UPS Store Taking 3-D Printing to Nearly 100 Locales
SAN DIEGO—Following the successful launch of 3-D printing in six markets across the country, The UPS Store is expanding 3-D printing services to nearly 100 additional locations nationwide to meet the growing demands of its small business customers.
As the first nationwide retailer to offer 3-D printing services in-store, in collaboration with Stratasys, The UPS Store continues to evolve its services to better meet the needs of small business owners. During the past year, the six locations that served as part of a test run saw demand for 3-D printing continue to increase across a broad spectrum of customers.
This upward trend is in line with the 3-D printing industry, which also experienced rapid growth. In fact, the 3-D print service provider sector increased by 21 percent last year, according to “The Wohlers Report 2014.”
During the 2013 pilot program, the 3-D printing services were used by small businesses, startups, inventors, artists and a wide range of professionals to transform their ideas into reality.
The Stratasys uPrint SE Plus, selected by The UPS Store, is a professional-grade 3-D printer designed to produce complex engineering parts, prototypes and one-of-a-kind objects. The heated build chamber and soluble supports allow entrepreneurs, engineers, home inventors and makers to produce parts true to their designs.
“There are significant differences between home 3D printers and professional 3D printers,” said Daniel Remba, small business technology leader at The UPS Store. “Many of the challenging and time-consuming steps used to prepare a simpler printer are fully automated on the uPrint SE Plus, leading to added precision and reliability, higher print quality and a success rate that is unmatched by a home printer.”
Ricoh Continuous-Feed Press Targets Offset Transition
MALVERN, PA—Ricoh Americas announced its newest continuous-feed platform, the Ricoh Pro VC60000, marking a milestone in the evolution of its production inkjet printing portfolio. The new system, coupled with Ricoh’s software offerings, enables a more rapid shift from offset to digital as commercial printers focus on data-driven applications and workflows requiring high-performance color inkjet presses with vibrant print quality and increased media flexibility.
The Ricoh Pro VC60000, capable of producing more than 100,000 letter images per hour, provides a function-rich total solution for customers new to digital color, and for those already using digital print but wanting to consolidate and streamline their operations. This model joins several other offerings being announced in the lead-up to GRAPH EXPO 14 in Chicago this Sunday, where many of Ricoh’s offerings will be on display in booth #1931.
The 2014 Must See 'Ems award-winning Ricoh Pro VC60000—expected to begin shipping in early 2015—uses Ricoh’s next generation drop-on-demand print heads and high-density pigment inks, resulting from its 25 years of experience in developing core inkjet technologies. These new print heads are capable of physical resolutions up to 1,200x1,200 dots per inch. Utilizing the Ricoh Pro VC60000’s variable drop technology, customers can produce near-offset quality documents. With the optional undercoat unit, commercial printers can run a variety of offset coated gloss stocks with output quality comparable to what they expect from offset devices. An optional inline protector coating unit provides scratch and scuff resistance to protect critical documents.
“The Ricoh Pro VC60000 is important for the industry because it’s going to help the offset printing community transition to becoming more efficient. Its print quality will provide customers with the ability to shift jobs to digital that frankly haven’t been profitable on offset,” said Marco Boer, vice president at IT Strategies. “It will help commercial printers, in-plants and service bureaus to compress run lengths and operate more cost-effectively, while maintaining high quality at a throughput that wasn’t viable until today. This will change many printers’ perceptions of inkjet quality for the better.”
Huge Fire Strikes Cascades' Paper Mills in New York
NIAGARA FALLS, NY—A raging blaze struck Cascades’ Greenpac and Norampac paperboard mills here last Saturday, injuring three firefighters, according to The Buffalo News.
It took 13 volunteer fire departments and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station to bring the fire—which was still smoldering two days later—under control. The Norampac facility suffered extensive damage, while the Greenpac mill was said to be minimally impacted.
While damage is estimated to be in the millions of dollars, the newspaper noted that firefighters were able to battle back the flames and salvage the $463 million Greenpac paper mill. Dry conditions and high winds enabled the flames to jump from paper stack to paper stack. Hot spots caused the fire to flare again on Sunday.
Perspectives from Print Buyers in the Digital (Printing) Age (Free Webinar Still Available On-Demand)
PHILADELPHIA—September 26, 2014—In the "Truth from the Trenches: Print Buyers in the Digital (Printing) Age" Webinar, recently presented by Printing Impressions and sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Debra Trautman, vice president of Synergent; Jeff Dickerson, procurement specialist at State Farm Insurance; and Charlie Webster, senior manager of print production, Starbucks Coffee, discussed what they seek from their printing and marketing services providers; and how printers become long-term partners, and not just commodity services providers. The lively discussion was moderated by Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions.
The print buyers shared their perspectives on what impact on-demand digital printing technology is having on their marketing communications programs and buying habits, and why variable data capabilities are becoming increasingly important. They also discussed how they like to be approached by printing salespeople from companies with which they're not doing business, and the need for printers to be thought leaders on how to reproduce jobs more efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition, they stressed the importance for printers to keep them abreast of emerging, interactive print technologies, like Augmented Reality (AR).
Trautman noted that Synergent—a technology company that provides core processing, payment systems and targeted direct marketing and statement processing to credit unions—relies on direct mail and e-mail marketing. "Today, we are using digital media along with direct marketing and regional advertising, to reach out to credit union decision-makers. For example, we might use a direct mail piece with an LCD video to show how our staff works side-by-side, and how combining print and digital can also help credit unions with their business objectives." She also described a current job incorporating AR.
Dickerson pointed out that digital printing has become more important to State Farm Insurance. "We place QR codes on our business cards, and it downloads contact information or redirects clients to an agent's Website. We also plan to introduce business cards that are NFC-enabled."
Due to the large number of Starbucks storefronts in the United States and Canada, Webster said that most of the printed material he procures is printed litho, however, a number of test promotions are done throughout the year that make digital printing more practical. Webster's unit also supports all other Starbucks brands such as Teavana, La Boulange, Evolution Fresh and Seattle's Best Coffee.
"As a team of 14, only about four or five of us actually source the projects we support," he explained. "The balance support the print production for packaging, such as coffee bags, RTD bottles/cans and other food and product packaging. We source the printing for in-store signage, related marketing materials, and training and back-of-house materials. "
The more than 800 Webinar registrants reported positive feedback. Here are just a few of the comments:
"It was really helpful to hear everything straight from the print buyers' mouths; from a first-hand perspective."
"It was good to hear specific advice from buyers on what they look for in a print provider."
"The Webinar reinforced some points I have been making with my sales staff, but gave it to them from the buyer's point of view."
"Hearing the comments about relying on printers as thought leaders and collaborators on a print job was helpful, as well as the reminder that print providers need to listen to a customer's needs first."
Click here to register and watch the Webinar on-demand now.
Think Patented Inks Deal to Obtain Chisano Marketing
MIAMISBURG, OH—Think Patented has entered into an agreement to acquire Chisano Marketing Communications, an integrated marketing services company founded in 1986. Chisano provides marketing consultation, digital printing, fulfillment and other solutions.
Approximately 20 Chisano Marketing employees will move from the firm's Miamisburg office to Think Patented’s new 75,000-square-foot facility, also in Miamisburg. The integration of both companies will take place over the next two to three months.
Think Patented’s capabilities include offset and digital printing, direct mail services, literature and product fulfillment, as well as Website development and integration. This transaction accelerates Think Patented’s strategic plan for growth in marketing fulfillment and technology integration.
"Chisano Marketing’s proprietary fulfillment software solution has made them a leader in literature fulfillment programs," said Ken McNerney, Think Patented CEO and managing partner. "Companies with extensive national requirements have benefited from utilizing these solutions. Incorporating this technology will add depth to our existing product offerings."
Chisano Marketing’s client roster includes local and national companies across a wide range of industries. "Chisano Marketing’s clients have come to expect outstanding service," noted Niels Winther, chairman and managing partner. "We are excited about the opportunity to continue providing exceptional service to these organizations. Additionally, Chisano Marketing will bring a wealth of industry talent to our organization."
Chisano Marketing owners, Tom and Carolyn Chisano, will continue to provide account supervision during a transition period. Greg Doherty, Chisano Marketing’s general manager, will bring 30-plus years of printing and fulfillment expertise to Think Patented.
Chisano’s subsidiary, Chisano Marketing Group, located in Orlando, FL, will not be part of this acquisition. The subsidiary will continue to operate as a standalone organization.
Envelope Specialist JBM Adds manroland R700
LEBANON, OH—Continuing its focus on delivering meaningful, unique solutions for customers, JBM has installed a manroland R700 direct drive sheetfed offset press that provides color management, quick changeovers and fast net run rates. This new technology will enable JBM to continue to serve the niche envelope industry.
Founded nearly 30 years ago, JBM Envelope now produces a wide range of specialty envelopes, with more than six million envelopes manufactured daily. However, the business is changing with the times. When Marcus Sheanshang, president ant CEO, took over the business in 2008, his vision was to revolutionize the niche paper envelope business in a world that is evolving.
Under the newly formed JBM Packaging division, Sheanshang and the JBM team developed new products that range from artistic seed packets to folding drinking cups. All of these new product developments are predicated on the need to reinvent the manufacturing process to meet customer demand.
"In an ever-changing business environment, manufacturing companies must drive innovations centered on the voice of the customer," Sheanshang said. "Manufacturing companies can no longer rely on status quo for running their business, but instead must constantly improve their best practices. Investing in the new manroland not only provides greater capacity and functionality to deliver faster, more creative and efficient solutions for our customers, but also allows us to expand the products that we offer to a broader base of customers."