ACROSS the Nation

Technology Drives Business Growth FALL CREEK, WI—Mail Source, a provider of integrated direct mail solutions, has added a Domino dual-head, drop-on-demand (DoD) imaging system to complement its existing capacity. This additional line can duplex personalize plastic cards at extremely high speeds using UV cured ink. The 20 year-old western Wisconsin company continues to invest millions of dollars in technology to attract high-volume business—without a sales staff (although it employs 100). For Mini Folds, the Smaller the Better NEW BRITAIN, CT—Connecticut Valley Bindery recently purchased a two-station Vijuk G&K V-14 SAF miniature folder with HHS hot glue system from Vijuk Equipment. “We are excited

Autobond to Takes Laminating to New Levels at GRAPH EXPO

HARTFORD, CT—September 1, 2008—The recent decision of UK manufacturer Autobond to incorporate different finishing processes within its laminators, means that the company will show one of its most versatile laminators ever at this year’s Graph Expo exhibition in Chicago, October 26th – 29th. The new Mini 76 TPE-H-FM is a thermal model that can laminate thin film one or both sides of the sheet in one pass plus edge seal work. In addition, it can produce floor graphics, pressure sensitive adhesive and jobs, such as fridge magnets and magnetic business cards, which require lamination with a magnetic material on one side.

BINDERY matters

TSK Names HBSI as U.S. Distributor PLAINFIELD, IN—TSK (Tokyo Shuppan Machinery) and TSK America announce the appointment of Hines Bindery Systems (HBSI), based here, as the exclusive U.S. and Canadian distributor of TSK’s line of perfect binders, gathering machines, tipping systems and three-knife trimmers. The firm’s “flagship” adhesive binders are the TMA-18, TMA-21 and TMA-24, rated at up to 10,000 books per hour. TSK also provides proprietary sensors, monitors and quality-control devices for its gatherers and binders, and for retrofitting to existing systems. According to TSK officials, HBSI was selected as the company’s exclusive distributor in the United States and Canada due to its

Cox to Sell Valpak, Some Newspapers

ATLANTA—Cox Enterprises has hired Goldman Sachs to assist in the sale of Valpak, its cooperative direct mail advertising arm, and is also putting most of its newspaper holdings on the block as the company seeks to make investments in technology and moves away from its traditional advertising-supported media companies. Valpak became a member of the Cox family in 1991. Earlier this year, Cox opened a $220 million, highly automated manufacturing facility (shown above) for Valpak in St. Petersburg, FL. Cox also hired Citigroup to market its newspaper holdings to prospective buyers. In all, the company hopes to complete the sale of 10 dailies and

DIGITAL digest

Ricoh Revs Up For Graph Expo CHICAGO—More than one year after announcing the formation of its Production Printing Business Group (PPBG) and the development of a high-end, digital color printer, Graph Expo 2008, being held here next month, will mark the official launch and commercial availability of Ricoh Americas’ Pro C900 series. Capable of printing 90 color or black-and-white pages per minute (ppm) with 1,200x1,200 dpi image quality, the Pro C900 is aimed at the commercial and quick printing, copy shop and in-plant environments, as well as service bureaus and direct mailers. With a paper capacity of 11,000 sheets, the device can handle heavy

Don’t Let Graph Expo Opportunity Pass By —Michelson

NO QUESTION about it. The U.S. economy continues to sputter, and so do the overall business conditions facing most commercial printers. But, even if capital equipment expenditures and software upgrades aren’t on your radar screen for the remainder of 2008, next month’s Graph Expo exhibition in Chicago is well worth attending. It will provide a unique vantage point for show-goers to grasp industry technology directions for years to come, especially since Graph Expo will be the first chance for most Americans to see products firsthand that debuted at the trend-setting Drupa exhibition in Germany earlier this year. Several of them are also highlighted in

Economy Prompts Quad to Scale Back

SUSSEX, WI—About 100 employees, mostly in administrative positions throughout Quad/Graphics’ Wisconsin workforce, were let go due to the economy’s impact on the printer. According to Claire Ho, marketing communications director for Quad, the length of the economic slump necessitated the move. “The downturn in the economy appears to be longer than anyone previously anticipated, and so we’re being proactive in how we address what’s happening in the economy and our industry,” Ho says. “The reductions were tough, but necessary, and we opted to do them all on one day to minimize disruption to employees and the business. Now, we can be focused on serving

EFI ‘Connects’ With 500 of Its Users

LAS VEGAS—EFI’s acquisition of MIS competitor Pace Systems Group for approximately $21 million in cash came as a surprise announcement during EFI’s Connect 2008 users group meeting held recently at the Wynn Las Vegas. Marc Olin, senior vice president and general manager of EFI Advanced Professional Print Software (APPS), made the revelation to the more than 500 clients attending the ninth annual Connect conference. The browser-based ePace print management solution will by renamed EFI Pace and will eventually replace EFI’s PSI and Logic platforms (which will continue to be supported by EFI in maintenance mode). EFI Pace is geared toward the mid-market segment,

Evolving into Drupa 2012 —Sherburne

AT THE recent EFI Connect 2008 users conference in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion with my esteemed colleagues, Dennis Mason of Mason Consulting and Forrest Leighton of Canon USA. The primary topic was Drupa 2008 and what we thought were the most important aspects of this “Olympics” of the printing industry. I have written extensively on that topic and won’t repeat any of that here. But one of the questions the moderator asked us to consider was: If Drupa 2008 was the “ink-jet” Drupa, what will Drupa 2012 be? This soon after a mega-show like Drupa, it

Graph Expo 2008 — No Reason to Stay Home

POETS HAVE long waxed lyrical about spring and its signifying of renewal in life, with birds joyfully singing amid blooming flowers on warm, sunny days, and pixies dropping magic dust everywhere. Well, it says here that a strong case can be made for the fall season. The days increasingly become intoxicatingly cool. Leaves change colors, turning the countryside into an artist’s canvas. And Green Bay football fans are reminded of the loss of Brett Favre to the New York Jets. Add one reason to recognize fall as “the season”—Graph Expo. You need to get away from the plant for a few days. It’s


Green Printer Promotes ‘Blue Air’ PHOENIX—As Arizona’s only employee-owned commercial printing company, O’Neil Printing is used to thinking outside the box. Which is why it comes as no surprise to those familiar with the company (especially its clients and friends in the community) that it is a leading environmental steward. O’Neil has its own sustainability program, which focuses on recycling excess production materials including paper, aluminum printing plates and corrugated cartons, as well as properly treating and reusing the chemicals in its printing processes. O’Neil has also teamed with Toyo Ink and is utilizing Toyo’s HyPlus 100 process series inks, which are entirely VOC-free.

IT Gurus — Tech Trek: Search for Stars

WHILE IT applications in the printing industry find their roots in the early ’90s, their diverse applications in today’s digital environment is where they are finding their true calling. And calling is exactly what customers are doing—requesting more IT-based products than ever before. Computer programming, database management, variable data printing, Website design, Web-to-print storefronts, PURLs, hybrid workflows, fulfillment. These are increasingly hot button requests. And, more printers, turned marketing services providers, are expanding their product offerings. As they do, they need IT people—the programmers who will turn their virtual dreams into a literal reality. IT people are highly prized employees, whose skills and capabilities

J.S. McCarthy — Driving Out Costs, Waste

OF ALL the avenues a general commercial printer can take for increasing its profit margin, raising prices to customers is the one option that isn’t likely to produce the desired results. Indeed, it takes a hearty printer to compete in the general commercial realm—one more apt to accept smaller margins, offer a full array of services, become the low-cost provider and be able to find ways to drive costs out of the system. Oh, and don’t forget quality. The implication is that quality is sometimes winked at in low-cost scenarios. . .your competition wants you to believe that. All of the aforementioned outlets are

New York Printers — One State, Two Worlds

REMEMBER VARICK Street? It used to be teaming with printers, until Trinity Church Real Estate—with extensive holdings on Varick—opted not to renew many printer leases about 10 years ago. Alas, the real estate boom eroded a fine tradition, as many shops were forced to relocate. But New Yorkers are tough, no doubt about it, and have the survival skills to meet challenges. And thrive. According to the PIA/GATF, in its 2006 estimate for state print markets, New York ranked third in the nation for printing shipments at $12.3 billion, trailing only California ($15.3 billion) and Illinois ($12.9 billion). It is easy to get lost

New York Printers — Perceptions Cloud Reality

PERHAPS NO other state in the nation is as heralded and hated, lauded and lampooned, and adored and abhorred, as much as New York. But let’s be frank...99 percent of the ill will is directed at New York City. You don’t hear anyone seething, “I swear, those snobby Uticans really tick me off.” Likewise, no one has complained about the arrogance of those lousy Oneonta Tigers fans. The Big Apple! Musicians coined the phrase “Big Apple,” because when you played the Big Apple, it meant you played the big time. And we believe the hype. Frankie said it—make it there, make it anywhere. It’s

NewPage Shutters Wisconsin Mill

KIMBERLY, WI—NewPage Corp. closed its coated freesheet paper mill here at the end of August. The move resulted in the loss of 475 jobs, in addition to the 125 employees impacted by the shutdown of its No. 95 paper machine last May. The mill produced roughly 500,000 tons of coated freesheet per year for a variety of commercial and specialty printing applications. According to Mark Suwyn, chairman and CEO of NewPage, the move was in response to a slowdown in demand for coated paper, as the weak economy has taken a bite out of print advertising. Also, the Kimberly mill did not have

Paper Mill Explosion Kills Three

TOMAHAWK, WI—A July 29 explosion at the Packaging Corp. of America’s paper mill here claimed the lives of three workers and injured another. According to the Associated Press, the men died when a tank used to store recycled fiber exploded while they were performing maintenance on top of it. A fourth worker was treated and released from a nearby hospital. An investigation was under way to determine the cause of the accident. Lake Forest, IL-based Packaging Corp. of America manufactures containerboard and corrugated packaging products. It operates four paper mills and 67 corrugated product plants in 26 states. It registered sales of $2.3 billion

PIA/GATF Names InterTech Winners

PITTSBURGH—The PIA/GATF has released the names of the winning technologies for its 2008 InterTech Technology Awards. The winners, along with their technologies, include: Alwan Dynamic Device-Links from Alwan Color Expertise; EskoArtwork Neo from EskoArtwork; POLAR P.A.C.E. cutting systems from Heidelberg USA; Prinect Inpress Control from Heidelberg USA; HIFLEX MIS with eBusiness, Webshop and Print Support from HIFLEX Corp., North America; Inca Onset from Inca Digital Printers; FLEXCEL NX digital flexographic system from Kodak Graphic Communications Group; MetalFX from MetalFX Technology; Platinum White technology from Sun Chemical; and the Xaar 1001 printhead from Xaar plc. The InterTech stars, which are symbols of technological innovation


New Plant Draws Large Crowd ALEXANDRIA, VA— DigiLink welcomed about 325 guests to an open house in celebration of its new, 39,000-square-foot facility. The new building allowed DigiLink to consolidate its printing and bindery operations under one roof. According to Michael Wight, president and CEO of DigiLink, the facility has enabled the printer to enjoy 15 percent growth since it moved there in early March. Wight says the company is in the process of selecting a new six-color press. RIS, Parsons, Mohawk, IKON, EFI, Pitman, Komori and KBA were among the vendors on hand. RPI, Tukwila, WA, announced three new appointments. Russell

Sell! And Save the Economy! --DeWese

THIS BAD economy thing has made me mad. Rip roarin’, snortin’, fire dirt kickin’ mad. I’m afraid to call it a recession. No two economists can agree on what it is. Whatever it is, it’s lousy. It’s causing deep, dark depression to pervade the land.


Kevin Joyce, chief marketing officer of Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group, is now a member of The Print Council’s Executive Committee. The Print Council is a business development alliance dedicated to promoting the greater use of print media. manroland Canada has named Michael Mugavero as its new vice president of sales. Based out of manroland Canada headquarters in Vaughn, Ontario, Mugavero is now responsible for managing direct sales for sheetfed presses and assisting with sales on the web end of the business, in addition to maintaining his responsibilities for Eastern U.S. sales. At G.F. Puhl, Greg Bumb has been tapped as the new

The Survey Says — State of Wide-Format

Printing Impressions and InfoTrends have recently conducted a survey of Printing Impressions’ readers that focused on their use of wide-format digital printing equipment. The respondents to the survey fell into two main groups: in-plant operations and print-for-pay establishments. Participants were asked various questions regarding their current wide-format equipment and services, as well as future plans for their wide-format business. (See Chart 1.) The results show that while aqueous ink-jet is still the dominant technology, there is a growing presence in the production and commercial printing market of newer printing technologies. More than 67 percent of respondents indicated that they currently own an aqueous ink-jet


Canterbury Closes Its Doors ROME, NY—Employee-owned Canterbury Press closed its doors in July, leaving 42 employees without jobs, according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch. The company produced sheetfed commercial work, as well as periodicals. $10M Investment for Royle SUN PRAIRIE, WI—Royle Printing is investing more than $10 million to bolster its operations, including a new 57˝ Goss Sunday 2000 gapless web press. Royle, which serves the publishing and catalog markets, also added a fourth selective binding and mailing system, and is in the process of constructing a 40,000-square-foot addition to its facility here. Quad Invests in Polish Firm SUSSEX, WI—Quad/Graphics and its Warsaw-based holding

USPS: Gotta Keep It Real

In late July, the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, the Postal Service and the District of Columbia held a hearing: “The Three Rs of the Postal Network Plan: Realignment, Right-Sizing and Responsiveness” to examine the forward-looking plan submitted recently by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to Congress. The Network Plan was mandated by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL) chaired the hearing, which included four panels of witnesses offering perspectives on the topic. In addition to witnesses representing the USPS and postal labor unions, a panel of mailing industry witnesses representing the Association of Postal Commerce (of

Vertis Scores Big on Turn (Two) Times —Cagle

EVER SAT down to watch a NASCAR event? Many people can’t bear the thought of watching cars going around and around in a circle, as the criticism goes, and often the weekly race is about as exciting as watching freeway traffic. But for those who enjoy the pit strategy—such as the nuances of how to garner the slightest increase in horsepower—and feed off the melodrama that ensues when drivers invariably aggravate their fellow competitors by cutting them off, it’s a nice way to burn four hours on a Sunday afternoon. Even if you don’t care to watch auto racing and scoff at the idea