Fort Dearborn

Materials Handling--The Final Frontier
June 1, 1998

BY CHERYL A. ADAMS As the "black hole" of the printing process, where no value is added to a product—only costs—and profits simply disappear, the automation of materials handling is the final frontier for reducing operating costs and increasing productivity. Several jetsetting printers are already light years ahead in battling the war over back-end inefficiency, where materials are handled excessively, being picked up and moved from here to there. Companies like R.R. Donnelley, World Color and Banta have invested in legions of robotics—armed with hydraulics, pneumatics, laser-guidance systems, sensors and scanners—to save time, space, manpower and money. However, many printers are hesitant to

Expanding the Sheetfed Operation?More Than the Metal
February 1, 1998

There are certain rules in the commercial printing industry commonly referred to as sacred—meaning, DO NOT TOUCH, DO NOT REINVENT, DO NOT DEGRADE, DO NOT MANGLE. In other words... If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Once upon a time, that was the popular view of sheetfed printing. Today, sheetfed offset presses allow users to print high-quality work more easily than ever before. But with ease, with productivity, comes a high and mighty cost. Competition. Without question, the sheetfed marketplace is demanding greater productivity through the application of technological enhancements, which result in improved print quality, increased equipment flexibility, improved integration of prepress, press