At Kluge, we have experienced many changes in the print finishing industry over the last century. Our ability to evolve with new demands is what has kept us strong for 100 years. Today, we look at 3 trends shaping the industry in 2019 and how we are staying current.
1. Customers want quick turnaround times
Remember a time when you wanted something, but it was out of stock and you had to wait for it? Perhaps you were around back when you had to wait for the video store to have a movie you wanted to watch returned by someone else before you could rent it. Having to wait for a movie we couldn’t wait to see was tough, but we did it because it was the only option. Or remember when you ordered something through a catalog or online and it was expected you’d have a waiting period before it arrived? Times sure have changed! Of course, we still must wait awhile for things sometimes, but it is a lot rarer than it used to be.
In today’s world, people want things fast. And why shouldn’t they? This is 2019 after all. With services such as Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping (and even same day in some cases), TV streaming services and apps to deposit checks into bank accounts immediately, it’s no wonder we don’t expect to have to wait for things.
As a result, print shops want equipment that can produce work fast, simply because their customers expect to have product in their hands as quickly as the day after it’s ordered. And that is not unreasonable! It’s simply a product of the time.
To keep up with customer demands, print shops are constantly searching for ways they can increase turnaround times to get product out the door fast. They need print equipment that is going to speed up their processes and make them more competitive in the market.
2. Today’s press operator is more efficient and tech savvy
Old school operators are very well-respected at Kluge because they taught our technicians so much of what they know. K.C. Chapin, Kluge Technical Support Manager and Salesman said, “I have a great appreciation for operators… With over 35 years of working on presses, operators have taught me everything from how to respect the machinery, to troubleshooting and handling certain situations. I owe all of my technical skills to operators all over the U.S. and I’m grateful for that.”
Mutt Wilson, Senior Technical Advisor and 36-year Kluge veteran agrees, “I think I have picked up one little tip or trick from every operator. This is from operators around the world with such a variety of talents and experiences.”
There is no question how valuable old school operators have been to Kluge, and we are certain they have been just as valuable to every print shop owner. However, they’re becoming harder to find due to retirement and changing of technology. As a result, print shops must accommodate new school operators.
Operators that are entering the field today are more tech savvy than ever before. They are highly skilled on computers, having grown up using them, and expect touch screens and more efficient equipment. They also usually require less hands-on and more automation. Additionally, they tend to require less training than in the past, saving even more time and money.
Consequently, print shops need equipment that new operators can excel with. Thankfully, Kluge continues to evolve to meet the demands of new school operators. And this new technology coupled with the skills of the new operators only further helps provide quick turnaround times!
We must also point out that our technicians are continuing to learn tips and tricks even from new operators: “David Uriegas, Slate Group’s ApexFoil™ operator, is a phenomenal beginner on Kluge foil stamping,” said Chapin after a training on Slate Group’s new ApexFoil Automatic Platen Press. “He has shown me skill levels way beyond where I have picked it up from. It is good to see new talent forming and shaping with the new presses that Kluge has built.”
As already mentioned, new operators expect equipment to be mostly automated, more so than at any previous time. And this trend will only continue to rise. Think about voice control and driverless cars. Have you walked into your house and simply commanded your lights to turn on? If you haven’t, you probably will one day soon!
Automation is unquestionably trendy and is only getting more popular. Print shops benefit from automation because it speeds up the printing process, saving money and providing the ability to produce work extremely fast.
Kluge’s ApexFoil Automatic Platen Press is your all-in-one solution to today’s trends
The ApexFoil Automatic Platen Press includes technology operators dream of using. Starting with a digital touchscreen, work is a lot more automated and produced much faster to provide quick turnarounds. Furthermore, operators can now use the ApexFoil’s Compass™ control system, that includes patented features, to control the “3-T’s” (Time, Temperature and Tonnage). Compass allows operators to greatly reduce, and in some cases, eliminate make-ready on every job.
There’s a reason Kluge’s Techshop Session at Odyssey 2019, featuring the ApexFoil, was one of the most well-attended sessions at the expo. Find out why printers are lining up to learn more about this press by visiting https://kluge.biz/foil-stamping/apexfoil/ or calling us at 866-501-7741.
Related: Reduce Your Makeready