Are You Ready for the Serious Commitment?
Any of you that have children know the commitment that it takes when a family is involved in extra curricular activities. The time and money spent sometimes feels endless, but you keep the support going. You make the sacrifices and do whatever it takes in fear of, “The Alternative.”
As the father of three daughters, I know the funds we have spent through the years with all of the girl’s activities. Regardless if it was swimming, basketball, volleyball, chorus or color guard, we always seemed to get out the checkbook and spend the nonstop hours to make sure they had everything needed as we drove them to various locations. But we always enjoyed being in the stands to support them as best as we could and wouldn’t have it any other way.
The same dynamic is relevant to all specialty UV printing applications.
Regardless if you’re a veteran printer or new to the UV game, you will quickly realize that if you want to be successful, you must put the necessary time, money and energy into R&D. But when the dust settles, the smoke and chaos clear, you stand back and look at the finished product with admiration.
If you think you’re going to just read an article or the specs on a promo sheet and replicate the product in your hand, you seriously must question that thought! From the outside looking in, I have witnessed many printers spend thousands of dollars listening to the wrong people or proceeding by trial and error.
Working for two of the largest and most innovative printers in this country, along with assisting numerous companies throughout our industry, I can personally tell you that grand results don’t come easy. Their outstanding achievements didn’t come without some bloodshed and casualties along the way.
With all of the various products on the market and variations in equipment specifications, there is not a “one size fit’s all” solution. The better vendors will admit they are not application specialists or printers, but will provide you with great support on supplies or equipment along with a direction to move forward. The “not so” good vendors will try as hard as they can to make every excuse possible as to why things went wrong, rather than concede any shortcomings of their products or apparatus.
Surround yourself with people that you absolutely trust during the R&D phase and recognize the knowledge they hold. There are times when it’s best to work with someone who “Doesn’t have a dog in the fight.” They will be the one that has your back and will support your needs as the customer.
Plan to spend the money, time and effort required to successfully achieve your ambitions with the repeatability and predictability that you’ll need to replicate the impressive results more than one time.
And for you parents supporting children...I watched a neighbor youngster—who was a southpaw and spent all of his spare time on a baseball field—grow up to be the second-best junior college prospect and named Junior College Player of the Year by Baseball America in 2002. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds two years straight and did not sign. Instead he went to the Baltimore Orioles. He actually came back home and donated thousands of dollars to our high school for improvements to its baseball program.
So commitment does pay off regardless of the circumstances.
Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.
In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.