BY CHERYL A. ADAMS In the great digital plate debate, the stakes are high, competition is fierce and expert opinions are numerous . . . "Thermal is dead!" "Visible light will fade away!" "Polyester is taboo!" "Blue laser diode isn't a technological breakthrough, it's a setback!" "Anything but silverless UV CTP is economically unsound!" When the dust settles, which consumables (and related technologies) will be left standing? Which ones will not only survive, but thrive in a future where print will compete with other media channels and other digital printing options, such as distribute-and-print, and the Internet? As more commercial printers address the transition
CHERYL A. ADAMS
Folding machines are advancing by leaps and bounds, as many companies will prove this month at DRUPA 2000, in Dusseldorf, Germany. BY CHERYL A. ADAMS "A new breed of folder . . . " dreams the printer who dozes off on his flight to DRUPA. "Smaller . . . Cheaper . . . Faster . . . Easy to set up . . . Easy to operate . . . Rugged enough to handle whatever jobs I throw at it . . ." In his dream, the printer is en route across the DRUPA fairgrounds complex, pushing past crowds, catching quick glimpses of
Job tickets—which have been around since Gutenberg, if only in an elementary form—have evolved from handwritten envelopes to computerized, customized, global documents. In the new millennium, that evolution continues as job tickets are transformed from mere digital versions of their paper-based predecessors to virtual windows in the production process. BY CHERYL A. ADAMS "Our crystal ball indicates that, not only will print buying on the Internet become widespread, but also, in many cases, the management systems that the printer uses [such as those for electronic job ticketing applications] will be run totally over the Internet, as well," says Carol Andersen, president of Micro
While this cutting-edge technology offers the promise of "speed without compromise," some reluctant customers (who are uncomfortable with the electronic concept) fear that the digital proofing promise is simply too good to be true. How, then, do commercial printers convince them otherwise? BY CHERYL A. ADAMS "Have you looked at a National Geographic that was printed in 1980? Looks great doesn't it, just like today's issue? Only the 2000 issue was produced in a fraction of the time—without compromise in quality and from a source of information that is vast," says John Bassett, director of sales and marketing at Scholin Brothers Printing in
BY CHERYL A. ADAMS There are two sides to every story. And, likewise, the pros and cons, the pluses and minuses, the advantages and drawbacks. Whatever you call them, where there is one, there is the other. Good and bad have coexisted since the beginning of time. And so it is with the story of in-line and off-line finishing: There are advantages and drawbacks to using each technology and trade offs—speed vs. specialty finishing, high-volume price break vs. value-added extras—that ultimately go with the business...the business of web press finishing, either in- or off-line. But the finishing business is good these days—booming, in
Valassis Communications is the coupon guru, the originator of the free-standing insert—that four-color coupon booklet, which has become a household commodity, if not phenomenon, as a modern day, money-saving device. Now, it's revolutionizing the way consumers clip coupons by offering "virtual savings" online. BY CHERYL A. ADAMS If you've ever saved money with one of those Sunday newspaper coupons, chances are, you have Valassis Communications to thank. And you'll be even more thankful in the new millenium, when, beginning this year, Valassis is printing and distributing a record number (44 weeks!) of free-standing inserts (FSIs) in Sunday newspapers nationwide. And, that's not all.