May 2007 Issue


‘The Refrigerator’ Helps Promote Edison Litho’s Very-Large-Format Press

William “The Refrigerator” Perry, a retired Chicago Bears football player known for his considerable size (6-foot-2 and 370 pounds), was enlisted to help promote the new very- large-format capabilities of North Bergen, NJ-based Edison Litho & Printing at the annual GlobalShop Show (held in Las Vegas in March). Perry appeared at Edison’s booth to sign autographs and have his picture taken with show-goers. “We wanted to stand out at the show, and what better way to promote our large-format capability, but to have a celebrity football player at our booth,” says Joe Ostreicher, Edison Litho’s vice president. “We chose William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry because he

ACROSS the nation

ARIZONA PHOENIX—Panoramic Press, a 50-year-old firm specializing in high-end commercial printing, has added a five-color Mitsubishi Diamond 1000LS press with in-line coater. COLORADO DENVER—Two Kodak Trendsetter News 100 platesetters and workflow systems have a new home at the Denver Newspaper Agency for its commercial division to print commercial products, as well as the New York Times. DELAWARE DOVER—Independent Newspapers has incorporated an unusual configuration into its new five-high KBA Colora web press. The configuration combines the productivity of a double-width 4/2 press with the flexibility of a single-width press, resulting in runs with fewer webs and fewer operators. HAWAII WAILUKU—The Ogden Newspapers purchased a Trendsetter News 70 platesetter and Prinergy EVO

BINDERY matters

Puritan Press Garners New Vijuk Saddlestitcher HOLLIS, NH—Puritan Press, which serves academic, corporate and non-profit institutions, recently installed a Vijuk 321-T saddlestitcher, distributed by Vijuk Equipment. The in-line punch on the new machine has been very helpful in fulfilling high-volume book orders that require three-hole punching prior to insertion into binders for one of Puritan’s largest accounts. Sigler Printing Augments Stitching Line AMES, IA—Full-service provider Sigler Printing has bolstered its saddlestitching capabilities with the addition of a Muller Martini Presto stitcher. The acquisition allows Sigler Printing to increase its cost-effectiveness, particularly in the short- to mid-range market. According to Jill Whitaker, vice president of operations, the Presto

Business Is Booming For the GPO —Cagle

BITS AND PIECES JUST WHEN you think that Democrats aren’t good for anything but second-guessing Republican leadership in the White House, along comes a Washington Post report that could suggest the Dems are good business for printing. The Democratic-led Congress has a five-day work week, as opposed to the three days per week logged by its Republican-heavy predecessor. That translates into a greater need for printing by the Government Printing Office (GPO), especially areas such as the Congressional Record, the daily report that averages 250 pages. According to the Post, it helped push the GPO’s annual printing costs an additional $3 million. Robert Tapella,

CGX Signs Pact to Acquire Hopkins Printing

HOUSTON—Hopkins Printing, a 30-year-old, family owned sheetfed and digital printer based in Columbus, OH, will soon be joining the ranks of Consolidated Graphics (CGX). A letter of intent has been signed by CGX to acquire Hopkins Printing, and the deal is expected to close within 90 days. The current management team of Hopkins Printing, led by President Jim Hopkins, will remain with the company after the deal closes. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “Over the last 30 years, the Hopkins family has built a first-class business with an excellent reputation,” noted Joe Davis, chairman and CEO of CGX. “Hopkins Printing represents an ideal

China Socked With Coated Paper Tariffs

WASHINGTON, DC—Penalty tariffs ranging from 10.9 percent to 20.4 percent will now be levied on imports of glossy paper from China, the U.S. Commerce Department announced. Lesser tariffs were levied against South Korea and Indonesia. The tariffs result from a case filed by NewPage, of Dayton, OH, which accused sources in those three countries of dumping coated free sheet imports into the United States. Chinese suppliers, NewPage contended, had been receiving improper subsidies from the Chinese government, according to the Associated Press. The AP reported that U.S. coated paper imports from China were roughly $224 million in 2006, compared to only $29 million in 2004. The tariffs

Chinese Paper Tariffs Rankle U.S. Printers —Michelson

ENDING A 23-year-old policy of not applying anti-subsidy laws to non-market economy (state-controlled) countries like China, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) recently determined that two Chinese producers and exporters of coated free sheet paper received countervailable subsidies ranging from 10.9 to 20.35 percent from the Chinese government in the form of tax breaks, tax forgiveness and low-cost loans. In response, tariffs have been enacted for coated free sheet paper imported from China, as well as for the same glossy grade being imported (in lesser amounts) from Indonesia and South Korea. The preliminary decision, which will likely be challenged by China in U.S. federal

Digital Color Printing — Ink-jet in Line for Takeoff

NOT LONG after the close of Drupa 2004, the 2008 edition of the international printing exhibition was already being called the “ink-jet Drupa.” Upping the time frame, the title of a keynote panel at the just-completed On Demand Conference & Expo asked, “Is Ink-jet the Technology Story for 2007?” It should be clarified that both are references to color page printing in a production environment, and not wide-format or consumer photographic printing. For 2006, the big story in ink-jet printing was industrial printing applications. It seemed as if every vendor was talking about flatbed machines capable of printing on a wide range of substrates.

DIGITAL digest

Viewing On Demand BOSTON—Changing locations continues to be part of the story from the On Demand Conference & Expo, which last month completed its 2007 run at the (nearly) new Boston Convention & Exposition Center (opened in 2004). The event first moved from its long-standing home in New York City to Philadelphia for a two-year stint and now on to Boston through 2008. Close to 200 exhibitors had booths in the On Demand portion of the show floor, which the event continues to share with the AIIM Expo. New, or at least now commercialized, color printing systems added up to the largest category

Do Not Mail — A New Problem for Mailers

AT FIRST, the notion that states might consider adopting “Do Not Mail” legislation, which would mimic the infamous “Do Not Call” registry established in 2003, seemed more than a bit ridiculous. After all, getting advertising mail is hardly the equivalent of being interrupted by a phone call at dinner time and enduring a solicitor who wants to offer you a lower credit card interest rate via a balance transfer. The beauty of direct mail solicitations is that they allow you to sift through advertisements on your terms—not during dinner, or your favorite television show, or when coming out of the shower, dripping water everywhere.

EPI Companies — On the Move

FOR MOST printing companies, moving the entire business from one facility to another is a daunting task, particularly if the relocation is expected to be a seamless process logistically, without any interruption of business for the client base. Now take that same process and change the parameters: Instead of one, it’s six plants being consolidated into two facilities, not one. And it’s business as usual from the vantage point of the customer base. Welcome to the world of the EPI Companies. This Marietta, GA-based firm pulled off this Herculean task between June 2006 and this past January, without skipping a business beat. It entailed

Firsthand Experience — Made in China

THERE SURELY is agreement in the United States, as well as in Western Europe and elsewhere, that China is quickly building up its technology and equipment levels to become the dominant supplier of printed products for the Chinese market and a major supplier for the world market. I just returned from spending several months teaching Business English at the University of Wuhan’s Printing and Packaging School. I taught future leaders of the Chinese printing and packaging industry a course in Business English, which included business terminology, Website development, how to handle inquiries from prospective foreign customers and how to furnish quotes to foreign clients.

Flint Group Lands Day International

LUXEMBOURG—Flint Group, a supplier of inks, plates and raw materials to the printing industry, has reached an agreement in principle to acquire Day International, which supplies printing blankets, sleeves, image transfer media and pressroom chemicals. Combined, the newly merged company will boast (U.S.) $3.32 billion in annual revenues. The deal is expected to close within 60 days, subject to regulatory approvals. “By combining the complementary product lines of the two companies, we are creating a stronger supplier with a significantly broader range of products for our customers around the world,” said Dave Frescoln, CEO of Flint Group, in a release. “In addition, Day’s image transfer technologies

Former Printer Gets Prison Term

SOUTH BEND, IN—The former owner of a now-defunct printing company has been sentenced to 63 months in a federal prison for embezzlement. James Wheeler, of Boynton Beach, FL, was convicted last September of stealing money deducted from the paychecks of about 50 employees at Gallery Graphics in Indiana, according to the South Bend Tribune. Wheeler was accused in two charges of pilfering more than $53,000 in health insurance premiums and 401(k) contributions. Unpaid employee insurance premiums resulted in the loss of health coverage, and the workers suffered a total loss of more than $160,000. Wheeler has been ordered to pay about $211,000 in restitution, the paper

Global Document Solutions — On the Fast Track

THE BEAUTY of the commercial printing industry, particularly in the past five to 10 years, is its ability to adapt and evolve in the face of changing technologies. Clearly, the digital printing revolution and the move toward providing ancillary services to complete a turnkey solution is the most recent example of this evolution. But it is not the first threat to this mature industry, nor will it be the last. A case in point is Global Document Solutions (GDS) of New York City, a once traditional print and mail company founded in 1906 that, as recently as the 1980s, found itself in the crowded

Heidelberg Ramping Up for Debut of VLF Presses

HEIDELBERG IS preparing for what will surely be one big celebration in Germany this September. The planned festivities will honor both the 50th anniversary of its Wiesloch manufacturing complex, as well as the grand opening there of Hall 11, designating the press manufacturer’s initial foray into the very-large-format (VLF) sheetfed offset press market. In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen CEO Bernhard Schreier reveals why the world’s largest press manufacturer has chosen Drupa 2008 as the official unveiling of two new VLF press sizes in tandem with compatible large-format prepress and postpress offerings. He also addresses

Large-format Printing — Size DOES Matter!

A SMALL, but growing number of printers are taking a big leap of faith (and finances) to invest in what may well be the commercial and packaging printing equivalent of the Gold Rush. Printers big and small—like Branch Smith Printing, Carter Printing, Ambassador Press and Strine Printing, to name a few—are expanding into large- and very-large-format sheetfed technology and betting the ranch...’er, press...on their ability to boost productivity and expand into new product niches. Hoping to hit the motherload of profitability, printers are staking their claim by offering up to 81˝ formats to blend the high-quality printing capabilities of sheetfed offset with the ability

Major Change in Unionization Rules —Fiorenza

A GENERATION ago, production in the printing and related industries was dominated by unionized work groups defined by craft and trade. Highly skilled typesetters physically laid out text; quality printing was dependent on a blend of competent machine operation and artistry; and post-production finishing was labor-intensive and time consuming. Trade unions flourished along these and other craft lines, and largely defined the work environment across the industry. In the midst of technological and economic change over the past 25 years or so, union membership within the industry, and in general, has steadily declined. In 1983, for example, 20 percent of all private sector workers

Overseas Sourcing — China: A Limited Threat

AS ALL book printers are aware, the practice of publishers outsourcing certain work to Asian, European and South American countries is not a novel concept—no pun intended. But the rules of engagement have changed in the Internet age, and some of the firms impacted most by the inequity of the U.S. trade imbalance have taken exception to advantages that foreign governments provide firms who export to America. In the case of China and the recent tariff levied on the import of coated paper, it matters little. Book publishers are saving as much as 50 percent by farming book manufacturing overseas to popular industrial locales

Paper Tariff Could Lead To Price Increase, Job Loss

The U.S. Commerce Department announced its preliminary determination in the ongoing countervailing duty (CVD) investigation on imports of coated free sheet paper (CFS) from China, Korea and Indonesia. The initial determination shows that producers and exporters of CFS paper have received countervailable subsidies, ranging up to 20.35 percent in China, up to 1.76 percent in Korea, and 21.24 percent in Indonesia. As a result, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is required to apply anti-dumping duties to imports of CFS. PIA/GATF believes these duties will cause shortages in the U.S. market for CFS paper and a rise in paper costs, reducing the volume of


Results Suffer from Static IT HAS become commonly accepted that adding variable data to a direct marketing program significantly increases response rates. However, a true control group has often been missing from the evidence cited. Results are typically compared to previous mailings or industry averages, not a static mailing with the same design and message. Alerus Financial, a North Dakota-based banking institution, decided to include very systematic testing as part of its first application of variable data in a program designed to obtain new loan customers. The company wanted to compare variable data marketing to static methods and establish a baseline for its future

Pictorial Offset Honored with Highest Environmental Award from EPA

CARLSTADT, NJ—May 1, 2007—Pictorial Offset Corporation, the leader in addressing environmental issues affecting commercial printing for over 25 years, is proud to announce that it’s Managing Partners, Donald, Gary and Lester Samuels, along with Pictorial Offset Corporation have received the highest award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, for demonstrating outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing the environmental quality in our region. The Environmental Quality Award is the highest recognition presented to the public by the EPA. Award recipients come from all sectors of our community, including non-profit, environmental, and community groups, individual citizens, environmental education and business organizations and members

Plant Tours Open Doors —Sherburne

SINCE MY columns in Printing Impressions started about a year ago, we have discussed different ways you can improve the marketing of your business—driving an associated increase in sales. One thing we haven’t talked about that can be important in the marketing mix is your facility. Do you ever think about your facility as a marketing tool? Sure, it is important to ensure that the operation is clean and inviting, and that the reception staff is friendly and considerate. And, it is always nice to display awards, recognition and samples of your work. But how else can you leverage that investment as a marketing tool? I

Presstek Sees Strong Demand for DI Presses

HUDSON, NH—April 30, 2007—Presstek Inc. (Nasdaq: PRST), the leading manufacturer and marketer of digital offset printing business solutions, following the release of its 10K reported a 25 percent increase in 2006 shipments of its Direct Imaging (DI®) presses over the previous year and a 72 percent increase in DI equipment revenue over 2005. Significantly exceeding market expectations, Presstek shipped 244 DI presses in 2006, and more than 3,000 DI presses are now installed worldwide. Helping drive this record number of DI sales were the new Presstek 52DI and 34DI presses. “DI presses have grown into a mainstream product that has been embraced by an increasing


PIA/GATF announced the recipient of its 2006 William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award. Stuart McMichael, former president of Arlington, VA-based Custom Print, was selected for his significant contributions toward environmental awareness, education and best practices in printing. He helped transform Custom Print into a totally “green” operation. Tony Mangabat has joined the Graphic Arts Association (GAA), Trevose, PA, as its new environmental, health and safety (EHS) manager. Mangabat will assist GAA members with EHS and compliance issues, including navigating through the regulations, interpretations and guidance documents. Printing and Imaging Association of New York State, based in Amherst, NY, announced that it is expanding