Green Button Technology in Print Finishing
Options such as duplex printing, reduction or enlargement, print orientation, collating and stapling became standard. It was all integrated with and enabled by desktop publishing technology and distributed far and wide by networking systems. Simultaneously, electrostatic and inkjet printers propelled digital printing into the large-format world.
But where did this leave print finishing, the overlooked stepchild of the printing industry?
Print finishing was an analog world from the beginning and has remained so almost without exception until a few years ago. The shining exception was the Fastback thermal strip binding process developed by Powis Parker in the mid 1990s. That product was a glorious success owing to several factors, including aesthetics (the finished bound book looked great), operator simplicity, versatility and modern industrial design. It was a pioneer in the Green Button Revolution.
Green Button Lamination
It was not until early 2000 that the next Green Button Print finishing machine came along. This time it was a laminator, somewhat surprising in that lamination was the most analog in a pantheon of solidly non-digital print finishing processes. Competent laminator operators were hard to find due to the tricky requirements of setting up and running a job.
This all changed with the introduction of the ALM 3220, a fully automatic laminator. Designed by FujiPla of Japan and introduced by DryLam, the ALM 3220 changed the way the industry thought about lamination. Beginning with this machine, we can more or less date the onset of an ever-growing parade of Green Button finishing equipment. These new machines are large and small, inline and offline with an increasing level of sophistication that is changing everything again.
At the recent BindRite Dealer Association's trade show at the JW Marriott in Palm Desert, Calif., our members were blown away by new Green Button equipment, especially small console and desktop models that will appeal to the corporate in-plant digital printer. We saw another generation of smaller sizes, simplicity of operation, versatility, economics and, above all, quality.