ITEMS of interestJanuary 2003
"This high-tech equipment provides our customers with faster turnarounds, numerous imposition possibilities and the flexibility to produce a wide range of products," notes Max. "The merger and business relationship between MBO and H+H is excellent; we are now working hand in hand."
The merger Max refers to took place in January 2000 when MBO Binder & Co. assumed 74 percent of the shares of Herzog+Heymann, with General Manager Hans-Heiner Kirwald—a 46-year H+H veteran—maintaining 75 percent and Dirk Stuehmeier 25 percent, respectively, of the remaining 26 percent ownership.
"The merger of H+H with the MBO group has achieved great success in a very short amount of time," says Max. "And this successful partnership has much to do with our relationship with Mr. Kirwald, plus all of the engineers who help meet the customized needs of customers."
Mid-Atlantic Blazes Trail To Success
BLAUVELT, NY—Mid-Atlantic Graphic Communications is full of surprises. Even though the company's 30,000-square-foot facility is just a half hour from New York City, only a fraction of its business comes from the metropolis.
What's more, MAG, as it is known, doesn't have a separate sales force. It relies instead on its top executives to bring in jobs, which generally are generated by word-of-mouth or are acquired when Mid-Atlantic customers move to positions in other companies. And, although Mid-Atlantic is successful, it operates fully with a staff of less than 20.
Asked how MAG is pulling off that hat trick at a time when other printers are in the doldrums, Vice President Doug Arbolino points to the skill of his colleagues and the advancements provided by his technology partners.
"We don't sell on price; we sell service and quality," he says. "With us, you get what you pay for. You get that higher level of quality at an economical price."
Mid-Atlantic's client list consists almost exclusively of large multi-national firms located in the corporate enclaves of Rockland County, where MAG is located, in nearby Montvale, NJ, and in Connecticut.
Mid-Atlantic's two main presses are both six-color models with in-line coating: a 41˝ Roland 700 and a 29˝ Roland 300. The machines' PECOM operating systems equip them for such working flexibility since they are networked together digitally and to every other aspect of MAG's computer-integrated manufacturing workflow.
An Agfa violet-laser platesetter takes center stage in prepress. That department automatically supplies ink profiles to the presses via wire and PECOM's PrepressLink. Meanwhile, PECOM's JobPilot modules lets Mid-Atlantic program each MAN Roland press for the next job while the systems continue to print their current projects. That knocks about 10 minutes off every makeready.
JobPilot also lets Arbolino take a hands-on approach to his pressroom using a standard Windows-equipped terminal: "It lets me oversee what the presses are going to be doing. I can set up the press and create my actual job ticket. JobPilot lets you control the pressroom directly."
PECOM's PressMonitor is also on tap at the printer. It provides a real-time window, as well as an archive of virtually every press function on every job. Arbolino envisions using it to track the performance of different types of inks and paper, and as a way to monitor the plant from home.
As to the effectiveness of PECOM and the networked operation it facilitates, Arbolino confirms that the system shortens makereadies and increases press uptime.
"It also makes it a lot easier for the press operators," he says. "It lets them concentrate completely on the job at hand, rather than worrying about the next setup. That keeps production going and puts the focus on quality."
Lakeside Classics Turn 100 in 2002
CHICAGO—A holiday tradition celebrated its 100th anniversary at R.R. Donnelley last month.
For the last 100 years, Donnelley has been bestowing literary classics, collectively called The Lakeside Classics book series, as a holiday gift to employees, customers, retirees, stockholders and friends of the company. The centennial tome in December 2002 was "Narrative of the Coronado Expedition" by Pedro de Castana of Najera.
Though the book-giving tradition is 100 years old, it contained a new twist as a Classics edition was printed in two languages—Spanish, along with English.
The tradition originated in 1903. The previous year T.E. Donnelley, son of founder Richard Robert Donnelley, had received a holiday gift of straight-edged razors personalized with his name. The sender was an old college friend and a member of the Gillette family.
Fascinated by the tie-in between the gift and the manufacturer, T.E. Donnelley decided to come up with a memorable gift that recipients would associate with the Windy City printing giant. Thus, in 1903, the first edition in the annual series was launched, "The Autobiography of Ben Franklin."
Most early volumes consisted of speeches and writings from notable Americans. The 1911 release of "The Autobiography of Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard" set the tone for future installments in the series, making them first-person narratives of American history, mostly taken from rare, out-of-print books.