April 2008 Issue


(Time) Zoned Out From Pre-Drupa Globetrotting —Michelson

THIS BEING a Drupa year has been exciting from a new technology standpoint and good for earning frequent flyer miles. But a recent string of attending three separate pre-Drupa press events overseas—three weeks in a row—has done havoc to my biological clock and sleep patterns. Hosted by key industry suppliers to preview their Drupa product introductions, I made separate, week-long trips to Japan, England and Germany. I even could have gone to another event in Israel the fourth week, but that would have really been over the top. I’m not whining, mind you. One of the best perks about my job over these

ACROSS the Nation

New Perfector Pumps Up Production at Ultra Imaging BILLINGS, MT—Ultra Imaging, an AlphaGraphics franchise, reports a monthly average increase in print volume of 30 percent since recently installing its four-color Heidelberg Printmaster PM 74 perfector. The new press, which replaced an older two-color model, is being used to print general commercial products, including books, advertising and marketing materials for local clientele, as well as high-end reports for nonprofit organizations. Large-Format UV Press of Choice For Superior LOS ANGELES—Superior Lithographics, a supplier of high-quality litho labels, top sheets and folding cartons, has installed a new six-color, 64˝ KBA Rapida 162a sheetfed press with

BINDERY matters

Paper Drill Receives Warm Welcome CHICAGO—Chuck Nestor and James Kelly with Apollo Printing, of Newport News, VA, attended Graph Expo 2007 looking to buy a new paper drill. They found the one they were looking for at the Rollem International booth. The printing execs selected a PB-16, which is a heavy-duty drill with up to 15 drilling heads, making it ideal for most applications, including mechanical binding patterns and multiple-up work. The new PB-16 was installed in February. Bobst Readies for Drupa, Direction ’08 ROSELAND, NJ—At Drupa 2008, Bobst Group’s Folding Carton and Flexible Materials divisions will showcase a wide range of products,

Burton Not Soon Leaving Cenveo; Eyes Deal

STAMFORD, CT—Bob Burton drove home a simple message during a February conference call—he’s not going anywhere, but Cenveo’s stock price will soon be rising. Burton, chairman and CEO of printing’s fourth-largest player in the U.S., provided some updates on: The status of his company’s annual report, a change in his executive team, a major deal in the works and his increased commitment to the company. But the recurring theme was unmistakable; Burton’s prime goals are to see the company attain $3 billion in sales, $300 million of EBITDA and a stock price of $30 per share. Cenveo appears heading in the right direction to

California Printers — Geography Has Its Perks

OK, WE aren’t going to pull any punches here. California is a state of thieves. Dirty, rotten, shameless thieves. It’s in your blood; can’t be denied. People flocked here in 1848 to take gold away from mother nature. San Francisco started as a shanty town housing these crooks, and now it’s one of the most expensive places in the world to live. What kind of swindle is that? Even the lighthouse was torn down on Alcatraz Island in favor of a prison. Fast forward 110 years, and we see Los Angeles and San Francisco pilfer baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, respectively. Hey,

California Printers — West Coast Melting Pot

ON THE heels of naming Wisconsin the “Printing Capital of the USA,” the publishers of this fine magazine decided it was high time to take a glimpse at another one of our nation’s great printing states. Given a choice from the remaining 49, there was no doubt that in order to visit America’s other great printing mecca, we would need to take the Ventura Highway...in the sunshine. The Golden State, California, is a study in extravagance. It is the third-largest state in square miles behind Alaska and Texas, and has the biggest population with 36 million folks. From a printer’s perspective, it is not

Consolidated Acquires PBM Graphics

HOUSTON—Consolidated Graphics (CGX) enhanced its East Coast presence and immediately became “Pikachu’s” favorite printer with the acquisition of Durham, NC-based PBM Graphics. Ranked 51st in the Printing Impressions 400 for 2007 with sales of $121.7 million, PBM specializes in producing collectible trading cards and trading card games and is the largest producer of Pokémon cards in the world. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to fiscal year 2009 earnings per share. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. PBM was founded in 1983 by Terry Pegram, who along with his management team will continue to direct the facility. In addition to card products,

Delta Printing Solutions — A Best Kept Secret

DELTA PRINTING Solutions has emerged as a formidable player in the U.S. book manufacturing market, yet it has managed to go largely unnoticed outside the West Coast. “This is just the way we like it,” says Jerry Bernstein, executive vice president of the Valencia, CA-based company that’s become a top provider of books, manuals, catalogs, journals and directories. “We are the largest independent book printer in the Western United States. We’re not only a hidden gem, but a well-kept secret.” Delta Printing Solutions has equipment suited to all production quantities, from small through large runs, with particular emphasis on meeting quick turnaround and

DIGITAL digest

On Demand Not Quite as In Demand BOSTON—The calendar read March, but many of the exhibitors at the On Demand Exposition were already feeling the gravitational pull of the Drupa 2008 international print show still to come in late May. Some went so far as to scale down their booths, but the more prevalent impact was a dearth of new product introductions. This year, major announcements are being made at special pre-Drupa media events or being saved for Düsseldorf, Germany. One exception was Canon U.S.A., which introduced the imagePRESS C6000VP and C6000 digital color press models as lower volume, more affordable versions of the

Estate Tax Reform Sought

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on alternatives to the estate tax. The estate tax, commonly referred to as the death tax, has been gradually reduced since 2001 and will be completely eliminated in 2010. Because of budget rules, the 2001 level of the tax will come back in 2011 unless Congress acts. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) is holding a series of hearings to discuss possible alternatives. During one hearing, the committee discussed an inheritance tax as an alternative. It would be levied against the beneficiaries of an estate instead of the estate itself. Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY) and

Exhibitor Tips for Success —Morgan

THERE ARE many reasons why a printer may decide to exhibit at a trade show or conference. From generating solid business leads to creating or maintaining brand awareness, exhibiting can have very lucrative results—but only if it is orchestrated effectively. In February, my staff and I hosted our annual Print Oasis Print Buyers Conference at Amelia Island Plantation in Florida. Print Oasis is the premier educational conference focused on the challenges of marketers, print buyers and production professionals. This year, 65 printers and technology companies were featured in the Exhibit Hall. One of the main reasons print buyers choose

Graphics of The Americas Shines Bright

MIAMI BEACH, FL—Traditionally a show that caters to U.S. and Latin American printers, Graphics of the Americas (GOA) took on a more international flavor as 13,000 people from 78 countries gathered at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The 33rd edition of the show, held February 27 to March 1, drew printers, graphic professionals and print buyers to the 250,000-plus square feet of convention space that housed 940 booths and 450 unique vendors. “We turned up the volume this year and made some very positive noise in virtually all areas of the event,” notes George Ryan, president and CEO of the Printing Association of Florida,

GREEN scene

Minnesota’s SFI Builds Habitat for Humanity Home COOK, MN—What started out in January as a well-managed tree farm owned by Minnesota Senator Tom Bakk will be a Habitat for Humanity home in Hibbing, MN, this spring. The home is being built as a unique effort by the Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee, which teamed up with the local Habitat for Humanity using SFI-certified materials from Minnesota forest products companies. Industry firms, which contributed materials and/or cash donations, included Boise, Forest Capital Partners, NewPage Corp., Sappi Fine Paper North America, UPM (Blandin Paper Mill) and Verso Paper (Sartell Mill). “SFI is proud to

Heidelberg Aims ‘Hei’ With Drupa Debuts

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—The big, heavy curtain has finally been lifted. With much anticipation surrounding the Drupa 2008 launch of its new 56˝ Speedmaster XL 145 and 64˝ Speedmaster XL 162 large-format sheetfed presses, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen CEO Bernhard Schreier welcomed the international trade press to the Wiesloch-Walldorf manufacturing facility in early March to officially unveil both models, as well as the new Hall 11 where they are being assembled. Geared toward the packaging and industrial printing segments, the 15,000 sph, “peak performance” presses will headline Heidelberg’s presentation based around “HEI Performance” and “HEI Value” slogans within its two exhibition halls at Drupa. Corresponding large-format Suprasetter

HGI Co. — Completing a Triple Play

HOW’S THIS for a five-year plan? Buy three companies—web offset, sheetfed and digital—and meld their operations, people and cultures into a cohesive whole. Along the way: • Take Hi-Liter Graphics (acquired in 2003), in Burlington, WI, from a black-and-white nonheatset web offset shop into full-color heatset capabilities, and ultimately install the first MAN Roland Euroman 32-page, four-color web press in North America (the second globally); • Transition Inland Graphics (acquired in 2004), of Menomonee Falls, WI, back into commercial work while still maintaining its strong position in the book printing market; and • Expand Menomonee Falls-based Plus Digital Print (acquired in 2007) into full-color,

Home Is Where the Hammer Hits —Cagle

SAY WHAT you will about how these times are a-changing for the worse. Environmental and social consciousness seems to be at an all-time high. . .perhaps because our planet and its inhabitants are in such rough shape. So maybe the opening statement is true. The Green Scene, one of our newest departments, documents the efforts of printers and suppliers to implement initiatives that conserve resources and unburden the environment. It has quickly become the most popular subject of press releases that we currently receive. Coming in a close second is the philanthropic efforts of our industry amigos. In case you missed it, we ran

HP Unveils Portfolio of New Products

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL—HP began its pre-Drupa Press and Analyst Summit here March 9-12, hosting more than 100 journalists, analysts, partners and customers to an unveiling of several new technologies and products. In HP’s most extensive graphic arts push to date, the pre-Drupa rollout included the introduction of the HP Ink-jet Web Press, Latex Inks, SmartStream Digital Workflow Portfolio and three new Indigo digital presses. These latest offerings—which span high-speed ink-jet production and liquid electrophotographic printing, as well as wide-format printing—will debut (excluding the web press) at Drupa in HP’s mega booth in Hall 8A. Causing quite a stir among the debuted products was

JDF Workflows — Legacy Meets Automation

MICHAEL MURPHY likes to keep his ear close to the ground. The president of Japs-Olson Co. in St. Louis Park, MN, is a frequent conference attendee who tries to stay constantly attuned to what technological movements are afoot in the commercial printing industry. JDF, or Job Definition Format, is of particular interest. One would be hard-pressed to find someone who is not a strong advocate of JDF in principle, if not practice. The practice area is where it starts to come apart, especially if the topic at hand is full, true JDF workflow. These are almost as uncommon as Elvis sightings and, to some,

Komori Reveals Drupa Plans

LONDON—Although Komori announced several innovations that will be highlighted under its “Five Solutions” banner in Hall 15 at Drupa 2008 next month, the spotlight will shine most brightly on the brand-new Lithrone SX40 (LSX40) sheetfed press platform. During a recent pre-Drupa press event held here, Komori America officials revealed that the LSX40 will become commercially available in January 2009. Capable of speeds to 18,000 sph and accommodating a 41˝ sheet size, the six-color LSX40 press with coater enables a 50 percent reduction in job changeover times, making it highly efficient for short runs. This is due, in part, to new KHS-AI “advanced intelligence” sheetfed

Mergers and Acquisitions — When Sweet Turns to Sour

JUST WHEN it appeared that merger and acquisition activity was beginning to garner steam in the printing industry, along came a downturn in the economy. Is it a recession? Ask again about six months from now. Most economist pundits feel we’re heading in that direction or at least may start suffering stagflation—slow growth, high unemployment and fast-rising prices. At any rate, the writing is on the wall, enough so that President Bush rushed through a $170 billion economic stimulus package in February, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to cut interest rates to help stave off a recession. For the sake of discussion,

More Woes for Quebecor World

MONTREAL—Bankruptcy-protected Quebecor World has decided against challenging The Economist magazine’s attempt to opt out of its printing contract. The Economist Newspaper N.A., publisher of The Economist, notified Quebecor World that it intends to terminate their printing agreement at the expiration of the initial term this September. The publisher asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge James Peck for permission to serve the notice to Quebecor World. Still, both sides are in talks regarding a possible extension of the deal, which would have automatically renewed had The Economist not given notice prior to March 31. Under bankruptcy rules, all changes to contracts are frozen pending

RR Donnelley Snaps Up Pro Line

CHICAGO—After a brief lull in the M&A theater, RR Donnelley has returned with a big bang. The Windy City-based printing giant shelled out $122 million to acquire Irving, TX-based Pro Line Printing, a privately held producer of newspaper inserts. The all-cash deal is subject to customary closing conditions. In addition to its headquarters, Pro Line Printing has facilities in Arlington, TX; Reno, NV; Avon, CT; and Pineville, NC. It also produces direct mail and in-store circulation products. “Pro Line Printing’s respected capabilities expand our geographic footprint for offset printed tabloid inserts and even better positions us to serve national advertising programs,” according to


Print UV Conference Deemed a Success LAS VEGAS—Nearly 100 printers and suppliers attended the inaugural Print UV 2008 Conference, held here at the Wynn Resort in early March. Produced and sponsored by Air Motion Systems, the event also served as the launching pad for the Print UV Association and a platform for the expanding Print UV online community (www.printuv.com). Discussion topics included how to market and sell UV; innovative UV printing and coating techniques; and the benefits of going 100 percent VOC-free in the UV pressroom. A panel of experts from major press OEMs, as well as UV equipment, ink, coating and

Transcontinental: On the Move in 2008

MONTREAL—Transcontinental will invest C$60 million in new equipment at its Transmag newspaper printing facility here. The additions, which are expected to be completed in 2009, will enhance the printer’s ability to produce daily and weekly newspapers, along with specialty publications. Included is an expansion of the facility from 80,000 square feet to 145,000 square feet. The company also plans to invest C$20 million in equipment for its South Shore printing facility. The gear is ticketed for Transcontinental Interweb Montreal, which produces newspaper and commercial products such as catalogs and magazines. The investments feature, among other things, a Sunday 3000 web press and


Print Snafu ‘Teases’ Taxpayers PLATTSBURGH, NY—Taxpayers here thought they were getting a major discount when their bills arrived, but a printing error isn’t letting anyone off the hook. According to the Plattsburgh (NY) Press Republican, bills arrived at taxpayer homes with the option of making four installment payments or one lump sum payout, accompanied by corresponding coupons. However, the full payment coupon shows the amount for a 25 percent payment. The paper noted that the full amount is listed on the bill, two inches above the coupons. Cenveo Delays 10-K Reporting STAMFORD, CT—An internal review delayed Cenveo’s Form 10-K annual report filing as