Part 2 of 2
By DPS Staff
Finishing is a common bottleneck in the print process. To combat this, print providers take a chance and invest in finishing solutions that replace manual processes from cutting to stacking. For example, in the first part of this series, Ironmark of Annapolis Junction, MD shared its successes leveraging its expertise to bring jobs once outsourced in house thanks to Horizon products from Standard Finishing Systems. We continue to showcase users with a focus on this segment.
Manual to Automated
Located in Uden, in the Southeastern part of the Netherlands, Sidekix is a highly specialized marketing fulfillment company. With over 15 years of experience, it works on personalized direct mail as well as high-volume consumer marketing campaigns for both private and public organizations. Some of its high-profile customers include BankGiro Lottery, Brewers, Footbal International, Friends Lottery, KPN, Mandemakers cuisines, the National Postcode Lottery, Renewi, Swinkels Family, and Swiss Sense.
In 2020, after acquiring a Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 B2+ UV inkjet printer, Sidekix decided to invest in a Tecnau Stack 1212 B2 sheetfed cut and stack solution installed nearline. Combining the print and finishing equipment, the company hoped to achieve higher production volumes as well as print on a wider selection of media types.
“We were looking for a new system capable of handling 24/7 production cycles and expanding application possibilities to streamline our operations and move from an almost completely manual process to an automated one,” explains Tjeerd Nijenhuis, co-owner, Sidekix.
The Stack 1212 converts multi-up output from a B2+ color digital press into smaller, stacked finished pages without guillotine cutting. It reduces manual print handling and consolidates labor-intensive finishing operations in a single-pass automated process. For applications from letters, books, and marketing brochures to postcards and posters, Stack 1212 slits, cuts, trims, removes gutters/bleeds, and stacks output, allowing users to process sheets in cost-effective multiple-up impositions without further offline finishing. A cartridge-based cross-cut and slitter design allows the operator to quickly change from one job to another.
Nijenhuis viewed the cutsheet system in action at a trade show, however it was not configured exactly to its standards, instead it was designed to process up to SRA3+ sheets. “We had already implemented a B2 cutsheet system for multiple cut and stack bookblock productions on a custom Libra 800 configuration, but to process marketing communications, fulfillment documents, and full-bleed variable applications, a specific system was required. We agreed on assisting the customer in this task and to provide the solution he was looking for,” shares Harm Jan Hulleman, sales director EMEA, Tecnau.
Less than six months later, Tecnau had created Sidekix’s specific solution and had it up and running in the Tecnau factory in Ivrea, Italy with specific applications related to the print provider. Soon after, it delivered the new finishing equipment to Sidekix in Uden, where it was installed nearline to the Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 for more flexibility between printing and finishing B2 size sheets—in addition to expanded application opportunities in the future.
Tecnau’s expertise was instrumental in Sidekix’s commitment to the company, as it showed early on in the process. Sidekix originally requested a Stack 1212 solution designed to process one- and two-up printed impositions. However, during the trial process, new requirements arose and a three-up imposition was also made available.
The final configuration includes two different sets of cartridges for variable side trim, gutter and strip cut for full-bleed two- and tree-up B2-size applications with one to 12 impositions printed on each sheet. The Stack 1212 is also equipped with a Tecnau Connect software control package.
With the Stack 1212 in place, Sidekix “reached better production speeds as well as better performance and finished quality,” notes Nijenhuis.
Both Sidekix and Ironmark made key investments in their business by adding automated finishing components. They upped their productivity in house while increasing services and more importantly keeping customers pleased with their work.
Mar2022, DPS Magazine