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  • Is Your Business Synced?

    Is Your Business Synced?

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Many printers I talk with say they worry that some jobs may be handled without the attention to detail they claim is part of their company culture. Ensuring that such care is taken is not always an easy task, especially once a job leaves prepress and lands in production. Sooner or later, almost every print business owner I talk with shares tales of how colors have been wrong, how press operator time per job is more than expected while press uptime and reliability...
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  • Feeling the Buzz at Labelexpo

    Feeling the Buzz at Labelexpo

    by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    The Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois is probably not on anyone’s bucket list of must-see locations, yet every two years the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is packed to the roof trusses with label and flexible packaging pros looking for new technologies that will help make them more money. There was a lot to see.

    My own curiosity aside, I was there at the behest of a client who needed me to shoot video for immediate uploading to the...
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  • G7 Color Strategy Paves The Path to Reinvention

    G7 Color Strategy Paves The Path to Reinvention

    Koenig and Bauer Builds New Automation Into Commercial Offset Presses

    by Sean O'Leary


    Two centuries after the establishment of Schnellpressenfabrik Koenig & Bauer in Würzburg, Germany, corporate management at the world’s oldest printing press manufacturer initiated a yearlong “pause to assess”. This process was intended to determine strategies Koenig and Bauer would develop in response to the colossal evolution of the global printing industry. In the course of...
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  • Finishing Is Not An Afterthought

    Finishing Is Not An Afterthought

    AccuLink’s Engineered Workflow Leverages Standard Finishing’s Automated Finishing Solutions
    by Sean O’Leary

    When long time trade printer AccuLink got the recommendation from Dscoop, Tom O’Brien understood right away it was going to be a game changer.

    One of the world’s largest digital print and design communities, the Dscoop organization links HP digital PSPs with designers, creatives and users. So when a major personalized print products company was looking...
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  • Xeikon Café: Sharing Ideas and Experiences

    Xeikon Café: Sharing Ideas and Experiences

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Just about all the major equipment and software vendors these days hold annual events to connect with customers and prospects, talk about new technologies, and try to bring a personal touch to what can otherwise be a somewhat distant relationship. These shindigs span the globe, take on all formats and some are decidedly better than others. I’ve been to many of them over the years and have found some are crafted to address the needs of customers. Which, you’d...
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  • Bringing the Bling

    Bringing the Bling

    Duplo Taps Into Tactile With A New Digital Spot Coater
    By Sean O’Leary

    As printing markets continue to morph and mature, some existing choices disappear while new opportunities simultaneously arise. While there is no question there is an abundance of stress in the 21st Century printing world, it is also equally evident that things are as interesting as they ever have been for those of the intrepid and innovative persuasion.

    To thrive in this hypercompetitive new environment,...
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  • How to Stop Chasing Color and Increase Profitability

    How to Stop Chasing Color and Increase Profitability

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Chances are, you’re seeing more and more jobs that require full color—it may be even most of the ones coming in, given the rapid increase in digital short-run printing. With that demand comes the need for color consistency, reliability and predictability, so you have to set and satisfy customer expectations for how colors will look on the printed page. And that is not always easy. Some familiar color reproduction challenges include:
    • Repeatability (matching
    ...
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  • You, the Tax Man and Section 179

    You, the Tax Man and Section 179

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Owners of small to mid-size businesses—meaning just about any type of print provider—know first-hand how tough it can be to keep a business profitable and moving forward. You’re always looking to get the most favorable returns on every deal and you try not to leave any money on the table. And when it comes to taxes, it’s especially important to know how to work the rules. And right now, one of the best of the bunch is called Section 179. Your tax guy...
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  • SGIA and NAPCO Media Engineer an Inclusive Trade Event for an Evolving Market

    SGIA and NAPCO Media Engineer an Inclusive Trade Event for an Evolving Market

    Sean O’Leary




    In October 2019, the Specialty Graphics & Imaging Association (SGIA) and NAPCO Media will launch Printing United, a trade show and conference envisioned to reflect the dynamics of a convergent printing industry. The move is the most recent development in a process, first announced in February, that began with a split between Printing Industries of America (PIA) and the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies...
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  • You've Been Hacked!

    You've Been Hacked!

    By Noel Ward, Editor @Large

    Well, maybe you haven’t been hacked (that you know of), but chances are one or more of your customers has, whether or not they are willing to admit it.

    I was getting a glass of wine at the One Canon event a few weeks back when Carlos Fernandes the head of Agile Cybersecurity Solutions came up and introduced himself. He asked how familiar I was with the issue of cyber security. I said that to be honest, I’d thought of data security as something...
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  • Killer Apps Percolating At The Free Xeikon Café in May
    by MyWildIrishProse
    Anyone feeling challenged by running a printing business in the digital age may be interested in getting to Chicago mid-May to check out Xeikon Café North America (May 14-16, 2019). This multi-vendor educational & networking event follows on the heels of a record-breaking Xeikon Café Europe in April, which attracted over 1,000 participants to Antwerp. The North American conference includes panels, workshops, demonstrations, presentations and social events, with a focus on automation and flexible...
    Yesterday, 08:33 AM
  • The Space Between: RISO Nails the “Business InkJet” Niche
    by MyWildIrishProse
    by Sean O’Leary

    The transition from electrostatic/toner printers to inkjet printing continues apace, with few observers doubting that inkjet platforms will prevail in the long term. The latest generation of production inkjet presses from Xerox, KM, and Ricoh are faster than toner-based (EP) machines and generally cost less per page for the same job. As for the color accuracy question, once the accountants and customers take a good look at total benefits, it turns out that inkjet color...
    04-17-2019, 10:02 PM
  • Print MIS: Can You Follow the Money?
    by noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    In the average week (as if there is such a thing!) how many different jobs and projects are on your plate? If yours is like many shops these days, your work in process may span offset, digital, and large format work, along with direct mail, data management, maybe some fulfillment, and even mobile communications. The deadlines are relentless, the pressure builds and the frustration mounts, at least some of the time. And then your lead sales guy comes in with...
    03-24-2019, 06:25 PM
  • The Move to Inkjet
    by noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    For the past few years one of the questions I’ve gotten from print providers running toner presses is along the lines of, “How much volume should I have before I move to inkjet?” It’s an excellent query and it shows that people are thinking.

    Then there are the ones who call, bemoaning their lack of foresight, saying “I bought this UltraJet C6000 and it’s costing me a fortune. What can I do?”

    To be clear, there are many...
    03-21-2019, 06:11 PM
  • A Fast Track for File Prep
    by noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    A few times each week a customer shows up or sends in a file that needs a lot of love. It’s usually work they don’t want to do (or can’t do) themselves and involves making sure a stack of pages will be professionally printed. Those pages may be a mix of original files, scans from who knows where, and a cover that needs to be updated, along with the titling on the spine. Then there are colors that need to...
    02-28-2019, 02:43 PM
  • How CHILI’S New Illustrator® Feature Plugs Into An Increasingly Automated Future
    by MyWildIrishProse
    By Sean O'Leary



    As 2019 kicks off, CHILI publish will begin rolling out a new Illustrator Plug-in for its Universal Graphics Engine platform. That news is bigger than it sounds at first.

    The “native AI document conversion utility” is particularly targeted to the packaging and label industries, which, due to the greater complexity of their graphics (and the incorporation of large numbers of vector components), have historically favored the Adobe Illustrator®...
    02-01-2019, 10:26 AM
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