With all the technology at the disposal of printers and finishers, some projects still require some old-fashioned handwork before they're complete. While you would think handwork is nothing more than a last resort when automation is not possible, the decision is not always so cut-and-dry.
There are three factors that typically come into play during project planning when handwork is on the table: quality, cost and schedule.
- Quality - If high quality is of paramount importance on a particular project, handwork may be preferable to automation. For example, a softer hand fold may be preferable on projects such as an intricately die-cut package, or products where machine folding may cause cracking, scuffing or marking.
- Cost - Before you determine that automation is better than handwork for a particular project, look at the total production time for each method. A project may take three hours to complete automatically and six hours by hand. However, complex projects often involve a makeready that's much longer than the production run itself. If the makeready on this project is six hours – twice its production time – handwork may be less expensive and faster.
Some small-quantity jobs can also benefit from handwork. For example, hand folding and gluing can often be faster and more cost-effective than automatic production for short-run work.
- Schedule - The true cost and timeframe of a project can go beyond printing and bindery production. Applications that call for significant handling or preparation for the end user can be costly and time-consuming to organize and engineer. For projects such as CD, DVD or gift card mailers, welcome kits and packaging applications, having Apex Die perform hand collating, inserting, assembly and related processes may be faster and more cost-effective than performing these services downstream.
The Apex Die Advantage
Save time, money and hassle by consolidating your finishing, assembly and fulfillment with Apex Die. Our extensive capabilities and experienced handwork and fulfillment services are ideal for point-of-purchase displays, folded cartons, packaging, media holders and much more.