Jean-Marie Hershey

Jean-Marie Hershey
Sheetfed Offset, Web Offset, Digital : Defining Crossover Points

In static sheetfed, web offset and digital printing, the term “crossover” denotes the number of impressions at which a per-unit cost advantage can be gained by switching a job from one process to another. Technological advancements continue to enable companies that offer all or most of these processes to be competitive over a wider range of jobs, extending the run length crossover between processes.

Green Printing and Plastic: No Longer Strange Bedfellows

AS A society, we rely on plastic for its strength, resilience, flexibility, elasticity, durability and protective properties, characteristics that have not escaped the notice of print buyers and specifiers everywhere. As a result, many printers increasingly view printing on plastics as a way to differentiate themselves, while turning out products of higher value demanded by their customers—value they hope can be reflected in premium prices and higher profit margins.

A Cautionary Tale

OUR BELOVED printing industry is forever wrestling with economic uncertainty, while simultaneously marching in the vanguard of one technological revolution after another. Small wonder, then, that users of so-called “conventional” offset technologies have grown particularly adept at the kind of strategic logrolling that is an essential survival skill in this “pushmi-pullyu” business environment. In 2008, negative economic variables like the housing glut, the mortgage credit crisis, rising oil prices and a looming recession, along with print-positive developments like election-year spending, will have their respective down and up pressures on the offset sector. With the 2008 edition of the annual Offset and Beyond conference slated

UV Printing — Horse of a Different Color

THINK OF a sheetfed offset UV press as a chemistry set for grownups, complete with an ever-shifting set of variables and a hands-on learning curve. The upside of that curve is the license to print an endless range of special effects impossible to achieve with conventional inks and coatings. And the downside? There isn’t one, according to a growing number of practitioners that may have assayed the market with a vague notion of value-added, then stayed once it became apparent what a mastery of UV techniques could mean to their competitive position and their bottom line. UV printing is not for the faint

Substrate Options —‘Paper or Plastic?’

WHEN IT comes to printing on paper, the field is crowded and the competitive situation is intense. Commercial printers looking for ways to differentiate themselves have cast an eye on the market for printing on plastic as a way to add value and boost profits. Sales of UV-equipped presses are said to be on the rise, suggesting that more printers are working with plastic now than ever before. Even so, it would be an exaggeration to say that printing on plastic is sweeping the industry. This is not to say that printing on plastic isn’t an attractive opportunity with plenty of profit potential, but

Being ‘Green’ Pays Dividends

It wasn’t too many years ago that the phrase “green printer” evoked comparison with oxymorons like “Microsoft Works,” “a little pregnant” or “living dead.” But, oh, what a difference there is between then and now. Gone are the days when printing companies’ no-frills environmentalism meant doing only what was necessary to avoid inspections and fines. Historically a large-scale environmental offender with an outsize carbon footprint and a voracious appetite for fossil fuels, the printing industry has become increasingly aggressive when it comes to the environment, implementing voluntary programs that transcend basic compliance with environmental regulations, documenting and communicating their commitment to environmental quality to

Offset Technology: Never Say Die

WHAT CAN be said about the future of offset technologies? Well, plenty, and while news and views are mixed, there are many reasons to be optimistic. On the eve of the Web Offset Association’s “Offset and Beyond” 2007 55th Annual Management & Technical Conference, Printing Impressions spoke with a number of leading experts to learn where they think the offset sector is headed over the short and long term, and why. Offset Growth: An Oxymoron? Traditionally, the printing industry has tracked the GDP at a slightly higher rate. With the advent and growing popularity of color reproduction from the late 1980s through the early