Dennis Mason

TWO PREDICTIONS for the 2009 calendar year: Barack Obama will be sworn in this month as the 44th president of the United States, and printers will endure an even tougher year than they did in 2008. Sorry...with the economy being what it is, the editors at Printing Impressions can’t even afford to go out on a limb. And, when it comes to forecasting the fortunes of printers for the final year of the millennium’s first decade, it hardly takes Nostradamus to tell us that economic pressures will cast a heavy burden on printers in 2009.


AT THE recent EFI Connect 2008 users conference in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion with my esteemed colleagues, Dennis Mason of Mason Consulting and Forrest Leighton of Canon USA. The primary topic was Drupa 2008 and what we thought were the most important aspects of this “Olympics” of the printing industry. I have written extensively on that topic and won’t repeat any of that here. But one of the questions the moderator asked us to consider was: If Drupa 2008 was the “ink-jet” Drupa, what will Drupa 2012 be? This soon after a mega-show like Drupa, it

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

JUST AS Major League Baseball fans look forward to October for the culmination of a long season with the World Series, printers move into autumn with thoughts of the industry’s largest trade show in the Americas for 2006, Graph Expo & Converting Expo, fittingly held in Chicago, home of the reining world champion White Sox. This year’s Graph Expo & Converting Expo, taking place October 15-18 at the McCormick Place South complex, should provide plenty of action for attendees. Exhibit space has topped 400,000 square feet, with nearly 600 exhibiting companies in attendance. It will be the largest Graph Expo show held since 2000.

Sometimes, the beauty of acronyms is that they can be re-used. There may come a time, for example, when CTP stops meaning computer-to-plate or even computer-to-press and begins to mean "cerebral cortex-to-press." At least, Cal Poly Professor Harvey Levenson believes it's possible. "Imagine thinking of an image and, through electrical signals naturally generated by the brain, the image is sent directly to a digital printing press where 50,000 copies of your thoughts are reproduced in perfect color," he says. You're laughing at Levenson? Remember, they also laughed at Fulton. Laughing or not, tens of thousands of commercial, package printing and converting professionals will turn

by chris bauer Managing Editor Productivity equals time and time equals money. Obviously, sheetfed and web offset printers want to get the most out of their expensive equipment. And, just as obvious, is the fact that printers want to be as profitable as possible. The opportunities to become more productive in the lithographic pressroom are numerous. "The trend in pressrooms across the country is toward more and more automation, both in material handling at both ends of the press, as well as more closed-loop control processes on the press itself," notes Edmond Kelley, executive director for the National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic

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