What does digital mean to you?
At Highcon we put a lot of effort into deciding how to best describe the benefits of the technology and products that we introduce to the market. The one word that cannot be avoided is probably also the one that may be perhaps the most misunderstood: Digital.
So how on earth does digital go together with finishing in the print world?
The thing about digital is that it’s all about communication or transmitting information or data. And print is all about communicating information too – so maybe they do belong together.
And yet… if we go back to maybe the first use of digital in our daily lives – on our watches (Yes, some of us are old enough to still wear a watch and not completely rely on a smartphone!) – the new digital watches were more accurate, didn’t need winding but as with all technology, they changed the way we did things. Nine times out of ten, when we look at our watch, it’s not to see what time it is but rather to see how long until the next meeting, lunch, or the arrival of a train. With the arrival of digital – we had to do mental arithmetic rather than visually understand the difference.
In the same way, the advent of digital printing actually changed the way we bought and delivered print products. Instead of a long lead time manufacturing process that had customers overstocking in order to buy in volume and reduce price, we now expect immediate supply of a precise number of products on-demand.
In the print business digital technology has led to:
All these things combine to turn the print manufacturing business into a print service business.
And the natural continuation of that, of course, is the need for digital in the finishing part of the process. Which is where Highcon comes in.
One of the side effects of the digital generation has been the “hurry up and wait” effect. It’s less prevalent now than it was with the increased processing speeds. But if the print product you were thinking of buying was a folder, a brochure, a greeting card, or a package – then even if you were printing digitally you were going to need to wait for a die to be made to do the cutting and creasing.
The Highcon Euclid and Highcon Beam digital cutting and creasing machines have revolutionized the traditional process of finishing. In addition to the digital benefits mentioned above, there are the further advantages of a massive reduction in space and cost of inventory storage, and the increase in sustainability that comes from storing files on a thumb drive or computer disk rather than warehouses full of huge wooden dies full of metal and rubber parts.