In the world of wide-format printing, print service providers typically don’t give the finishing process, a second thought. Traditional small-format printing rarely did anything at all to prints once they came off of the press, whether they were digital or offset.
In part one of this article, we covered some of the finishing methods that are becoming popular among clients in the industry today. Let’s take a look at some more finishing methods that are in high demand, as well as which digital cutter you should consider buying if you want to stay on the cutting edge of the printing game.
At the very lowest level of printing, you have no cutting apparatus. You simply have an employee manually cutting off every job with an Exacto knife or a razor blade. This is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to cutting and might save you from having to splurge on a cutting machine of any type, but will ultimately cost you in productivity and output in the long run.
When it comes to the print service industry, new technology is emerging that will change the way providers operate forever. Automatic cutting systems are now making their way onto the scene, bringing with them the potential for massively increasing profits, while improving accuracy and efficiency as well.
While digital fabric printing may be a new arrival in the grand scheme of the format printing industry, the number of ways it can be applied to your print business is already substantial.
The print industry is undergoing a massive transformation right now. No longer will print service providers be able to rely solely on printing as the only service they offer.
Worldwide supply chain and forecasting conglomerate Smithers Pira has come out with a bold prediction for the digital textiles industry; it has valued the current market share at approximately $1.2 billion in 2016 and predicted a year-by-year growth rate of 12 percent by 2021. This prediction, if it bears out, would have the digital textile market doubling in value over the next five years. Others, by including digitally printed fabric for home decorating and clothing, have suggested even higher growth curves.
Modern PSPs in the digital sphere are beginning to experience massive growth. Because of this, there is a lot of opportunities for these companies to grow—if they grow with the times.
PSPs today are very different from the print shops of the past. Although twenty years ago, it may have been commonplace to outsource the finishing of your jobs to another firm—or even cut manually—modern business has high expectations from PSPs, including a full value-creation chain of designing, printing, and cutting.
In modern print shops, it’s well understood that simply printing a piece of media for a client is no longer enough—no longer can you simply click print, wait for the ink to dry, and ship the piece.
UV Ink, the Driver for Innovation
Innovations in the finishing industry came about after technological advances were made in the printing process that made printing on many substrates not only feasible but economical. This technology was UV printing—these inks are high quality and high fidelity and cure almost immediately when struck by UV light from the printheads that are used when printing.