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6 Things You Didn't Know About Duplo's Slitter/Cutter/Creasers
Carlos Lara & Diana Salgado Blanco, Duplo USA - 11/15/2016

The Slitter/Cutter/Creasers remain Duplo’s most popular, all-in-one digital color finishing solutions. It’s not just their ability to finish full-bleed applications with precision that makes them a must-have in print shops. These fully automated machines lessen the learning curve for inexperienced operators as they are entirely controlled by a PC and run without any experience required.

The Duplo Slitter/Cutter/Creasers offer some unique features for processing new applications and further streamlining the workflow. Read more to find out what they are.

1. PROCESS APPLICATIONS WITH RAISED UV COATING

Specialty finishing is trending big right now. Raised, textured, and spot UV coatings are being applied to printed applications to give products a dimensional feel and make them stand out. Raised UV, in particular, takes the visual appeal to the next level and gives life to images by highlighting areas such as the grooves on a football or droplets on a bottle.  

With its soft sponge roller system, the Slitter/Cutter/Creasers can accurately process applications with raised UV coating up to 100 microns. The sponge rollers contour to the thickness of the coated sheet and grip the paper as it goes through the finishing process.

Unlike a guillotine, there is no clamp putting pressure on the paper and crushing the raised UV. And without any stiff metal rollers, the application does not get scratched or damaged. Sheets with this type of coating become slippery and can also slip under metal rollers, resulting in registration loss and inaccurately finished work.

2. CREATE A TEMPLATED BARCODE WORKFLOW WITH EFI

Users that have the EFI Command WorkStation and Fiery Impose can already populate an application into a multiple-up job. What many may not know is that an operator can utilize Duplo-based imposition templates on the Fiery as well as apply barcodes and registration marks that can be read by the internal scanner in the Slitter/Cutter/Creaser. EFI has integrated these two Duplo-specific features into their Command WorkStation to be printed on the application. With these capabilities, printers can create a templated barcode workflow that lets the Slitter/Cutter/Creaser take over and run automatically without operator intervention.

Duplo provides imposition templates for the Command WorkStation which also matches the finishing templates on the Slitter/Cutter/Creaser. The finishing templates come pre-set with measurements for the margins and gutters as well as finished sizes, eliminating setup time immediately.

The use of a barcode reduces errors as it prevents jobs from being run incorrectly. The operator simply needs to load the paper and hit the start button. As the sheets are fed, the scanner will read the barcode printed on every sheet and if it detects sheets for a different job, the Slitter/Cutter/Creaser will recall the job linked to that barcode and automatically perform the changeover.  

Image shifting is an issue most digital printers will face and registration marks help ensure each sheet is finished with precision. When it comes to cutting jobs such as business cards, consistency is important otherwise printers will end up with more waste.

The Slitter/Cutter/Creaser can scan the registration mark printed on every sheet. When it detects an image shift, it automatically adjusts in all four directions to compensate for the change in the image position. In all four directions! This happens on the fly without any supervision necessary and ensures the job is accurately finished every time.

Watch this video demo on registration marks to see the scanner and image compensation in action on the DC-745.

3. ADD IN-LINE FOLDING

Most print shops will have work that requires folding whether it’s tent cards, direct mail, or tri-fold brochures. Every touchpoint in post-press costs money and setting up a separate folder means more make ready. Printers that have a Slitter/Cutter/Creaser have the option to eliminate an extra setup by adding an in-line knife folder to their device with the Duplo Integrated Folding System (IFS). The ability to upgrade to in-line folding at any time as business expands is a big plus for future growth. By adding the IFS, operators can go from flat sheets to finished pieces that are cut in both directions, creased, perforated, and folded in one pass.

There may be a temptation to take fold jobs to a buckle folder. Although it is faster, the odds that it will crack the toner are very high. Any job printed on over 80 lb. cover with toner requires a knife folder and the IFS can handle up to 130 lb. cover. A buckle folder takes too much setup for just 100 or 500 sheets and is not the right technology for those shorter runs.

Watch this productivity demo on the DC-645 with IFS versus traditional finishing methods.

4. PRODUCE TINY CARDS

The Slitter/Cutter/Creasers already have tremendous capabilities and there’s more. Duplo has introduced a new feature called “Process All” which allows the DC-746 and DC-646 to produce cards smaller than 2” in length. With this setting selected, operators can program and produce cards down to 1.25” x 2”. It’s a major addition to the already versatile DC-746 and DC-646 models.

5. FINISH BANNERS

Many of the newer digital presses are now capable of printing long banners. The Slitter/Cutter/Creasers can be adjusted to process these long banners up to 39" in length while maintaining the same accuracy by utilizing the image shift compensation on the fly. Users can easily bleed trim these banners down to their finished size. Operators can also print more items on a sheet to further reduce the print costs of applications such as business cards and brochures. These banner sheets are loaded onto the feeder and are accurately slit, cut, creased, and perforated like traditional 12” x 18” sheets.

6. INTERCHANGEABLE TOOLING STATIONS

Duplo’s new Rotary Tool Modules (RTM) have interchangeable processing wheels which eliminate the need for multiple modules/cassettes to produce various types of finishes. Each RTM comes with a pair of the following tools: standard perf, micro-perf, rotary score, and slit-score. Operators can easily install the desired tools to run each application.

For example, take a simple LTR tri-fold piece with a reply card. This application is typically printed 2-up on a 12” x 18” sheet and requires a perf and score in the direction of the paper path. The operator can install the scoring and perforating wheels on the same RTM and produce both finishes along with bleed trimming in a single pass.

Not requiring separate rotary score and perf cassettes improves the efficiency of the job and helps keep equipment costs down.

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With the Duplo Slitter/Cutter/Creasers, print service providers have the opportunity to further streamline their workflows. It’s an opportunity to reduce labor costs and downtime while increasing productivity. Remember…the fewer touchpoints there are, the more profits there will be!