April '22

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1 4 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 2 G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M e c o em aow or arecae proco o mproe workflow. mae core FFL or merca This automated system with the Inca Onset X3HS can assist with the handling of large boards to speed up productiv- ity. (Image courtesy FUJIFILM North America) eProductivity's software allows shops to look at each job, when it needs to be printed, what it is printed on, which de- vice, what substrate and what processes need to come after, like cutting, die cutting, sewing, or adding grommets. (Image courtesy eProductivity Software) PRINTERS As printing presses get faster the need for automation increases because operators have a hard time keeping up. "If you have high-volume production and you want them to keep up at that rate, nobody can feed at the rated speed for eight or 16 hours a day. It is not practical," Hutcheson says. at means shops must move to full automation or partial automa- tion. "e goal of automation is to provide customers options to help them improve productivity but, most importantly, ef- ciency," she explains. "In today's world, everyone is looking at ways to reduce the total cost of print manufacturing, adding more capital investment upfront with an understanding that there will be an ROI bump in the end." Eciencies are more important for high- er volume shops, and Agfa oers lower cost machines that also have automation capa- bilities. Customers of Agfa can purchase machines in manual mode and then add on automatic board feeders or stackers. For roll-to-roll machines, clients can put two 63-inch master rolls on the machine and let it run unattended. "What that means to customers is they can have one operator manning multiple machines. ey are just setting the ma- chine up and letting it run," Hutcheson adds. Agfa's approach is to give customers the ability to kit out their press to best meet their needs. If down the road they decide their business has grown enough to merit additional automation, they can always add it later.

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