November 2006 Issue


ACROSS the nation

Centenarian Printer Continues to Evolve BARBERTON, OH—Davis Printing is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The company was founded in 1906 by John R. Davis., who produced a weekly newspaper and provided printing services to the public. Today, the full-service commercial printer offers sheetfed offset and digital printing, complete bindery, mailing and fulfillment, and Web-based services. Recently, Davis Printing also acquired Merrick Graphics. Steve Merrick was named Davis Printing’s vice president of marketing and president of the new creative division, Merrick Design Group. ALABAMA MONTGOMERY—Wells Printing has installed a Sakurai 675SD sheetfed press with coater. It was purchased through dealer Independent Graphic Services.

BINDERY matters

Bobst Providing Bindery Direction ROSELAND, NJ—Intrigued by barbecues under the stars, a car show and rally—and yes, let’s not forget binding and finishing gear—roughly 450 people from 171 different plants made their way here for the Direction ’06 Open House sponsored by Bobst Group USA. The show, held September 21-26 at Bobst’s Demonstration and Training Center, showcased the company’s folding carton and commercial printing solutions for customers and prospects alike. A total of nine Bobst technologies were on display. On the commercial printing end, diecutters such as the SPanthera 106-LER, SPeria 106-E and the SPrintera 145-PER drew attention from visitors, along with the SPeria Foilmaster 102. Jerry


LEVELING THE playing field for small- to mid-sized businesses to market their services like the Fortune 500 big boys—at affordable prices—was the goal for executives at Cross Media. The result, a 40 percent growth spike in 2005, proves that Cross Media’s vision had merit. Like its name implies, Cross Media is leading the way in a new hybrid industry where printing, creative and marketing services have merged and a return on investment (ROI) is key. Cross Media, based in Dallas, was founded in 1993. Its 85 employees support a client roster that includes well-known names like Hewlett-Packard, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sara Lee, HBO,

Deluxe Corp. Acquires The Johnson Group

ST. PAUL, MN—Check printing specialist Deluxe Corp. has purchased the assets of The Johnson Group, a Rockford, IL-based company that provides Web-to-print, offset and variable data digital printing services, for $16.5 million. The Johnson Group is expected to generate $22 million in revenues in 2006. Dennis Johnson, chairman and CEO of The Johnson Group, is retiring with the completion of the transaction. The printer, which employs 130, will continue to operate under its current name in Rockford. It also has operations in East Dubuque, IL, and New Albany, IN. “The Johnson Group’s custom, full-color and digital printing expertise and its emerging Web-to-print technology strategically fits our

DIGITAL digest

Putting an iGen3 in Team Spells Digital Success CAROL STREAM, IL—Some 350 people attended the open house recently held by Team Concept to showcase the capabilities of its new Xerox iGen3 digital color press. The shop reports running the machine 24 hours a day within just four months of installing it. Pictured in front of the digital press are (from the left) Tony Rouse, Team Concept president and CEO; Paco Salcedo, its iGen3 certified specialist; Julie Higgins, customer business development manager for Xerox; Laurie Kaminski, Team Concept’s iGen3 manager; and Mike Murphy of Xerox. Punch Graphix Rolls Out Xeikon 6000 ITASCA, IL—After


GOVERNMENT CARS came to a screeching halt in front of Geographics’ facility and FBI agents quickly swarmed the building. Two officers were at the front, two covered the back. They pounded on the doors. Was Geographics owner Norvin Hagan busted during his first week on the job? Though it seemed to be the case, Hagan was innocent. It was steamy Atlanta, 1976. Apparently the previous owner of the company had been jimmying the postage meter for a number of years, only paying for every fifth or sixth mail piece. But the G Men had gotten wise to his antics. And screwing around with USPS

Going Green Brings In More ‘Greenbacks’ —Michelson

THERE IS more to be said for being an environmentally responsible printer than it’s just the right thing to do ecologically for the sake of present and future generations. When properly executed and marketed, positioning your graphic arts establishment as a green proponent can translate into increased goodwill with existing customers and prospects, a healthier workplace for employees and, consequently, the potential for more greenbacks to fill your company coffers. The paper and printing industries surely have a vested interest in being portrayed as environmentally conscious. From the deforestation involved in producing virgin paper fiber, to VOC and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere from

Graph Expo 06 Product Roundup: Binding & Finishing

Gämmerler launched the BL 408 bindery stacker for use behind saddlestitchers, perfect binders, folders and inserters. Features wide format range, two-stage stacking system and a low copy drop height. The infeed is equipped with four top belts and eight bottom belts. Visit and enter number 679 Goss International unveiled its Pacesetter 2200 and 2500 saddlestitchers. The systems feature servo-driven hoppers and excel at quick makereadies. The Pacesetter 2200 system completes up to 22,000 books per hour. The Pacesetter 2500 model features a dual stitcher and a 25,000 books per hour capacity. Visit and enter number 680

Graph Expo 06 Product Roundups

With more than 630 exhibitors covering in excess of 440,000 square feet of show floor space, GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO 2006 was the largest national graphic communications and converting trade show held in the U.S. since 2000, according to its sponsors. Vendors reported strong interest among attendees across a wide range of products on…

GRAPH EXPO 2006: Binding & Finishing — Binding Agreements

ULTIMATELY, THE common goal among the manufacturers and suppliers of finishing and bindery equipment at Graph Expo (and any trade show, for that matter) is to place their equipment in as many shops as possible. But, as a commerce vehicle, companies displaying their wares approach the annual Chicago event with different goals in mind. Every year there’s a degree of spin doctoring that takes place in the trade press. A show’s attendance can drop 20 percent as tumbleweeds bounce off stitchers and binders, but some writers will rave about how many of the leads were high quality. Frankly, it’s generally 50/50 or slightly in

GRAPH EXPO 2006: Consumables And Substrates — Tools for the Trade

AWAY FROM the churning of offset presses and clicking of bindery machinery, a buzz was emanating from the comparably quiet booths containing consumable product vendors at Graph Expo—a buzz caused by new product announcements, enhancements and other newsworthy scuttlebutt. Toyo Ink America, for instance, showcased a comprehensive lineup of inks for sheetfed and web printing applications. Ink products that debuted at the show included: Kaleido four-color process ink; edible inks; heatset web inks; the Scuff Tuff SG process series; and the Aqualess Ultra process series. New non-ink products from Toyo included the TOYO 1050 Color Finder system, with color matches for 1,050 colors that are

GRAPH EXPO 2006: Digital Printing — Short Selling Printing

IT MAY be telling that, with a few exceptions, the presses in operation around the show floor of Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2006 were of the digital variety. Offset units were conspicuous in their absence. Digital presses largely have become part of the commercial printing mainstream, rather than being a specialty product segment or market niche. The exhibition’s Wide Format Pavilion showed ongoing interest in that segment, but adding a wide, large, superwide or grand format digital system still is seen as a way to diversify rather than being standard equipment. Hewlett-Packard shared results from an InfoTrends study that surveyed a sampling

GRAPH EXPO 2006: Management Information Systems — MIS: Front and Center

A KNOCK frequently made against printers is that many don’t know their true costs and, as a consequence, can’t say if they’ve made money on any given job. Another way of looking at is that they don’t know the dollar value of individual jobs and customers to the bottom line. In order to know that answer, shops need to have the required infrastructure in place and an ingrained discipline throughout the company to capture and analyze the relevant data. It takes a big commitment to implement and religiously use a comprehensive Management Information System (MIS), now also called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP),

GRAPH EXPO 2006: Prepress & Software — Putting All of the Pieces Together

SINCE THE digital revolution began, developments in the front end of the printing process have been as much about big ideas as they have specific products and solutions. The latest in a string of topics that have been debated include PDF versus native files, violet versus thermal CTP and process automation via JDF. At Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2006, the discussion tended to be focused back at the product level. The parameters of the state-of-the-art in workflow, for now, have been clearly defined. They include: • PDF-based file processing in a color managed environment is a given; • computer-to-plate is also a given,

GRAPH EXPO 2006: Sheetfed/Web Offset Presses — Heyday(s) For Heavy Iron

THERE MAY have been fewer large sheetfed presses or standalone web press units on the show floor at last month’s Graph Expo and Converting Expo exhibition—especially in comparison to the PRINT show held last year—but don’t infer that this resulted in disappointing sales activity and lead generation for conventional offset press exhibitors. Quite the contrary. Even with less heavy iron dotting the landscape at Chicago’s McCormick Place South Hall, the general consensus among press manufacturers indicated it was the most productive Graph Expo event they’ve experienced since the late ’90s. Visitor traffic was brisk and serious buying activity persisted. Chalk it up to

Hall of Famers Honored at Graph Expo

CHICAGO—Four new members of the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame were inducted during a gala event coinciding with the 19th annual Gold Ink Awards during Graph Expo last month. Shown at the event are, from left: James Hopkins, president/CEO, Hopkins Printing; Dave Leskusky, group president/publisher, Printing Impressions; Jesse Williamson, president, Williamson Printing; Ray…

Heidelberg USA Announces New Product Installation Report

KENNESAW, GA—10/31/2006—Heidelberg USA announces the following sample of new product installations: Whitmore Group Transitions Print Facility with Heidelberg’s Speedmaster XL 105 Boasting more than 65,000 square feet in three plants, 115 employees and a new six-color Speedmaster XL 105 from Heidelberg, Whitmore Group President George Shenk is looking forward to another record-breaking year. “We wanted to re-capitalize our plant in Baltimore,” he said. “We recently acquired both Reese Press and Schneidereith & Son. Our challenge was the need to consolidate these two companies and position the new entity for the future by improving productivity and quality.” With its new Speedmaster XL 105 with coater

Industry Vet Seeking an Opportunity —Cagle

BITS AND PIECES THE B&P mailbag has been overflowing with cards and letters from kind readers who write to tell me how much they enjoy the feature. So I figured I’d grab the first letter I found and share it with you. OK, so I’m a rotten liar. Bits and Pieces barely nudged out the masthead in a recent reader poll. They used to let me write the calendar of events, but the editors felt it lacked pizazz. Put yourself into it, they said. And now, I’m saddled with this feature, and getting no love from it. No one calls, no one writes...not

Lapinski Taking MAN Roland Reins

WESTMONT, IL—Perhaps the biggest personnel news to surface during last month’s Graph Expo came from the MAN Roland camp, where Vince Lapinski was named CEO effective January 1. He replaces Yves Rogivue, who has steered the company’s North American operations for the past six years. Lapinski, a 16-year veteran of MAN Roland, has served in numerous capacities. The RIT graduate headed the company’s newspaper sales group and was part of the management team that reorganized the operations by consolidating the entire web division and reallocating manufacturing resources to better support the company’s customers. Rogivue will work with Lapinski over the balance of 2006. “That will give

Managing Non-Performers —Fioernza

THE DECISION to discharge a problem employee can seem so right at the time. The employee may be a disruptive and even destructive influence on your workplace, and you know it’s the right thing to do. So why wait? Get it over with quickly; like pulling off a bandage. Unfortunately for many employers, it’s this “quick trigger” mentality that can make a decision that feels so right, go so very wrong. Too often, the decision to discharge an employee takes place in a perfect storm of high emotions, immediate business needs and disregarded legal rules. Such a decision—justified though it may be—can end up


THERE’S NO truth to the rumor that Washington, DC-based McArdle Printing is changing its name to Clairvoyant Press. But the sheetfed and coldset web shop does pride itself on knowing its customer’s needs better than the customer does. It takes some advanced perception to survive in the highly competitive DC-Baltimore region, but McArdle will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2007, coming on the heels of consecutive double-digit growth campaigns the past two years. The employee-owned company, headquartered in Upper Marlboro, MD, took strides to ensure future success and new growth potential with the October 2005 acquisition of a Xerox iGen3 digital press

New Facility, Sundays for Cox

ST. PETERSBURG, FL—Cox Target Media is ushering in its new $200 million, 500,000-square-foot facility here with the installation of two eight-color Goss Sunday 4000 web presses with Automatic Transfer (AT) technology to produce its Valpak direct marketing products. The facility is slated to open in 2007. The non-stop print production system does not have to stop for job changeovers, and four-color job changes will be done every 12 minutes, according to Jim Sampey, executive vice president of operations for Cox Target Media. The company hopes to more than double the 20 billion targeted direct mail coupons it produces annually for the national Valpak program. “We plan

NPES First-Half 2006 Data Shows Strong Growth for Equipment

The data is finally in: findings for the first half of 2006 are pointing to a strong upswing in sales of printing equipment. Shipments totaled $1.317 billion for the first half of 2006, a 28.8 percent increase over the same period in 2005. This follows a good 2005 in which equipment shipments were level with 2004, but up 23 percent over 2003, which was the low point year for equipment sales in well over a decade. The equipment data discussed here includes prepress, press and postpress/bindery equipment sales and is collected through the NPES market data program. This is actual data reported by


THE WORLD of commercial printing is still quite a big nut. Even with the growing threat of outsourced print and other traditional ink-on-paper products migrating to digital land, there are enough emerging applications to keep most printers fat and happy. Operative term of the day: Most printers. There is, however, a contradiction of terms floating about our grand industry that may never be reconciled—after all, it has lasted for quite a while. Some say we are in an era of specialization that plays into the hands of niche players, those who excel in a market segment that is not being fully addressed on a

Postal Reform On the Ropes

WASHINGTON, DC—In the game of pre- election politics, the people behind the postal reform effort are hoping to draw an inside straight. Those are the odds after Congress adjourned without passing legislation, thus pinning hopes of a resolution to its “lame duck” post-election session. Buoyed by the efforts of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, the U.S. House and Senate worked into the final hours before adjournment to hammer out the differences between the bills (S. 1955, H.R. 22), which are aimed at overhauling a U.S. Postal Service that has worked under 30-year-old rules. “While Congress did not complete final action on postal