For many years there has been a debate about whether finishing a print job is best done completely offline from the printing press, or inline with a direct connection between finishing and a digital press. There are merits to both approaches. In most shops, a combination of the two is the best answer, depending on the applications being produced.
Kodak and CP Bourg have worked together recently to develop a solution that combines the best of both approaches. A new offering from CP Bourg, the Bridge, connects the output of KODAK NEXFINITY and NEXPRESS Digital Presses with a Bourg finishing line, providing great flexibility to meet specific customer and application needs. By adjusting finishing line speed to match the variable speed capabilities of the Kodak presses, the Bridge delivers finishing support for wide range of unique applications produced on NEXFINITY and NEXPRESS Presses.
Configuring the Bridge with a Bourg Sheet Feeder (BSF) enables inline printing from the press, or nearline finishing of jobs from other printing devices that aren't directly connected to the finishing line, such as a second NEXPRESS Press or a DIGIMASTER System. With Bourg-supplied carts that fit into the NEXPRESS High Capacity Delivery and the DIGIMASTER Stacker, output from those presses can be printed and stacked, and when complete, rolled over to the BSF that is inline with the first NEXPRESS Press. While that first NEXPRESS Press is printing jobs that don't require inline finishing, its finishing line can be utilized to create booklets from output produced on the other presses. The capital cost of the finishing equipment can be amortized on volume from across the shop, not just a single press.
When a job needs to be produced that benefits from inline finishing, output from the first NEXPRESS can send sheets to the Bridge, which then sends the sheets through a path in the BSF and into the rest of the finishing line. Variable print jobs, secure printing applications and short-run booklets are all ideal for inline finishing, which delivers the short turnaround time and associated reductions in labor costs that can optimize the profitability of those applications.
Just like web-to-print and short-run print orders benefit from using automation in prepress, finishing operations can also be streamlined by minimizing touchpoints. Like most other enhancements to NEXPRESS and NEXFINITY presses, the Bridge from CP Bourg is available as an upgrade for presses that have already in operation for years.