Eliminating Touchpoints in your Workflow
Rick Salinas & Diana Blanco, Duplo USA - 07/11/2016

As pricing for equipment and paper remains competitive, print service providers must find ways to protect their margins. Although the overall cost of short run jobs is relatively low, printers may not realize that expensive layouts and setups on multiple devices can quickly erode those margins. The more touchpoints there are to process a job, the more the job costs. Plus, add the costs of finding skilled labor and paying for training and benefits, there is no doubt companies must find a way to keep expenses to a minimum.

So, what can printers do to start saving money?

Reduce Labor Costs

To reduce labor costs, printers must take a look at their equipment and workflow. How long does it take to cut 1,000 business cards on the guillotine cutter? How many minutes does it take to set up and run the cutter and creaser? How much time is spent on make-readies? How much time is wasted by employees walking from machine to machine? How many distractions occur during this time?

If the answer is too much time, then too much money is being spent as well. Manual processes, multiple machines, and make-ready time are all touchpoints that add to the cost of the job. Yet, all these can be reduced to a minimum with automated equipment.

Products such as the Duplo Slitter/Cutter/Creasers were designed to optimize workflows, reduce downtime, and utilize labor effectively. These all-in-one solutions slit the margins, cut the gutters, and perform creases on documents such as invitations, greeting cards, and brochures – in a single pass using one machine. If you need to do more, the DC-746 and DC-646 models can perform strike and cross perforations for more complex jobs while the DC-616 PRO can be used for perforations. Operators can run multiple-up and full-bleed jobs such as 16-up tickets and get them done within minutes.

Cutting business cards on a guillotine is neither productive nor effective. Between setting up the job and dealing with image shift, both sheets and time often go to waste. On the DC-646 for example, operators can fully cut and box 1,000 business cards with accuracy in about 6 minutes (24-up on 12” x 18” paper). The operator can even walk away from the machine and begin working on the next job!

A multi-finisher will free up the guillotine for other jobs, allow orders to get out the door faster…and save man hours.

Minimize Set Up time

When it comes to reducing time-consuming set ups, computer-based tools are the way to go. A good example is the PC Controller software from Duplo. The software, which is included with the DC-746/DC-646/DC-616 PRO Slitter/Cutter/Creasers, makes it quick and easy to program a job from a PC. The software even comes with a set of pre-determined layouts - a job template library - for some of the most commonly used applications. Measurements for margins and gutters are pre-set, eliminating setup time right off the bat.

For other jobs, templates can easily be created using the job wizard. When set up is finished, the operator can then save the template and re-use it later when needed. The Slitter/Cutter/Creasers can store up to 80 jobs in the machine (up to 250 in the DC-646) and an unlimited number on the PC hard drive. Printers can build their own template library which is a dream for many. No more wasting time measuring and inputting finished sizes every time.

With template-based finishing, printers will minimize errors, maximize productivity…and cut overall job costs!

The Bottom Line

Every touchpoint in the workflow is money spent and printers can save these dollars. Just ask any Duplo user. In print shops around the world, it is very common to see the same operator printing a job on the digital press and finishing business cards on the Slitter/Cutter/Creaser at the same time. Eliminate touchpoints and enjoy higher productivity, faster turnarounds, and better profits.

What Duplo Users Are Saying

“With the DC-646, we’ve been able to take products that would have multiple steps and a real lengthy process and finish them in one or two steps, creating a huge efficiency for our company.”  

-Visual Image Photography, Wisconsin

“The DC-646 has allowed me to set it and forget it where all I do is put the job into it. I run the job and then I can be focused on other things while the job completes.”

ITA Group, Iowa

“The DC-646 has eliminated some of our guillotine cutting, vendor scoring, and perforating. With the perf module, we can actually do T-perfs and L-perfs.”

– Wright’s Printing & Marketing, Texas

“We were sending things out to a third party vendor for additional bindery. Since we’ve had the DC-645, we can do it in-house, we can do it on time, and we can do it under budget.”

 –Methodist Healthcare, Texas

“The DC-645 has been great. It has saved us a lot of click charges from our printer. It’s allowed us to order one type of paper stock and it’s been able to make things much simpler for our inventory.”

– Artsonia, Illinois