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Williamson Printing -- In Full Bloom

November 2004
By Erik Cagle

Senior Editor

Sure, the calendar says November, but there's little doubt that spring is in the air for the commercial printing industry.

One of the sure signs of an economic thawing in the United States is the spending confidence being showcased by some of the industry's biggest players. Williamson Printing, of Dallas, is one such company leading the charge out of the post 9/11 funk.

Jerry and Jesse Williamson are two of the most well-known figures in printing—virtual celebrities in their profession. Both have more than 35 years of experience.

The brain trust at Williamson Printing: Jerry Williamson (standing), chairman and CEO, and brother Jesse Williamson, company president.
Jerry Williamson, the chairman and CEO, is a member of the Printing Impressions/ RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame and a 2003 winner of the Web Offset Association's Harry Quadracci Vision Award. His brother, Jesse Williamson, is president of the company and the operations guru of the dynamic duo.

Together, the Williamsons rung in a new era of printing when they traveled to Drupa in Germany this past spring for more than just tire kicking and window shopping. They completely overhauled their sheetfed offset press arsenal with the acquisition of four new presses, including:

* One of the first Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105s in the country, an eight-color machine.

* A pair of 12-color Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 102 perfectors to replace an 11-color and an eight-color. One of the new presses is equipped with a coater, PC2S and CutStar; the other features a coater and UV interdeck drying capabilities.

* A unique eight-color Speedmaster CD 102 Duo press equipped with three coaters, four dryers and an extended delivery.

The first press is slated for delivery in December, with the subsequent three touching down in February, April and May. Williamson is expanding its sheetfed pressroom to over 20,000 square feet to accommodate the longer presses.

For a company that's constantly looking for an edge, and pushing its own research and development people to find more ways to enhance processes, the four-press splurge by Williamson Printing is a significant vote of confidence in how well 2005 should shape up.

"The industry was already in a slump at the start of 2001," notes Jerry Williamson. "When 9/11 hit, it really knocked the legs out from underneath us. Our sales dropped about 25 percent. We're not back to where we were before, but we're making good progress.

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