Offset and Beyond Conference Finishes Strong

LAS VEGAS—May 7, 2009—Following is the final special report from Day 3, of the 2009 Offset and Beyond Conference reported by Printing Industries of America’s Executive Team.

During the final morning session, Dr. Mark Bohan, vice president, technology and research, Printing Industries of America, provided a review of how InterTech™ Technology Awards have a proven track record for identifying innovations that succeed in practical application. A few of the technologies that are becoming realities are the significant changes in inkjet, printing plate technologies, such as laser ablation, cross link polymer, thermal fusion and radiant exposure, which are all taking steps out of the plate process, and others. Paramount are the advances in workflow with JDF/MIS integration. Other technologies he reviewed were color management, specialty effects with inks, and hybrids. For more info on the InterTech™ award-winning technologies visit www.printing.org and put “InterTech” in the search box.

Following Dr. Bohan’s presentation were the always popular Topic Tables. Highlights included:

Eliminating Waste, facilitated by Ken Rizzo, director of technical and lean services, Printing Industries of America, discussed “hidden waste” in printing plants such as how waste and spoilage are “hidden inventories” and they are costs the printer will never get paid for by the customer.

Building Automated Workflows, facilitated by Dr. Mark Bohan, discussed how JDF implementation is the way to improve the speed of automation implementation. And MIS connectivity is imperative in order to get accurate cost and provide you with the data you need to optimize production.

Next Generation of Print and Communications Services, facilitated by Steven Schnoll, managing director, Schnoll Media Consulting, reviewed two components that could create value you could offer your customers. (1) Web portal technology, i.e., setting up branded digital store fronts for your customers. (2) Quick Response Codes that will provide opportunity to embedded PURLs, etc., into a bar code.

Politics and Print was facilitated by Lisbeth Lyons, vice president, government affairs, Printing Industries of America. The hottest topic on the minds of printers gathered at the table was labor law reform, specifically the Employee Free Choice Act and organized labor’s campaign to increase unionization rates among the private sector, including printing and graphic communications companies. Lyons laid out the political dynamics that continue to shape EFCA and variations of the bill. The main take-away-the issue is far from over. Industry must remain up-to-speed on the debate and politically active in contacting their U.S. Senators to weigh in on the issue.

The emerging topic on the table was “cap and trade” or the climate change legislation being pursued by the Obama Administration. Lyons stated that an upcoming article in Printing Industries of America: The Magazine, will serve as a good education piece for printers on this issue. The projection of direct costs (utilities) and indirect costs (passed-through increases in paper production, transportation and postal rates) of the government proposal to “cap” carbon emissions and “trade” (auction or sell) credits for over-emitting would be significant.

Web UV Technology was facilitated by Brian LaBine, president of Manugraph DGM, Inc., which was a continuation of an earlier breakout session. The two key topics were plates were they see greater variability in run lengths and plate life with web UV inks and typically seeing up to a 60% reduction in plate life. Second, they discussed materials, agreeing the right combination of materials is key. This process still is in the developmental stage, with printers and vendors together to develop standard operating procedures.

The Binding Industries table was facilitated by Justin Goldstein, manager, Binding Industries of America at Printing Industries of America. The BIA members who attended their Mid-Management Conference in conjunction with Offset and Beyond were a re-energized group. Their focus was discussing how to reach the right people at printing companies to “tell their story” on how they can help that printer be more efficient and profitable by partnering with a bindery organization.

The Zappos Story and Tour
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, wowed the audience with the Zappos story. Tony got involved with Zappos as an advisor and investor in 1999, and then full time in 2000. Zappos has grown from $1.6 million in 2000 to a billion sales in 2008. Hsieh is passionate on continuing to grow the business at a rapid pace while maintaining the culture and feel of a small company. Their daily goal is to provide the “WOW” factor to their customers. His employees are happy employees, and he explained they hire based on culture fit with skill being a secondary factor. Those who went on the tour of Zappos experienced a radically different place of business, with wildly decorated open spaces-no walls-and happy, casually-dressed employees who greeted the tours in various ways-bells, clappers, pom-poms, cheers, and an Elvis song. In the word most used by the tour leader to describe just about everything at Zappos-awesome!

Look for details to come about Offset and Beyond 2010 at: www.printing.org/offsetandbeyond.

About Printing Industries of America:
Printing Industries of America is the world’s largest graphic arts trade association, representing an industry with approximately one million employees. It serves the interests of more than 10,000 member companies. Together with its nationwide affiliate network, Printing Industries delivers products and services that enhance the growth, efficiency, and profitability of its members and the graphic communications industry through advocacy, education, research, and technical information.

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