Graphic Arts

MIS--Automation Preparation
September 1, 1998

BY JERRY JANDA Phil Ruggles, a Cal Poly State University professor and consultant specializing in management information systems, estimates that this year there are approximately 70 vendors selling computer management systems to the graphic arts industry. As of yet, no vendors sell software that makes selecting, and integrating, a computer management system any easier. Ruggles notes that there is no easy way to determine which computer management system is best for a given company—there are simply too many variables to allow for a quick choice. Research and study by the printer are essential. And at the end of the research process, it is unlikely

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

Industry Vendors Dominate Headlines
May 1, 1998

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT—Normally, it's the printer side of the business that makes most of the news. But in recent weeks, the noise has been coming from the supplier side. Here's an overview of the changes in the supplier landscape in the past weeks: * Gerber Scientific has agreed to sell its Gerber Systems unit to BARCO Graphics, the U.S. arm of BARCO of Belgium, for an undisclosed cash payment and royalties on future sales of certain products. Gerber Systems had sales of approximately $45 million in fiscal year 1997, but had been incurring losses in the CTP business recently, Gerber officials say. Gerber's Graphic Arts

McIlroy--HDIA - New Name, New Concerns
April 1, 1998

They're on their third incarnation, and going strong. It's the Heidelberg Digital Imaging Association (HDIA), formerly the Linotype-Hell Users Group, formerly the Hell Users Group. Comprising users of (former) Hell ChromaCom systems and scanners, (former) Linotype imagesetters and systems, and Heidelberg DI presses, the group appeared vibrant and prosperous at its mid-February annual meeting, held near Heidelberg USA headquarters in Atlanta. With all the troubles that have befallen the Scitex Graphic Arts Users Association in recent years, the HDIA has become the largest and most successful of the remaining graphic arts users groups. Attending (and speaking at) the Atlanta meeting, I thought it immediately apparent

First Thermal Plate Tests at Tech Alert '98
March 1, 1998

PITTSBURGH—Attendees here at the recent fifth annual Tech Alert conference, sponsored by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), witnessed the first detailed study comparing CTP-exposed thermal plates. GATF designed a special digital test image for this test. The image contained vignettes and gray backgrounds to show anomalies such as banding, streaks and inconsistent imaging. There was no real difference among any plates in dot imaging consistency. The Kodak DITP, Fuji LH-P and Fuji LH-N plates had the broadest highlight to shadow dot range of 0.5 percent to 98 percent on the printed samples. The difference among the remaining plates was not appreciable. These same

CIP3?The Task of Automating Print
February 1, 1998

The second installment of Printing Impressions' year-long CIP3 report profiles the activities of Scitex, most notably its InkPRO, and shares the prepress technology provider's take on full digital workflow integration. At Scitex America, Leigh Kimmelman believes that CIP3, in theory, is conceptually sound in its mission to automate production processes from prepress to postpress. As product marketing manager for output imaging systems, Kimmelman must track CIP3 activities and increase market awareness of the latest Scitex CIP3 technologies. Kimmelman has been one busy guy, as has his CIP3 European counterpart, Les Bovenlander, marketing manager/commercial printers, for Scitex. Bovenlander is instrumental in overseeing the implementation of Scitex's CIP3

PIA/GATF Summit Looks at Industry M&As
January 1, 1998

BOCA RATON, FL—The recent PIA/GATF Graphic Arts Industry Summit drew 225 paid attendees to hear merger and acquisition strategies and case studies, and to honor industry leaders. Though the conference theme of "Buy, Sell, Merge, Grow" was directed toward the attendees, Ray Roper, PIA's president, and George Ryan, GATF's president, were paying close attention and taking their own notes. The consolidation of their organizations continues. Formal discussions were begun last November by the management and boards of both the PIA and GATF. The two organizations may join together, but the term "merger" is inappropriate. GATF is classified as a 501-C-3 educational foundation, and PIA

1st Quarter Paper Outlook
January 1, 1998

The winter months tend to signify the need for more—more clothing for facing frigid temperatures, more wood for the fire—and, this winter, if you happen to be a printer or publisher—a bit more money set aside for paper expenses. As predicted, the fourth quarter of '97 saw an average increase of about 3 percent—and another increase is set to go into effect the first of January. "This comes on top of a roughly 10-percent increase over the last nine months," notes Bruce Janis, president of MSPGA: Management Science for the Publishing and Graphic Arts (www. mspga. com). "We should see a

Digital File Transfer Get Yourself Connected
January 1, 1998

Once upon a time, electronic desktop publishing seemed miraculous. No more awkward cameras, no more messy paste-ups. Put all of your work on a disk, then overnight a package to the printer. Simple. Nowadays, electronic desktop is trite. Everybody's got it. Everybody's using it. And the ability to accept a disk delivered overnight doesn't impress print buyers who want their jobs yesterday. Today's removable media, such as SyQuests and Zips, may boast high memory capacity, but you can't ship them any faster than floppies. If you want quicker delivery, you need the speed of digital file transfer. Digital file transfer performs new miracles in