rapidly on the heels of progress, and staying off the treadmill means adding value to the print printing process, either through more efficient production or the ability to offer capabilities that the competition can’t.

    That observation may be even more relevant in the after print space, which currently offers more opportunities for automation and artificial intelligence. In fact, the area of post print finishing may be the most exciting sector in the business in terms of innovation.

    Progress Is Also Marked In Upgrades
    For long term print industry equipment manufacturers such as Duplo, the war against business-as-usual often takes the form of novel new product introductions. For example, late last year, we told you about the company’s DDC-810 Raised Spot Coater, which both taps into and drives the growing trend toward print embellishment. Something of a departure from Duplo’s standard line of binding finishing equipment, the new digital spot coater created the potential for dimensional and textural print enhancement to create a level of communication beyond the visual. It was a simpler, less expensive platform for digital spot coating: simple to operate, with a CCD camera registration system, to automatically correct for page distortion. And it was highly automated: the operator simply uploads a PDF or TIFF along with the XML files and sends the job on its way.

    And yet, equally critical in the struggle to stay ahead of the pack is the less flashy process of ongoing equipment upgrades. Manufacturers who are in it for the long haul ceaselessly invest in improving the intelligence and capabilities of existing machines.

    Duplo’s most recent entry in this category is the iSaddle X Booklet Maker, an upgrade to the original iSaddle stitcher introduced in 2012. But the new model has added some unique capabilities, particularly the ability to bind multi-size sheets into the same job without retooling – up to six different sizes in the same booklet. Commercial printers equipped with an iSaddle X can accommodate clients’ creative publication designs, a major advantage in markets such as children’s books, recipe books and other specialty publications. The iSaddle X also produces two-sided waterfall books, six page cover booklets and long cover booklets.

    The iSaddle X upgrade is a modular system that is even smarter than the original. Makeready is managed by an intuitive touchscreen, with no tools or manual processes required for job changeover. Date integrity is assured via an integrated barcode reader and an unlimited number of jobs can be stored in the system memory for instant recall. The upgraded collating towers allow merging of different substrates, as well as full color/single color pages into the same booklet.

    The iSaddle X is joined in the upgrade parade by an improved DC-516 Cutter-Creaser and the PFI Bind 2100 Perfect Binder (an upgrade to the PFI Bind 2000).

    The DC-516 is a smarter version of the original, equipped with what the company describes as “set and forget” functionality. It can crease up to 6000 sheets per hour, with up to 30 cuts, 30 creases and 10 slits. In addition, a new optional conveyor allows automatic batch separation, a plus when producing business cards.
    Likewise, the PFI Bind 2100 now offers intelligent gluing and enhanced waste reduction. It is targeting to short run, digital on-demand book binding applications.
      Posting comments is disabled.



    Latest Articles


    • Do You Know Enough to Succeed?
      by noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      In this age of rapidly evolving technology knowledge can make the difference between success and mediocrity…or even failure. This goes way beyond knowing your customers and the markets you serve. These days, that stuff just lets you put up a sign and open the front door, and it’s not enough. You also have to be conversant on at least some of the technology that is making your business valuable to your customers.

      Some of this is the entry-level...
      11-01-2019, 01:19 PM
    • Does Color Really Make a Difference?
      by noelward
      by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      Henry Ford used to say the Model T came in any color you wanted as long as it was black.

      That was pretty much how purveyors (and buyers) of digital presses and copiers thought until the mid-1990s. Toner was all black all the time. Then, along came a couple of presses that delivered color, but they were less than reliable and the toner from one could sometimes be rubbed off a print with a pencil eraser. Not exactly what customers were looking for....
      10-28-2019, 01:27 PM
    • Have You Been Corrugated Lately?
      by noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      On any given week one news source or another runs a story about Amazon. The stories go on and on about the company’s outsized influence, its enormous market capitalization, the impact its facilities have on real estate values, local infrastructure, and more. They all miss one thing: Amazon’s indelible impact on corrugated packaging.

      Corrugated containers are simply the most practical way to ship a much of Amazon’s products, and cardboard—the...
      09-18-2019, 02:04 PM
    • PitStop Pro 19 Delivers the Tools Users Asked For
      by MyWildIrishProse
      PitStop Pro 19 Delivers the Tools Users Asked For
      The PDF editing platform we know as PitStop Pro has become a ubiquitous industry standard since it was introduced in 1993, embedded in the commercial printing industry like a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As the dominant preflight product, PitStop provides deep quality control and editing for PDF printing workflows. Over the decades, Enfocus has continued to develop new functionality, moving steadily toward more and more automation. Each...
      08-15-2019, 09:20 AM
    • Follow the Money with an Automated Workflow
      by noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large,

      What is time worth?

      This means your time or that of your CSRs, prepress technicians, press and finishing equipment operators, and even the people in shipping. What is their time worth, and how do you translate those hours into payroll, the dollars you keep in your operating account, and profitability?

      Mounting competitive pressures and customer expectations for fast turnarounds and competitive prices rising...
      07-24-2019, 03:17 PM
    • What You Missed
      by noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      If you have medium- to large-size Ricoh presses and printers and didn’t go—and you probably did get an invitation—you missed an opportunity to learn how to make your operation more efficient and profitable.

      I’m talking about Ricoh Interact 2019, held June 5th and 6th in Denver, the second full-scale version of the company’s customer-oriented event that was all about making one’s business work better and not about prying money out of...
      06-20-2019, 01:50 PM