Accident Sets Bill in Motion

The House Committee on Education and Labor passed H.R. 5522, the “Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire Prevention Act.” The bill was introduced in March following the explosion at the Imperial Sugar plant in Georgia, which resulted in tragic workplace deaths and injuries. Unfortunately, in its rush to respond legislatively to this disaster, the Committee introduced the bill regulating combustible dust hazards to include a broad array of industries, including printing and graphic communications. Additionally, this bill uses legislation to mandate that OSHA promulgate rules within a compressed time frame, condensing the regulatory process to the point that industry has less input, and assessments

ACROSS the Nation

Perfecting Press Doubles Production BRAINTREE, MA—A six-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 102 perfector press with aqueous coater has been added at G.H. Dean Printing, and it has been twice as productive as the older press it replaced, reports CEO Ken Michaud. The new machine, which is the second six-color SM 102 perfector at G.H. Dean, is turning a lot more jobs in a shorter time due to the high degree of automation. Founded in 1889, the all-Heidelberg shop is a third-generation, family owned commercial printing and direct mail business that serves a regional clientele comprised of advertising agencies, marketing, financial services and healthcare companies,


Miniature Folding Work No Longer Outsourced, Now a Value-Added Service LEBANON, NH—Whitman Communications no longer has to outsource projects that require very small folds for packaging inserts. The commercial printer installed a new two-station Vijuk-G&K V-14 commercial/miniature folder that will now keep those projects in-house. “I’m delighted to have added the folder to our equipment selection,” says Steve Whitman, president. “This new piece of equipment has created additional options for the types of folds and papers that our customers can choose from. I was also particularly pleased with the installation and training support we received.” Trio of Saddlestitchers Big Hit at Olympic BROADVIEW, IL—Faster

Bush Pays Visit to VA Printer

STERLING, VA—President Bush dropped in on ColorCraft of Virginia on March 28, touting how businesses like the printer’s will be able to benefit from his recently passed economic stimulus package. Bush was given a tour of the facility by ColorCraft CEO Jim Mayes, who pointed out to the president other machinery that was purchased during previous stimulus acts. “ColorCraft is a small, thriving business that will benefit from the stimulus package that the Congress passed earlier this year,” said Bush, who also noted that the company’s employees would benefit greatly from the relief checks, which will be mailed starting in May. “...if Jim decides

Curbing Price Quote Chaos —Morgan

I’VE LONG held the belief that print buyers send their print projects out to bid too frequently. A seasoned print buyer typically knows which of his or her suppliers is best for a particular job, so why do many buyers bid out each of their print projects to an average of three printers? Our team at Print Buyers Online.com decided to get to the bottom of this by reviewing data generated from our popular Quick Polls. Here is what we learned from the people who provided both qualitative and quantitative data in our popular surveys. Printers Lower Their Prices: In a Quick Poll

Deserving a Fresh Start —Cagle

THE BIGGEST news story of 2008 has also produced one of the most deplorable subplots of the year. As you are all well aware by now, Quebecor World finds itself fighting to stay in business, having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, as well as reorganizational protection in Canada. While the prognosis appears good that the company will survive, there has been some negative fallout. Several clients have left or are considering leaving the Montreal-based printer, putting printing in the hands of Quebecor World’s competitors. Business is business, you might say, and print buyers have to act in their

DG3 Is Acquired by Arsenal Capital

NEW YORK—Private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired Diversified Global Graphics Group (DG3). Arsenal and the company’s executive team, led by CEO Dr. Michael Cunningham, acquired DG3 in a proprietary transaction directly from Peter Furlonge, the majority shareholder and former chairman. Furlonge will remain with the company and has made an investment in DG3. “Our new partnership with Arsenal will provide us with additional resources that will help us capture the many opportunities that exist to further penetrate global end markets and broaden service offerings to include higher value process and technology-oriented products and services,” Cunningham said in a statement. Cunningham founded


No Waffling on Drupa Plans GHENT, BELGIUM—This country’s comparatively small size belies its standing as a home to major graphic arts industry vendors, with Agfa Graphics, Punch Graphix (Xeikon) and EskoArtwork among the companies based here. That’s why the global series of pre-show media briefings being held in the lead-up to Drupa recently included a stop in Ghent, with side trips to Mortsel and Antwerp. As a backdrop for Agfa Graphics’ Drupa plans, Stefaan Vanhooren, president, noted that the company’s recent “de-merger” had given it a better focus and a stronger identity, but the industry is facing challenges. While overall print volume is still

Economic Stimulus Package — Time to Act: Now

SOME PUNDITS have called it “window dressing,” and others have termed it a last ditch effort to put a positive spin on the back end of what will become President Bush’s legacy. All politics aside, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (H.R. 5140), which the president signed into law in late February, is intended to pump life into an economy that is bordering on—if not already wallowing in—a recession. Beginning this month, taxpayers will begin receiving between $300 and $600, depending on marital status, and $300 per child with limits based upon household income. Thus a working married couple with two children and a

Foreign Competition Dooms Stinehour

LUNENBURG, VT—Citing an inability to compete with cheaper foreign production costs, The Stinehour Press closed its doors April 7, leaving 21 people without work. Stinehour CEO Warren Bingham said the book printing company could not afford the $3 million investment in digital printing technology required to remain competitive. “We’re a quality standard that others are judged by,” Bingham told the Burlington (VT) Free Press. “It’s ironic that we would be in a position where we are seen by many as the best in the world, but we’re not able to succeed in the economy,” he added. The Stinehour Press is working with the Vermont

Goss Gears Up for Drupa

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY—Just as sheetfed press manufacturers continue to swim upstream with advancements designed to help their customers capture jobs in run lengths once considered best suited for web offset printing, Goss International is paddling downstream by demonstrating an all-new web press concept in Hall 17 at Drupa this month to enable users to compete for high-quality sheetfed work. The M-600 Folia web press system is engineered with M-600 printing units and new sheeter technology for running speeds of up to 30,000 sph. The new sheeter, developed in partnership with Vits, enables web offset printing on coated paper stocks with standard sheetfed inks, but without

GPO Defends Outsourcing Choices

WASHINGTON, DC—The Government Printing Office (GPO) fired back at a series of stories that appeared recently in the Washington Times regarding security concerns for electronic passports produced outside the country, as well as the accusation that the amount of profits GPO reaped exceeded limits by law. According to the paper, the GPO chose two European computer chip makers to produce millions of electronic passports. The passports are being assembled in Thailand by a company that was allegedly a victim of Chinese economic espionage, the report said. In its response, the GPO said there weren’t any U.S. companies that manufactured integrated circuits which met ICAO


‘Green Printer’ Criteria Determined INDIANAPOLIS—The Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership revealed at the recent National Environmental Health and Safety (NEHS) conference the criteria on how to become a sustainable, green printer. Printers that meet these requirements and are verified will be listed on the SGP Partnership Registry Website. There are two categories of SGP registration. The first is Candidate Pending Verification (CPV), which will give a facility a 12-month timeframe in which to meet all criteria for becoming an SGP Printer. Facilities that already meet the crieria can bypass the CPV category and apply for recognition under the SGP Printer category. Among other requirements,

Hip, New ColorMunki —Sherburne

I HAVE written before about the value of using your color expertise as a market differentiator and marketing tool. A recent announcement from our friends at Pantone potentially adds another tool to your arsenal in this regard. ColorMunki (you have to love the name!) is a unique and affordable color management tool targeted at the design community. For many designers, the whole issue of color management as it relates to print can be somewhat of a mystery, resulting in the provision of files that may not print accurately. ColorMunki is a tool that you can bring to the attention of your design customers—or even

Hot Markets Update — Summer Hot Spots

SPRINGING FORTH from winter recession grayness is summer recovery greenery. Inflation and foreign investment are the fertilizers, and are very positive for printing—via marketing materials or money itself. We, as with all custom manufacturers, pass along increased direct costs and, then, use cheaper-dollar revenues to pay down balances on imported machinery. “Paper profits” (including profits on paper itself) also take on weed-like life. Happily, there are six blossoming, long hot summer categories ripe for the picking, while competitors watch the grass grow. Five of these directly relate to what people (you know, the “consumers”) do during warm months and long days. They eat,

KBA Offers ‘Complete’ Package

RADEBEUL, GERMANY—You have to give Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) a lot of credit. When it wants to throw a coming-out party for new presses or capabilities, KBA certainly displays a flair for the dramatic. When the smoke had cleared from the pomp and circumstance of its pre-demonstration entertainment—which included an eclectic mix of dancers, a juggler, a man on stilts and an opera singer against a backdrop of colorful lasers—KBA gave 200 worldwide journalists a taste of its newer offerings heading into this month’s Drupa exhibition. KBA literally had to wait for the smoke to clear to start its Rapida 162 packaging press;

Mailing & Fulfillment — Five Steps to Become an MSP

WHEN I owned my own fulfillment center in the Dallas area in the ’80s and early ’90s, I wondered why printers were not embracing mailing and fulfillment services as an extension of their business. Actually, I was looking over my shoulder, dreading the time when the giant woke up and understood the importance of these ancillary services to the growth of their businesses. Fortunately, the introduction of new technology and Web-based products kept the majority of printers busy enough not to infringe on our sacred mailing and fulfillment territory. There were some printing industry innovators, such as Jim Schultz at Great Lakes Integrated and

Mailing & Fulfillment — Maximizing Postal Discounts

THERE WILL come a day, sometime soon, when print buyers will come to respect the value that direct mail printers bring to the table in a consulting capacity. As for now, many printers have to be scratching their heads and wondering, “Where’s the love?” Or, better yet, why the lowball? This ain’t a commodity, pal. “I had a client who told me that my printing price was a little higher than the competition’s,” notes Paul Nichols, president of Tulsa, OK-based CP Solutions, a Consolidated Graphics company. So Nichols made the customer a tongue-in-cheek offer: He would print and mail the job for the price

Mailing & Fulfillment — ‘Move Update’ Moves Forward

IN RECENT months, many have seen articles and announcements that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is implementing new strategies to control operational costs. Most of us have heard a great deal about the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) and the struggles over its implementation. Additionally, we have been distracted by the postage rate increase of May 2007 and the impending increase of May 2008. Unnoticed by most is an approaching issue that will have a much greater impact on the direct mail industry than either rate increase or the IMB. USPS requirements for Move Updating of address lists for First Class Mail claiming presort

Mailing & Fulfillment — Defeating ‘Do-Not-Mail’ Laws

“MAIL MOVES America and Printing Powers Prosperity.” This statement epitomizes NPES’ commitment to leadership in the mailing and fulfillment industry, where related companies and associations have formed a coalition to maintain the vitality of printed communication as a key structural component of the American economy. Initially, Mail Moves America was formed to counter so-called “Do-Not-Mail” legislation in various states, which attempts to curtail, if not eliminate, mail delivery of direct commercial communication. This remains the principal focus of the coalition in 2008, which has successfully opposed Do-Not-Mail efforts in a number of states so far this year. • The importance of Printed Communication and

Mailing & Fulfillment — Looming Changes for Mailers

BABY BOOMERS may remember the poster (also used in IBM ads) that preached “plan ahead,” but illustrated the result of doing the opposite. As 2008 moves along, looking at the changes ahead facing the mailing industry, the advice again may be to “plan ahead,” but do better than shown in the poster. Mailers can expect several significant events over the next year, stretching into early 2009: • A rate case, or “price adjustment” as they’re now called, this month; • Implementation of tighter “Move Update” standards in November; • Phase-out of more postage meter models by the end of 2008; and • Implementation of

New Photovoltaics and Printed Electronics by Ink-jet - Japan/USA

New opportunities for printing electronics include: polymer solar film (pictured left); flexible polymer-based lighting; electronic books printed polymer backplanes; transparent solar cells; flexible electronics and batteries; paper-like products; disposable diagnostic devices; intelligent packaging and large area electronics. That was the message of Fujifilm Dimatix at the world’s largest conference and exhibition on printed electronics in Dresden Germany in April. This was the Printed Electronics Europe event of IDTechEx. It will now be leapfrogged by the sister event Printed Electronics USA in San Jose, CA being even bigger. Chuck Griggs, VP Applications Engineering of Fujifilm Dimatix, Inc. saw the advantages of inkjet as non-contact and


Channel Surfing for Customers THIS TIME, it’s for real. It, in this case, being multi-channel marketing. For years, printers have been hearing about opportunities for growth by expanding beyond ink (or toner) on paper. Computers and digital prepress were supposed to have spawned a multimedia services market for publication and catalog printers, among others. Content was to be repurposed for distribution on CD-ROM and later put online. The Internet gave rise to the cross-media concept, which has been partly realized, yet fallen short of the predicted revolution. Printed catalogs have been found to be an effective mechanism for driving shoppers online. Conversely, retailers typically

Presstek Announces UV Printing Option for Presstek DI Presses

HUDSON, NH—May 1, 2008—Presstek, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRST), the leading manufacturer and marketer of digital offset printing business solutions, today announced that it will be introducing a UV printing option for the Presstek 52DI and 34DI digital offset presses at drupa, the world’s largest printing trade show scheduled for May 29th through June 11th, 2008, at the Messe Düsseldorf in Germany. More than 400,000 visitors from 122 countries are expected to attend this show where Presstek will be showcasing the UV option on the Presstek 52DI in Hall 04, Stand A55. “Printing with UV waterless inks on Presstek’s DI presses expands Presstek’s opportunity to provide

Printer Gets Sued Over Accident

HUNTINGTON, WV—Chapman Printing has been taken to court by one of its employees who was injured when his hand became stuck in a press. Michael Brown filed suit in Kanawha Circuit Court, claiming that while he was making repairs on a Heidelberg Speedmaster, his supervisor started the press, states The West Virginia Record. Brown’s hand was caught in the rollers and crushed, according to the suit. Brown says he has suffered severe disfigurement and physical injuries from the March 2006 incident, which also caused serious emotional distress, the Record reported. The suit claims that Chapman Printing caused an unsafe working condition and Brown