Blogs

Inspiring Leadership and Employee Engagement Get the Most Out of Your Team

Face it, we read about and experience a level of employee engagement in the printing industry that is much less than desired.

Durst and Koenig & Bauer Partner to Make Digital Printers for Folding Cartons and Corrugated

Durst Phototechnik and Koenig & Bauer are making production-level digital printers for both folding carton and corrugated applications.

Two Questions for the Crazy Busy

That great month you are having is rare and exciting and stressful and profitable. It also has Bill asking you two questions.

Other Staff Bloggers
Training and Education

Face it, we read about and experience a level of employee engagement in the printing industry that is much less than desired.

The faculty educates students on the importance of the paper and print industry and the unique sustainable features of paper products.

Use the years of accumulated finishing experience of your most senior people to train your new people, before they head out the door.

Digital Printing - Production Inkjet

Durst Phototechnik and Koenig & Bauer are making production-level digital printers for both folding carton and corrugated applications.

The 7th annual Inkjet Summit kicked off yesterday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with more than 300 attendees.

HID provides a unique chance to see a wide range of applications that many printers might miss in online searches or in giant shows.

Business Management

That great month you are having is rare and exciting and stressful and profitable. It also has Bill asking you two questions.

The management method to ensure employee accountability AND keep hard feelings in check, is the “check” itself.

The injection of capital from Siris should allow EFI to execute more rapidly on key strategic initiatives.

Interactive Print

Here are a few examples of what marketers are doing to optimize the print/mobile customer experience and maximize marketing spend.

Printers have barely begun exploiting interactive print and more importantly, to sell the concepts to their customers.

Direct mail is a very effective marketing channel; however, when you add a mobile element such as AR to it, you can skyrocket results.

Mailing/Fulfillment

Over time, mail pieces become boring and less effective, because we end up repeating the same formats.

When you combine your direct mail with digital marketing, you enhance it and drive better results.

Looking at direct mail through the lens of targeting by generation can be instrumental in increasing your response rates.

Data Management

When it comes to VDP, most printers accept what they get from customers. But should they improve the data to increase effectiveness?

Big data is part of a larger solution, but the real power lies in using the right data. Here are some fundamental principles for PSPs.

Two weeks back, two hearings in Congress were held about a possible forthcoming new federal data privacy law for the United States.

Finishing

Hunkeler Innovationdays proved to be the magnet for digital print and finishing vendors, as well as attendees from around the world.

If you’re a sign shop or large format business, you won’t be averse to the idea of driving increased profit, right?

2019 will throw challenges (and opportunities) at print. Here are three critical trends impacting the finishing side.

Color/Quality Control

Gina Ferrara digs deeper into her research with Madison Advisors on color migration and digital delivery.

The use of CMYK+ is poised for moderate page volume growth, based on several factors.

The perception of color is dependent on three distinct variables — the light source, the object and the receiver.

Software

On demand production print DFEs emerged in the late ’90s, but how have they evolved and what can printers expect in the future?

Barb Pellow discusses how Alexander’s Print Advantage changed its course and reached an exciting and profitable destination.

Are you frustrated with your current software? Here are some tips for finding the right solution for your business.

Binding

Don Piontek shares some of the diverse finishing applications and systems he’s come across in his career.

During a recent trade show, Don Piontek looked for the newest finishing technology and he found innovations in mechanical binding.

In the search for new finishing developments, Don Piontek received a LinkedIn press release alert on something called “Vpaper.”

Digital Printing - Wide Format

The billboard might be the descendant of one the oldest forms of human advertising but it’s proving to the perfect partner for digital.

Each year, EFI hosts its customers, partners, media and analysts at its signature event, EFI Connect.

In a short period of time, Ricoh has built an impressive portfolio of high-speed rollfed inkjet presses and cut-sheet toner presses, software, plus a line of services that include color management and workflow analysis. Ricoh continues to invest in this market.

Consumables - Paper

At the beginning of 2019, buyers of publication grades will be paying about 25% more for paper than they did just 18 months earlier.

Did you know that paper absorbs moisture in the air, which can impact quality? Here’s a short guide on paper in relation to humidity.

Understanding your carbon footprint can decrease your consumption of energy and materials, reducing your carbon emissions.

Digital Printing - Toner

Xerox recently unveiled the Iridesse. Now that the glitter has settled, there are a few questions to explore about its possibilities.

The grapevine has been ripe the past weeks, but now the news is finally out. Fujifilm has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the majority holding of Xerox Corporation and will merge Fuji Xerox with Xerox.

With Canon’s announcement of the Océ VarioPrint 6000 Titan, it’s a good time to revisit the cut-sheet monochrome digital market.

Consumables - General

We have seen lots of advances in adhesives for bookbinding over the years, with PUR (polyurethane reactive) adhesive being the last major game changer. But there is now a revived interest in protein-based adhesives.

 

Quick! Name two consumables that are indispensable to operation in the bindery. If you named adhesives as one, you'd be on the mark. But...if you included knives, (yes, they are a consumable), you would be quite savvy. Cutting and trimming are part of almost every finishing operation. And the quality of those cuts are essential to the quality of the finished product.

Adhesives are widely used in finishing, this includes perfect binding, folding, mailing, and folding carton applications. And coatings and various chemical solutions are used in the digital print process to both enhance image quality and make the paper more "finishing-friendly." Both chemistry and environmental control have a lot to do with systems performance.

Offset Printing

OK, I digress from my usual finishing tech. discussion this week. Although I’m on the digital finishing side, I spent enough time in the high-volume offset world to become quite familiar with publication, periodical and catalog production.

We were in Japan last month, and as luck would have it, we were there at the same time that Komori held an open house to showcase its newest digital print solutions. This international event took place at Komori’s facility in Tsukuba, Japan, and drew hundreds of attendees from all over the Asia Pacific region. It also provided the opportunity to showcase its Impremia IS29, a B2-format, sheetfed, UV inkjet printer.

In a sense, Berlin Industries was once the king of Chicago. Last week, the remaining assets were auctioned off. If you were there, you could have purchased a Heidelberg Sunday M3000 five-unit web press for a mere $47,000.

Digital Printing - Digital Offset

What follows is an interview with Rosemarie Breske Garvey, VP at Blooming Color in Lombard, Ill. Blooming Color is doing some pretty spectacular work beyond traditional four-color printing and I wanted to learn more.

Dscoop is part tradeshow and part education event, with an agenda that included A-List keynotes and mentalist Lior Suchard as emcee. The sessions were the expected array of customer success stories, successful selling solutions and product reviews, but there were also a variety of sessions covering finishing, packaging and 3D printing.

A young designer I spoke to the other day was very frank about the fact that she did not like digital printing because you could only print on white paper. Granted there are some print providers that prefer to print on white coated stock all day long (digital or offset, it does not matter to them). And these few give our whole industry a bad reputation.

Mergers and Acquisitions

It looked like a good fit. The seller, unfortunately, didn’t see it that way.

As a trade association president, I knew that one of my most important jobs was to offer our members a friendly, well informed, third-party perspective on strategic business issues. Today, our New Direction Partners clients want the same thing: not just information about the mechanics of M&As, but also a genuine understanding of the industry and the mindsets of the people who own those companies.

For many years, I had the privilege of serving in leadership positions with Printing Industries of New England (PINE), the largest printing trade association in the Northeast. Then as now, I was greatly impressed by the resiliency of our members and their ability to adapt to changing business circumstances.

Consumables - Ink

Slowing down and following a "Best Practices" method to paper trials and qualification will save you time and ink costs by focusing on ink and paper surface compatibility. As your cost for a better inkjet paper and print quality go up, your ink usage should go down. But only if there are best practices in place.

The fifth housing station in the upgraded Xerox 800i/1000i series can now also deliver metallic inks: gold and silver.