Fast Finishing: Automated Cutting

In September of 2016, we attended the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) trade show in Las Vegas. To predict the printing trends that I thought we’d see, I wrote a blog on the Expected Industry Trends from the SGIA Expo. To document my printing prophecy, I followed up with SGIA Sightings, a recap.

At SGIA we got up close and personal with two of Zünd’s newest automation features. In my recap, I loudly proclaimed our love for Zünd digital die-cutters and this awesome new technology. The love story was mutual and Custom Color was invited to contribute to the December issue of Sign & Digital Graphics magazine’s Making Finishing Solutions as Easy as ABC. This opportunity for contribution made me think about my appreciation for our automated cutting machines.

At Custom Color Corp, our motto is “Ink Big. Ink Fast. Ink Printing.” Without the quick cutting capabilities of our three Zünd digital die cutters, we wouldn’t be able to Ink Fast – which is quite obviously a problem in today’s fast-paced world.

Digital printing has a quick-turnaround reputation, and for good reason. Because customers recognize that the printing process is speeding up, they are requesting more displays and shorter run times. Zünd cutters provide the increase in productivity that customers expect. On any given day, our I-Cut operators process hundreds of thousands of square feet of material.

Not only is the act of cutting the material automated, our Zünd cutters are tied into our workflow. This workflow accessibility means increased accuracy and efficiency. We are able to estimate cut times through integration with our company management information system.

One of our Zünd cutters touches each and every large format project that comes through our production facility.  Three Zünd cutters provide the cutting needs for our flatbed, latex, fabric and UV printing – the versatility of the machines to finish any substrate prevents a bottleneck in our production flow. 

Zünd’s upgradability is unparalleled. This adaptability to new projects ensures that Custom Color can remain an ever-innovative print service provider.

Zünd increases our productivity and reduces our production time. Our Zünd cutters are an integral function of our facility and our motto – ink big, ink fast, ink printing.

Want to see our Zünd machines in action? Contact us for a tour.

 Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back. 

Custom Color Corp Jason

Laminate to Accentuate: Finishing Options

The word lamination might send you into a tailspin of memories from elementary school. Laminated calendars, letter sheets and name tags are often the first memory that we have of the durable and reusable surfaces.

Fast forward into your adult and professional life – many of the signage that you come into contact with has some sort of lamination applied.  When large format printing is discussed, most people think about the act of printing and cutting – few people consider the finishing employed to protect the print.

On most all of our projects, we apply one type of lamination or another. Lamination serves two main purposes: to protect the final print and to alter the finish.

  1. Protection – Both liquid and film laminates protect the final print from abrasion, chemicals and UV exposure. Lamination added to outdoor prints extends the overall life by two to three years. Indoor prints that might be cleaned, walked on or exposed to dirt or debris should also be laminated. At Custom Color we even have a laminate to protect prints from graffiti.
  2. Alter the finish – Laminates come in many different finishes that can be applied to the print to alter the overall look. We stock glossy, matte and luster laminates but readily have access to laminates that provide shimmer and texture. Some prints are finished with a dry-erase laminate that transforms any print on a rigid substrate into a dry-erase board.

Our finishing arsenal is stocked with laminators. Jeremy and James man the lamination station of two roll and two liquid laminators. Our GBC roll laminator is a pressure sensitive laminator – this laminator is ideal for heat-sensitive inks. Our other roll laminator is an AGL thermal laminator – its heated rollers apply pressure to overlay the substrate with lamination.

Additionally, we have a liquid heat laminator and a UV liquid laminator. Our heat liquid laminator is often used for our wall murals and wallpaper while our UV laminator is used on rigid substrates like dibond and sintra. Customers often opt for liquid lamination because it offers a bit of a price break.

When asked what he loves about his lamination station, Jeremy explains that he loves getting to work on many of the projects that go through production. He said, “everyday is different” which makes his duties more exciting.  Over their combined 30 years of finishing experience, some of James and Jeremy’s favorite lamination projects have been for the Chief’s Hall of Fame, Fireball, Boulevardia and HyVee.

Your project could be added to their favorites list. To find out the best laminate for your project, contact us!