November 2007 Issue


3D Meets Marketing —Sherburne

THIS YEAR’S Graph Expo was exciting and fun, and it was great to see so much energy after the last several years of difficult times for the industry. One of the highlights for me was the increasing number of 3D applications that were being shown. You might ask: What does that have to do with marketing? I saw a lot of opportunity with these applications to allow differentiation of your company, which is key to an effective marketing strategy. 3D is primarily being used in packaging. One great example was a pair of applications from EskoArtwork—DeskPack 3d-X, a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator, and Visualizer, which the

ACROSS the nation

Sixth KBA Installed At Imagine! Print SHAKOPEE, MN—A new six-color, 41˝ KBA Rapida 105 Universal perfector with UV capability is now up and running in the 400,000-square-foot facility of Imagine! Print Solutions. The new Rapida—which is equipped with full automation packages, including auto plate loaders, auto washup and a scanning spectrophotometer—is the sixth KBA press installed by Imagine!. Press Credited For Benny Award CHICAGO—In 2006, Abbott Printing purchased a five-color, 29˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 74-5-P+L perfector with aqueous coater. A year later, the Maitland, FL-based printer won its first PIA/GATF Benny Award. Art Abbott Jr., co-owner, credits the new Heidelberg

Allegra Network — A Match Made in Printing

LOVE MAY not exactly be in the air, but when it comes to a certain matchmaking service for the printing industry, you might say that letters of intent are in the mail. No, Allegra Network isn’t setting up Kim, the sensitive, self-effacing 30-something graphic designer, on a date with Ted, the moody yet surprisingly attractive preflight operator with a heart of gold. Instead, the Northville, MI-based franchisor is seeking to connect printing company owners looking to sell with qualified franchisee buyers. In an age where corporate consolidation and venture capital dominate the printing industry’s transaction wire, it’s a refreshing twist to see smaller operations

Best (Printing) Workplaces in the Americas Awards Announced

PITTSBURGH—November 1, 2007—Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) proudly announces the recipients of the 2007 Best Workplace in the Americas Awards. A total of 47 graphic arts companies were selected by a committee of distinguished HR experts from within the industry. The program is designed to recognize graphic arts companies for their outstanding human relations efforts which contribute to a successful workplace. “Since 2000, the Best Workplace program has recognized industry leaders from small, medium, and large firms in the graphic arts industry for their outstanding human relations practices. While every company that entered this year’s competition has HR programs they should be

BINDERY matters

Shop Cuts Check During Graph Expo CHICAGO—Putting the finishing touches on their deal to acquire a Varimatrix 105 CS diecutter and an ECO 105 folding carton gluer are representatives from Mail Advertising & Bindery and Heidelberg USA. Shown, from the left, are Mark Pannell, co-owner of Mail Advertising & Bindery; Ralph Pasquariello, director of postpress sales, Heidelberg USA; Jerry Faulkner, postpress sales rep, Heidelberg USA; Charlie Le, co-owner, Mail Advertising & Bindery; Paul Noonan, vice president of operations, Mail Advertising & Bindery; and Larry Ewing, sales rep, Heidelberg USA. P.S. Finishing Gets Perfect Complement NEW BERLIN, WI—P.S. Finishing recently installed a Standard Horizon BQ-470 book

Classic Printers — Keeping With Tradition

FROM A one-man operation in just a 12x12-ft. room, to becoming the third largest printing establishment in Houston, Classic Printers attributes its success over the years to traditional values coupled with embracing the latest printing technologies. Offering clients personalized service is not always easy in the fast-paced world of printing but, for Classic co-owners Herbert W. “Sandy” Haas and his wife Claudia Haas, it comes naturally. Since the company’s outset in 1981, customers have come to rely on the commercial sheetfed shop’s “personal” approach. “We believe that the biggest formula for our success is not losing sight of the fact that people do business

Consolidated Graphics — Fusing Power. . .and People

THE KNOCK against national printing platforms for years has been multifaceted. The so-called big guys are not as responsive as their smaller, more nimble competitors who can respond to challenges in an hour, not a week later following a conference call that spanned six time zones. OK, perhaps a bit heavy handed in the analysis, but the perception is out there that some major national players are not as scalable as the smaller printer. “Scalable how?” you ask. Cross-selling, and knowing what you have to sell. It is an acquired art to be able to cross-sell the national platform for a large

DIGITAL digest

Agfa Invests in Plate, Ink-Jet Resources BRANCHBURG, NJ—Rural New Jersey isn’t usually thought of as a hotbed of activity, but it’s becoming one for Agfa Graphics. The company recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Agfa Competence Center that was added to its local plate manufacturing facility. It also announced plans for a significant retooling of one of the plant’s plate lines to boost capacity and enable local production of products based on ThermoFuse technology, including Azura and Amigo digital plates. The competence center currently features two large-format ink-jet printers—an Anapurna XL, which prints up to a 981⁄2˝ width, and Anapurna M, which handles a

Donnelley Acquires Cardinal Brands

CHICAGO—RR Donnelley has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cardinal Brands—a designer, developer and manufacturer of document-related business, consumer and hobby products—for $130 million, less repayment of debts, retirement of preferred stock and other items. Pending regulatory approval, the all-cash deal for Lawrence, KS-based Cardinal Brands is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007 and be accretive to Donnelley’s earnings within the first 12 months. Cardinal Brands is owned by Westgate Group, a St. Louis-based private equity firm. It has manufacturing operations in the United States, Mexico and Great Britain. The brand line includes Adams business forms, Cardinal ring binders, and Globe-Weis document organization

Emerging Printing Technologies — Business Lines Are Forming

FLYING CARS and colonies in space were once seriously predicted to be a reality by now. Closer to home, though, experts also said that Adobe Photoshop and the Mac would never be acceptable for professional graphic arts applications. Any attempt to predict the course of technological development amounts to an educated guess at best. Even once a prototype has been developed, the scale-up to volume production can be problematic. Often, it is an unexpected development that leads to success. Printed electronics, security printing and lenticular are three technological developments that may hold opportunities for commercial printers. Each is still a work in process to

Graphic Press, Insync Media Join Forces

LOS ANGELES—Private equity firm Nogales Investors has agreed to acquire Insync Media of Inglewood, CA, which Nogales will merge with Graphic Press, based here. The new company will be called Insync Marketing Solutions. Graphic Press CEO Randy Ginsberg will become CEO of Insync Marketing Solutions, with Harold Huttas serving as president. “Our new company will have the capability to be more responsive to the current marketing requirements of our clients,” Huttas said in a statement. “Clients today express their desire for help to improve their brand value. By combining the resources of two firms, our new company is designed to respond even better to

GREEN scene

Arandell Corp. Honored by DNR MADISON, WI—Arandell Corp., of Menomonee Falls, WI, was welcomed September 27 into the state’s Green Tier program, which provides regulatory and publicity incentives to organizations that voluntarily achieve superior environmental performance. Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other state officials honored Arandell Corp. at a ceremony here. Prior to joining Green Tier, the high-end catalog printer recycled more than 43 million pounds of paper, aluminum, plastic film and inks. By switching to a new lighting system, Arandell saves 1.8 million kilowatt-hours annually. Arandell also reduced its VOC emissions by 20 tons after installing new press wash systems.

Hopkins Forms Stock Ownership Plan

COLUMBUS, OH—After nearly becoming a part of a national print consolidator earlier this year, Hopkins Printing has turned the keys of the business over to its employees. The family owned printer has joined the ranks of the employee-owned, following the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The ESOP was created, in part, to underscore its workers’ commitment to the company and to pave an avenue for advancing sustainable growth. In April, Hopkins Printing signed a letter of intent to be acquired by Houston-based Consolidated Graphics. But company President Jim Hopkins felt the ESOP was in the best interest of his company. Hopkins’ management

Immigration Compliance —Fiorenza

IN A development of significance for graphic arts companies utilizing foreign talent, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently amended its regulations relating to the unlawful hiring or continued employment of unauthorized aliens. Specifically, the amended regulation describes the legal obligations of an employer that receives either 1) a “no-match letter” from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or 2) a letter regarding employment verification forms from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). An employer “no-match letter” (also known as an “Employer Correction Request”) is a written notice from the SSA that the name and social security account number submitted to the SSA for an

IWCO Bolsters NC and NY Facilities

CHANHASSEN, MN—IWCO Direct will expand its Elm City, NC, plant and consolidate three Long Island facilities into one, moves that will add 350 new positions to the organization. Elm City is the former Cox Target Media Valpak production facility, acquired by IWCO Direct in October of 2006. The deal included a phased transition to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year but, based on performance results and operational costs, the facility will be expanded beyond the initial plan to include a “super commingle” site to drive postal optimization strategies. “The value of commingling has been proven by the May postal rate increase,” reports

Judge Blocks ‘No-Match Letter’

A U.S. District Judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction on October 10 that blocks the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing a new regulation regarding discrepancies between workers’ names and Social Security numbers. Under the rule, employers would have been given 90 days to work with an employee receiving a “No-Match Letter” and the government in order to rectify the problem and, in absence of a resolution, would have been forced to terminate employment or face serious fines. The court ruling blocks DHS enforcement of the new regulation until another federal court holds a full hearing on the merits of

KBA Showcases Diverse Printing Applications

WILLISTON, VT—With the prime foliage season as a backdrop, KBA North America held an open house October 12-14 in its demo center here to showcase its wide range of 20˝ to 81˝ sheetfed offset press offerings, including the 20˝ Genius 52 UV, 29˝ Performa 74, 41˝ Rapida 105 and 56˝ Rapida 142 presses. Holger Garbrecht, newly named president and CEO of KBA North America, welcomed the 150-plus attendees. “We want to show you special applications because this is a segment where you can still make a lot of money,” he noted. During the three-day presentation, presses produced jobs on a variety of substrates, including canvas, lenticular,

Mail Moves America. . .and Mailing and Fulfillment Technology Moves the Mail

Mail Moves America is the name of a new broad-based coalition of mailing and fulfillment industry related companies and associations, initially formed for the purpose of countering efforts to curtail, if not eliminate, mail delivery of direct commercial communication. But the phrase “Mail Moves America” is far more than that; it is quite simply the literal description of a key structural component of the American economy. Despite the growth of electronic communications, the U.S. mail remains a critical means by which to exchange information and conduct commerce for over 146 million separate American households, businesses and nonprofit organizations. And, since advertising mail currently provides

Peer Groups — Strength in Numbers

IMAGINE JOINING an exclusive business group that requires members to undergo a virtual audit of their finances, a club where you’re expected to share detailed information about company practices. Picture wanting to host a meeting where your facility is given a white glove inspection, followed by a brutally honest critiquing session by the other members of the group. Some people might respond, “Oh, I get the joke. This is what happens when you cross the IRS with a proctologist, right?” Nope, it’s what a company encounters when it joins the Print America peer group. Print America is a tightly knit fraternity of 12 privately

Postcards. . .And (Please) Buy My Book —Erik Cagle

EVERY NOW and then we receive a printer’s promo piece through the mail. My name will end up on a list with prospects and incumbent clients for a printing company, and I’ll get a taste of their sales program. Well, my publisher strolled up the other day and asked me to figure out what was wrong with a mailer he’d gotten via snail mail. I pored over the piece and began to panic. . .what was the gaffe? Spelling? Poor print job? Elaine Benes’ nip slip again? Just what was wrong with this postcard? Dave laughed at me. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. One

Postpress Efficiency — Bringing Up the Rear

ANY TALK concerning the efforts to improve postpress efficiency invariably degrades into a philosophical discussion over what, exactly, entails binding, finishing and friends. Ah yes, there is more than meets the eye, especially when mailing, fulfillment, kitting and other sometimes labor-intensive duties are added to the mix. After all, magazines are more apt to get caught up in discussions about definitions. But a workflow is a workflow, and it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Whatever stands between receiving the order and the truck pulling away from the dock impacts the workflow. While hardware and software manufacturers have yet to devise a tonic that

Printer Climbs to New Heights for Charity

MOUNT KILIMANJARO, AFRICA—Don Mader was on a mission to raise awareness and funding for the K.I.S.S. program—which provides free nutritional snacks for the 3,000 children who belong to the Broward County, FL, Boys and Girls Clubs. Mader, president of Stuart, FL-based Southeastern Printing, began an eight-day journey in mid-August and, along with four other adventurers,…


VDP ‘Masters’ Mentor on Tricks Of Printing Trade PHILADELPHIA—To help educate its clients (and prospective customers) with the latest trends in printing and variable data printing (VDP), Innovation Printing & Communications hosted a full day of seminars—billed as “The Masters of Printing and Variable Data”—in its new 67,000-square-foot facility on September 27. Innovation also invited representatives from Heidelberg, Adobe, Xerox, RIS Paper (Domtar Distribution Group), Clemson University and 23K Studios Inc. to participate in the event. Innovation’s energetic staff gave tours of the new facility during the course of the day, while several leading experts discussed various topics, including: the benefits of VDP and

Quad Wins Racking System Lawsuit

SUSSEX, WI—Quad/Graphics and its insurance company have been awarded $63 million in a lawsuit stemming from the 2002 collapse of Quad’s racking system that started a fire, killing one person. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it took a jury less than three hours to place the onus on the manufacturers of the automated shelving system, which ultimately led to the destruction of a building at Quad’s Lomira, WI, plant and the death of a contract worker. The companies found responsible were HK Systems (51 percent responsible), Rack Structures (39 percent) and Leavitt Tube (10 percent). HK Systems designed the system and Rack Structures built

Self-promotion — You Are What You Print

THERE’S AN 800-lb. gorilla in the room...And some printers are embracing it. In an industry where competition is stiff, quality is a given (all must provide it), and turnaround and price are often comparable, how does a printer differentiate itself from all the other printers that also promise quality, fast turnaround and low prices? A creative, innovative company can take the great ape problem—that of being “one of a million” printers—and, with a good dose of ingenuity and determination, transform itself into “one in a million.” If you can’t see the forest for the trees—because there’s too much competition standing in the way—then it’s