The finishing department
The finishing department contains of broad range of highly sophisticated machinery, which, unfortunately, nearly always are very labor intensive, because they have to be fed and emptied manually. In spite of how fast these machines can be configured to produce, their limiting factor is always the labor feeding and emptying them. A conventional productivity increase in finishing is virtually impossible, and this is why it is so difficult to improve the overall competitiveness and profitability of the printing industry in high salary areas.
The most conventional machines in the finishing department are:
Moving into book printing a range of specialized machines for manufacturing book covers amplifies the size of book finishing dramatically in relation to the finishing departments in commercial and magazine printing.
In packaging the die-cutters and folder/gluers are the backbones of the packaging finishing departments.
Finishing also includes a range of value-adding machines, such as off-line coaters, embossing machines, wrapping machines etc.
Finally, all finished products in the finishing department must be packed in a way so they can be shipped to the printers’ customers without being harmed. This often includes putting the finished products in boxes and on pallets.
For a full service printer with in-house pre-press, printing and finishing departments, the majority of all labor positions are to be found in the finishing department. The room for automations and robotization in finishing is big, so it is in the finishing department the competitiveness and profitability of the full service printer can be significantly improved.