Production Printing - 6 Key Drivers

Despite the rise of the internet, businesses have greatly extended their reliance on printing in recent years. Whether you're investigating this technology for your own in-house corporate print room or as part of a commercial printing operation, you might well be overwhelmed by the sheer range of solutions.

As the technology becomes more sophisticated, so Advanced UK has kept pace and we've extended our production print services at every level. Above all, we recognise that you will be motivated by six key drivers, and you'll want our expert help to guide you through the solutions:
  • Cost reduction;
  • Automation solution to reduce labour costs;
  • Quality of printed output;
  • Versatility of finishing solutions;
  • Software and hardware which drives efficiency;
  • Access to the best delivery, implementation, training, and service support.
At Advanced UK, we refer to production printers as those machines which are designed to print at 60 pages per minute (PPM) or above, and which are tested to ensure robust duty cycles to sustain that level of output.
 
Beyond high-speed production-grade multifunctional devices (MFDs), one enters the world of production presses - the modern printing press. Nowadays, the lead-type is but a distant memory, replaced by digital presses and inkjet presses able to deliver finished results as either continuous feed or in so-called cut-sheet, at speeds which almost defy comprehension. For example, the Xerox Nuvera digital press generates 314 pages per minute, and is rated to output 4 million pages per month!
 
Inkjet presses have made a huge impression on the market too: consider the Xerox Baltoro, which is an industrial-grade inkjet press of inspired innovation with signature image quality powered by Automated Intelligence. It's no slouch, either, outputting 300 pages per minute, and designed for 3 million pages per month.
 
Staying with the hardware side of the technology, you will discover the latest machines, such as the Xerox Iridesse, which can print in the standard four colour of CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key black), as well as delivering the results in clear, white, gold and silver! When one pauses to consider that one such machine can deliver results in a quarter of the time of less current production print systems, saving untold hours of manual labour re-printing the same documents to achieve the desired end-result, you're left in no doubt that technology in this field is truly cutting-edge.
 
With even this introduction, you'll appreciate that there's no single answer as to which machine - or technology - is best. This is where the Production Print team at Advanced UK prove so valuable: they bring their decades of industry experience gained with the manufacturers, and helping you select the correct equipment to match your business goals.
 

Printing Production Press Solutions

Full colour, high speed, cut sheet digital production printing presses that offer benchmark productivity, print quality, and savings, there are three broad classifications of press:
 

Digital Colour
Digital printing press models that integrate into your current workflow to enable applications such as 1:1 marketing and print on demand.

Digital B&W Publishing
Productive monochrome and highlight colour printing and publishing printers with unmatched flexibility and reliability for all digital print applications.

Digital B&W Transaction
Fast, reliable monochrome production printers for transaction printing and publishing environments.

Inkjet Continuous Feed Printers

Where superb image quality and print speed are paramount, there's the Inkjet range to consider: superior image quality, speed and flexibility (including MICR) combined with maximum uptime boosts productivity and reduces costs.

Software - the Key Ingredient to Printing Success

No matter what press you select, whether it's to run at 60 ppm or 300 ppm and beyond, it's the software you use in-house to prepare your print jobs which determines your productivity and minimises your wastage.
 
There are three software suites which dominate the industry globally:
  • Xerox FreeFlow
  • EFI Fiery Workflow Suite
  • XMPie 

Combining workflow, automation, layout control, colour control, and so much more, these software suites enable maximum productivity from your investment in a printing press. Some, most notably XMPie, take you into the realm of combining your printed word and graphics with digital media: imagine being able to deliver a personalised brochure with the simultaneous output of personalised webpages and videos? 

The personalisation of Production Print is a key reason why usage of modern production print systems is actually increasing despite the 'digital age'. While high-volume print runs are decreasing, the investment in quality has been combined with sophisticated marketing strategies to enable specialised short-run (low volume) print runs to be undertaken and yet remain cost-effective.

 

Xerox FreeFlow

In a mature marketplace operation, efficiency is a must for long term success. Companies are looking for ways to do more with less. This is where FreeFlow® Core comes into the picture: it automates the process steps required to prepare a job for print. Core’s flexibility and scalability, including on-premise and cloud configurations, means there is an automation solution for any size print shop.

Workflow software has never been this strong—or this simple—until now. This browser-based or on-premise solution intelligently automates and integrates the processing of print jobs, from file preparation to final production, for a touch-less workflow that operates easily, adapts effortlessly, scales quickly and delivers consistently.

 

 

Automation is no longer just for big guys. Whether your organisation is 3 or 300 people, FreeFlow Core offers a highly productive workflow solution. Multiple product configurations and attractive price points mean even small- to medium-sized organisations now have automation within reach. And no matter how many print engines you have, there is never an additional charge.

Read more about Xerox FreeFlow here.

 

EFI Fiery Workflow Suite

he Fiery Workflow Suite products expand the power of Fiery servers, providing solutions for every stage in the print production process. The modular products broaden the server functionality for more advanced colour management, automation, job preparation, and integration.

 

 

'In order to thrive, you need to do more' - EFI

To survive in today’s market, you need to meet expectations of print buyers for flawless colour, quick turnaround on complicated documents and high-quality output on jobs from a wide array of sources – all at competitive prices. In order to thrive, you need to do more. To grow your business, offer your customers new services and products as well as convenient communication methods.

When you explore the range of possibilities within the Fiery Workflow Suite, coupled with the most innovative print servers in the world today, you will see immediately why Advanced UK believe these are the unbeatable solutions.  

Read more about the EFI Fiery Workflow Suite here.

 

XMPie

XMPie, the leading provider of software for cross media and variable data one-to-one marketing. The XMPie portfolio of solutions enables businesses to create and manage highly effective direct marketing and cross-media campaigns.

 

 
 
 
 Read more about XMPie here.
 
 

Printing Finishing Solutions

The best printing press cannot be considered complete until the essential finishing components have been added. Producing the final output will usually demand one or more 'finishing' stages, such as folding, creasing, binding, laminating, perforating, embossing, and even the die-cutting.

Depending on the nature of your chosen printing press, the options may be in-line or best completed at a stand-alone workstation. A typical 'in-house' corporate light production MFD will include options for folding and collating pages to produce booklets, perhaps stapling or stitching them too. At the other extreme, the production of wedding invitations or book covers might see the graphic designer call for elements of foil lamination to be applied to the printed output.

At Advanced UK, we're partnered with the market leaders, and offer a brief introduction to each here. 

 

Antalis

Antalis is the UK's leading supplier of communication and packaging materials into the print, sign and display, office and publishing markets. Through its 115 distribution centres, Antalis makes around 12,000 deliveries per day worldwide and it distributed 1.3 million tons of paper in 2018.

ANTALIS Logo

 

Antalis are the specialists in paper, a highly specialised industry. Whether you need creative, coated or offset printing paper, graphical board or self-adhesives, we bring our detailed knowledge of the Antalis range to guide you through every kind of printing demand.

How important is your choice of paper? Consider the production of a brochure. Simple? Not quite!

How long will your brochure be in use? Is it a short term, throw away booklet or a long term brochure which must work for you month in and month out until an update is produced. Equally, where will it be used? The papers and inks will be entirely different if used in an office, versus referenced by professionals in an outdoors or industrial environment.

Antalis Brochures.jpg

If your brochure or leaflet is going to contain lots of coloured images, the type of paper you use will make a difference as to how well it looks when printed. Gloss papers will give the best results, but if you want to be a little more creative, there's a vast array of silk or even uncoated papers which will deliver outstanding results.

 

Vidid Laminiate

Advanced UK are partners with Vivid, Europe's leading designers and manufacturers of laminators. Vivid design and manufacture their own machines, enabling you to benefit from their ability to turn an idea from concept to finished product quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Vivid Laminate Alt

Laminators are essential for many printing requirements, and there are essentially just three types of laminating machines: laminators that use pouches, laminators that use film and laminators that use a UV liquid to coat the print.

UV liquid laminators are more difficult to operate and time consuming to clean, aren’t as flexible for short print runs, are more expensive, cost more to run due to high power consumption and require ventilation.

To understand which laminator you require, the Production Print team at Advanced UK will bring their vast knowledge to your project, and arrange demonstrations too.

 

Morgana / Plockmatic

Morgana Systems is a subsidiary of Plockmatic International, and they manufacture and distribute a wide range of innovative and market leading offline post-press equipment.

Morgana

Morgana Systems has led the way in developing new and innovative solutions to cope with the special requirements of the digital printer. Morgana products that have achieved worldwide success with products such as their innovative AutoCreaser Pro and DigiFold Pro ranges of integrated creaser/folder solutions.

Since Morgana's acquisition by Plockmatic, the product portfolio has been extended with a wide range of booklet making systems to meet every production requirement.

More recent product ranges to find significant success across world markets include the Morgana DigiBook range of PUR perfect binders, and the Morgana BM350/500 high-capacity booklet makers

Morgana Systems is a preferred offline finishing partner for all of the leading manufacturers of digital print engines, whilst Plockmatic International manufactures a wide range of innovative inline finishing solutions.

 

Duplo International - Print Finishing Systems

Duplo International are leaders in the field of print finishing solutions, and their technology now encompasses a vast range of finishing processes, from saddle stitching, booklet making and perfect binding, to cutter-creasers. 

Duplo Logo-2

From simple-to-use systems used in offices, education and charity sectors, to large corporate in-plants and commercial printers, Duplo addresses the precise demands of diverse business sectors, and they work closely with digital printing press suppliers to ensure a close technology fit.

 

600 Booklet Makers

 

From compact folders and creasers to full-scale in-plant production systems for sophisticated commercial printing operations, any serious print operation is likely to use a Duplo device. 

 

Summary

Production Print encompasses a vast array of software and hardware technologies, and as we've described here, the broad array of product choice can be narrowed only by an expert understanding of your objectives and budget.

At Advanced UK, we have thirty years' of experience in the printing industry, and an ever-growing team of industry experts on-hand to guide you through your important decisions. Our team will bring you to our showroom - perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind in Europe - and they'll work with you all the way from product selection, through financing, deliver, implementation and support.

 

Further on-topic reading

Please explore our blog for a range of technology topics (see the Latest Posts menu), but to help you navigate, here's a focussed selection of articles on printing, copiers, related software, and services (as well as the occasional piece about Advanced-UK):

 

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Humperdinck Jackman

Director of Consulting Services

Humperdinck has a 30-year career spanning Document Management Systems (DMS), data protection, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation. He believes the advances in office technology are such that we're entering the 4th Industrial Revolution, and Advanced UK is in a leading position.

Advanced UK www.advanced-uk.com