October 2007 Issue


2007 PIA/GATF Ratios Say Profits Increasing

PITTSBURGH—Printing industry profits increased slightly over the past year, back to the rates of the mid to late 1990s, according to the recently completed 2007 PIA/GATF Ratios Survey. The average printer’s before-tax profit on sales was 3.4 percent for the typical Ratios participant over this past year. This was an increase compared to 2.7 percent for 2006. It also is within the 3.0–3.4 percent range experienced from 1995–2001. Profit leaders, printers in the top 25 percent of profitability, saw profits decrease slightly to 10.1 percent, as compared to 10.3 percent in 2006. Despite this small decrease, profit as a percentage of sales for profit leaders remained

ACROSS the nation

Citiprint Press Addition Makes Big Impact ALLENTOWN, PA—Citiprint purchased a four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74 with coater to complement a two-color Heidelberg Printmaster QM 46 installed in 2004, when the company first opened. Shabir Sumar, co-owner, says the added capability has been instrumental in attracting new customers and producing larger format work for its existing clients. Fong Brothers’ Packaging Niche Expands BRISBANE, CA—Catering to major corporate clients and advertising agencies, Fong Brothers Printing has expanded its packaging and folding carton printing capabilities. The company installed a new six-color, 40˝ Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LX sheetfed press, which handles stocks ranging from 0.002˝ to

BINDERY matters

Quad Taps Goss at Graph Expo SUSSEX, WI—Quad/Graphics will add six new high-productivity Goss finishing systems at various facilities in the United States over the next 12 months. The order, announced during Graph Expo in Chicago last month, includes Pace-setter 2500 saddlestitchers and Universalbinder adhesive binders. Quad/Graphics has installed more than 100 Pacesetter and Universalbinder finishing systems since 1980. “We are investing continuously in finishing operations to give our customers the fastest and most efficient technology available, as well as unique opportunities to add value to their printed products,” notes Bill Graushar, vice president of finishing at Quad/Graphics. “We have a long-standing history of working with

DIGITAL digest

HP Empowers With Print 2.0 NEW YORK—On the 52nd floor of 7 World Trade Center, more than 700 guests and 100 Hewlett-Packard employees spent two days enjoying a room with a (magnificent!) view. The event was part of HP’s rollout of the “Print 2.0: Extending the Power of Print” strategy and provided a launching pad for a new $300 million, worldwide marketing campaign—“What do you have to say?” With New York City as a backdrop, the main attractions, however, were inside where HP staged an “Experience Center.” It resembled a Hollywood set complete with a faux bedroom, living room, home office, business office, retail

Dozen Enter Soderstrom Society

CHICAGO—The Paramus, NJ-based NAPL honored 12 printing industry leaders with induction into the Soderstrom Society during a pre-Graph Expo gala held September 8 at the Art Institute of Chicago. The event also celebrated NAPL’s 75th anniversary. The 2007 inductees are: Dale Aigner, owner, Bentley Printing & Graphics, Garden Grove, CA; Robert Carew, retiring president, Action Printing, Fond du Lac, WI; Craig Dellinger, general manager/partner, New Haven Print & Copy, Fort Wayne, IN; Bill Gavigan, executive vice president/CFO, PDQ Print Center, Scranton, PA; Steve Hayes, president/CEO, Omaha Printing, Omaha, NE; Kevin Joyce, managing director, Kodak, Norwalk, CT; Keith Kemp, president, Xerographic Digital Printing, Orlando, FL; Francis

Faraci Takes Kodak GCG Leadership

ROCHESTER, NY—Eastman Kodak has named Philip Faraci to the position of president and COO, effective immediately. He assumes responsibility of the Graphic Communications Group from Jim Langley, along with managing the Consumer Digital Imaging Group (CDG).Langley will remain as a vice president through the end of 2007. The positions of president for GCG and CDG…

Finishing Touches Play Pivotal Role

In the years since the last Drupa, demand for increasingly diverse finishing work has gone hand-in-hand with the trend toward mostly small run sizes. Along with this, trends toward greater use of color and a general demand for higher quality products have gained momentum. Novel finishing solutions introduced back in 2004 have since become integral elements in the printing process. Techniques such as coatings, gold and silver inks, diecutting, embossing and foil application are now routinely used to add value to high-quality print materials. Machine and material manufacturers at Drupa 2008 will be introducing products and services in line with this market trend. Both

Franklin Event Sets Record

NEW YORK—Ben Franklin himself would have jumped with joy over the large turnout at his namesake 2007 Franklin Event. Nearly 600 people filled the banquet hall at Pier Sixty on September 18, a record attendance, while marking the first time the annual awards and networking gala was held under the Printing Industries Alliance (PIA) banner. Following welcome remarks by Tim Freeman, association president, HudsonYards President and COO Diane Romano presented the Franklin Award for Distinguished Service to Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. An author of dozens of best-selling books, Stewart’s multimedia enterprise bearing her name also consists of numerous magazine titles, radio

Garbrecht Takes KBA North America Helm

WILLISTON, VT—KBA North America has named Holger Garbrecht as its new president and CEO. Garbrecht replaces Ralf Sammeck, who was promoted to executive vice president of worldwide sheetfed sales. Garbrecht previously served with Heidelberg, where he was responsible for business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He holds an MBA from the University of Applied Sciences Rheinland-Pfalz in international business, accounting and controlling. “KBA North America is the unparalleled technology leader in printing presses,” Garbrecht said in a release. “The firm continues to introduce groundbreaking press designs and the largest range of presses for printers of any size. I’m proud to be part of a

GE07: Binding and Finishing — Quest for Automation

THE ROLLER coaster twisted from one side of the Muller Martini booth to the other, an improbably long snake piercing the air in an exhibition hall mostly filled with floor-dwelling equipment. This machine was certainly no bottom feeder—more specifically, it was a top feeder, the Topveyor 365 overhead conveyor. At times an overhead conveyor was needed to circumvent the crowds choking the aisles during Graph Expo 2007 in Chicago. But the patron flow was volatile, and there were periods where one could walk down some of the back aisles of the McCormick Place South Hall without bumping into a poster-toting gawker. . .of which

GE07: Consumables and Substrates — Sustainability: Here to Stay

BUZZ WORDS come and go, especially at Graph Expo, where they’re here one year and gone the next. “Sustainability” is not a buzz word. It’s a commitment—and it’s here to stay. While printers and vendors alike were talking all things “green” at the show, much of the excitement was coming from paper and ink manufacturers, who have been at the head of the eco movement, having spent the past several years investing heavily in R&D on new lines of environmentally friendly products. Now, many of these suppliers have become pioneers and leaders in the ever-growing sustainability campaign. The following is a sampling of some

GE07: Digital Printing — Applications Being Taken

ONE OF the promotional pieces sent out by the sponsors of Graph Expo made the claim that this year’s event would be the largest digital printing show in the United States by a factor of two. That’s including solutions for page printing, wide-format printing, software and related equipment. Tuesday was designated “Customer & Marketing Communications Day,” which was supposed to put a special focus on transpromotional printing applications that combine direct marketing with statements/transactional mail. Several digital press vendors did highlight this developing market during their press briefings, and GMC Software had a good-sized booth, but this application was still easy to miss around

GE07: Sheetfed/Web Offset Presses — Windy City Wonders

WITH THE massive Drupa exhibition in Germany just seven months away, Graph Expo 2007 held in Chicago last month won’t go down in graphic arts history as a watershed event from a jaw-dropping new product standpoint. But that didn’t stop more than 20,000 upbeat attendees from filling the aisles at what was the largest Graph Expo event since 2000, and the second largest ever. Despite the Drupa effect, from a traditional offset printing standpoint there were a few new presses introduced, several automation and makeready advancements on display and, of course, a sprinkling of press sale announcements. An emphasis on environmental sustainability and improved

Got Cost-Cutting Ideas?

We are looking for sources who are willing to provide their thoughts on innovative ways in which printers can cut costs. What are some measures a printer can take besides cutting back on staffing and services? The ideas can cover any aspect of your operation. Send your name, title, company name and money-saving tips to…

Graph Expo Delivers —Michelson

HYPE RARELY lives up to reality. But, in the case of Graph Expo in Chicago last month, the trade show met—and, in many cases, surpassed—the expectations of exhibitors and visitors alike. More than 650 exhibitors filling more than 460,000 square feet of exhibit space made Graph Expo 2007 the largest one since 2000, and the second largest ever. It wasn’t just the sheer size of the event that delivered on its advance billing, though. Most impressive was the upbeat mood that permeated the four-day event. Despite the sub-prime mortgage crisis and an erratic stock market capturing national headlines, Graph Expo hit on all cylinders

Graph Expo Goes Green —Morgan

SUSTAINABILITY was the focus everywhere at Graph Expo last month. It was the one common theme that permeated throughout the largest national graphic communications trade show. For the first time, myriad companies expressed that sustain­ability issues are one of their top goals. As just one example, Yoshiharu Komori, president and CEO of Komori Corp., opened the Komori press conference by saying that “it is our responsibility and duty to embark on solutions for the environment.” Komori says one of his company’s main goals is to become a model for the environment in the industry. Companies that have a long history of commitment to environmentally sound

Hall of Fame Welcomes Inductees

CHICAGO—The 20th annual Gold Ink Awards and Hall of Fame Gala drew more than 300 attendees to the McCormick Place Grand Ballroom during Graph Expo last month, with the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame opening the doors to four new inductees. During the course of the evening, which included a cocktail reception prior to the dinner, four prominent members of the printing industry joined the ranks with 82 men and two women previously enshrined. Those honored were Tim Poole, president of Dome Printing; Chris Colville, retired CFO and executive vice president of Consolidated Graphics; Gary Samuels, managing partner at Pictorial Offset; and David

Innovation Printing & Communications — Focused on Growth

A “WHATEVER it takes attitude” in the business world may sound cliché, but Philadelphia-based Innovation Printing & Communications has walked the walk—responding to customer needs by adding new equipment, consolidating into a single facility to optimize workflows and increasing its headcount with 20 new employees. From its outset in 1973, Innovation was a boutique shop, specializing in annual reports and other high-end projects. Owners Jeff Jones, president, and Dave Carpenter, vice president of sales and operations, wanted to transform the business away from the seasonal nature of annual report printing into a commercial sheetfed offset and digital printing operation. Jones and Carpenter bought

Jury Awards $63M to Quad, Insurance Provider

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 plant. 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 the shelves, while Leavitt made floor-to-ceiling tubing. According to

LETTERS to the editor

Commentary Draws Fire Dear Editor: In Erik Cagle’s Bits and Pieces column (August 2007 issue), he states that he was floored when every printer at his table said if they found the sales rep to be reprehensible, they would not do a deal with that rep. He was floored? This is a revelation? Look, a reprehensible (his word) rep means a reprehensible deal, reprehensible follow-through, reprehensible service and an overall reprehensible experience. Where’s the good business sense in that? When the sales guy is a jerk, you don’t ask yourself why a company would allow a jerk to represent it in the market? You don’t ask why they can’t

Merrill Corp. Decides Against Going Public

NEW YORK—It looks like financial printing specialist Merrill Corp. isn’t going public again after all. At least not in the foreseeable future.Merrill withdrew its Initial Public Offering registration statement, reported the Associated Press. Citing Merrill’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, it said the printer’s change of heart was due to “adverse market conditions.”

NewPage Adds Stora Enso NA

MIAMISBURG, OH—It’s been a good year for NewPage Corp. After using a complaint to knock several Asian coated free sheet sources down a peg via countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department this past summer, the former MeadWestvaco set it sights on acquiring a company that had its own issues with paper pricing. On September 21, NewPage announced it had signed a definitive agreement in which its parent company, NewPage Holding, will acquire Stora Enso’s paper manufacturing operations in North America. The deal is for a cool $1.5 billion in cash, a $200 million note, and a 19.9 percent equity interest in the new

Olivier Set to Guide Transcontinental

MONTREAL—Francois Olivier, the son-in-law of Transcontinental founder Remi Marcoux, will be taking command of the Canadian printing giant in 2008. Transcontinental’s board of directors unanimously appointed Olivier as its next president and CEO, effective February 20, 2008. Olivier replaces Luc Desjardins, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Under Desjardins, Transcontinental grew from a market capitalization of C$653 million to C$1.8 billion. “We have the right teams in place at the head office and in our three operating sectors,” Desjardins said. “We have a proven decision-making structure and processes. . .I am leaving the company in good hands and in an excellent position for the

Oops! Another SSN List Gets Mailed

SACRAMENTO, CA—Pretty soon, the word “Security” will need to be removed from the phrase “Social Security number.” Another under-edited printing and mailing job has turned thousands of retirees into potential identity theft victims. About 445,000 retirees received an informational brochure in advance of an election to fill a vacancy on the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Unfortunately, all or most of the recipients’ Social Security numbers appeared on the address panel, according to the Sacramento Bee. CalPERS sent out a letter to retirees, explaining the breach. The letter stressed that while it was unlikely any person would recognize the sequence of numbers


Variable Data Works Magic for Disney BEING IN the printing industry, it’s hard not to have a skewed view of developments in the variable data marketing arena. The topic has received so much play, it’s easy to assume everyone has heard about this marketing technique and technology by now. Certainly, it has to be old hat for a marketing force such as Disney. Until last year, however, Disney Destinations had been sending out a generic package to anyone who contacted the company for information about booking an event at one of Disney’s five resort properties. Worse yet, there was no follow- up with these