R&E Conference Addresses The Latest Technologies

Chicago—Pressroom personnel and suppliers from across the United States, and as far away as Germany and Switzerland, gathered here recently at the 25th annual R&E Council Pressroom Conference to hear the latest news about technologies affecting the pressroom. Hosted by the Research & Engineering Council of the Graphic Arts Industry, this 25th in the series of annual meetings focused on improving productivity in the pressroom.

Among the technical topics discussed at the meeting were soft proofing, closed-loop color control, and coating and curing. In addition, a significant portion of the meeting was devoted to personnel recruitment, retention and management issues, and to benchmarking operations in the modern printing plant. The conference was chaired by William G. Traver, vice president of printing at Franklin Covey Co.

At the meeting, keynoter Raymond A. Frick Jr., CEO and president of The Lehigh Press, pointed out a number of significant differences between the printing industry in the 1980s and the current industry.

He observed that revenue growth in the printing industry continues to approximate that of the gross domestic product. Also, he predicted that service distinctiveness will be the key to future success in the industry, and that well managed smaller- and medium-sized printers will enjoy continued success, as they offer focused and flexible printing services.

Finally, Frick indicated that the industry can be expected to continue to experience consolidation, observing that the process is only approximately half completed.

A key panel at the conference focused on closed-loop color control, with three users describing their success with this phase of automation. Printers and publishers who were represented in the program and described their experiences in a number of areas included: Action Printing; Arandell Corp.; Berlin Industries; Bowne Printing; Courier Graphics; R.R. Donnelley & Sons; Franklin Covey; The Lehigh Press; Motheral Printing; Publishers Press; Quad/ Graphics; Quebecor World; Sandy Alexander; L.P. Thebault; and Woodruff Printing.

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