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  • Noodling with Job Planning and Imposition Software

    Noodling with Job Planning and Imposition Software

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    I once bought a pasta maker. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, I like pasta (it’s part of the heritage, after all!), and fresh, restaurant-quality pasta is one of life’s great delights. However, since I do not actually run a restaurant, the pasta maker ended up being more trouble than it was worth. From all the prep work it takes to make the dough to put into the thing, to the elaborate clean-up required, it turned out that just...
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  • All Wrapped Up

    All Wrapped Up

    By Noel Ward, Editor @Large

    Back in the “long strange trip it’s been” days of the Seventies I was riding right seat in a west-bound 18-wheeler, talking with the driver about roads, distances and his life as a trucker. He pointed to a truck streaming east, running well above the speed limit.

    “There. Monfort of Colorado. Fastest trucks on the road.”

    And they were. You could tell the always-immaculate Monfort fleet by the orange and white paint jobs...
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  • Universal Punch: Not as Grand as the Grand Unified Theory, but Far More Productive

    Universal Punch: Not as Grand as the Grand Unified Theory, but Far More Productive

    Ingenious Universal Hole Punch Pattern is Compatible With Most Binding Methods

    By Sean O'Leary, Chief Technology Officer



    For 50 years, particle physicists have struggled to develop what is known as the Grand Unified Theory. This elusive formula would mathematically link together the four major forces of the universe – gravity, strong nuclear, weak nuclear and the electromagnetic spectrum. But despite some sporadic progress over the years – some of which...
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  • Speeding the Shift to Inkjet from Offset

    Speeding the Shift to Inkjet from Offset

    By Noel Ward

    The machine is deep blue, maybe 30 feet long, 10 feet high and deep. The owner calls it a variable offset press. It resides in a climate-controlled room, just outside of which an 8-color Speedmaster churns out work at 18,000 sheets per hour. The big blue inkjet press may be far slower, but it is actively taking work from the company’s two offset presses and a pair of full-color toner presses. The CTO of the operation says there is no reason to ever buy another offset...
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  • Print That Hits the Spot

    Print That Hits the Spot

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    “It just caught my eye as something different.”

    Such was the feeling of Greg Wallace, owner of Waltham, Mass.’s HPGprint, when he was given a demonstration of Duplo’s new DDC-810 Spot UV Coater at last year’s Graph Expo. “It looked like it was a different kind of machine and could add value.”

    “Added value” is the biggest driver of unique finishing options today, from digital embellishments like foil stamping...
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  • What the Scribes & successful printers learned about automating

    What the Scribes & successful printers learned about automating

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    Students of printing history likely know the name Johannes Trithemius. He was a German abbot in the 1490s, about 40 years after the invention of the printing press. By Trithemius’ heyday, the printing revolution was in full swing, automating the process of reproducing documents and replacing the earlier method that involved hand-copying by scribes, monks cloistered and copying documents in scriptoria. After the printing press, demand for scribes...
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  • What! You’re not Using Web2Print?

    What! You’re not Using Web2Print?

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Raise your hand if you remember jobs coming in on CDs or DVDs. Thanks!

    Now raise your hand if you remember jobs coming in on Zip Drives? A few more. Very good!

    How about on SyQuest drives? Excellent! (How does if feel to be that old?)

    Finally, how many of you had jobs come in as mechanicals, so you had to take a Photostat of every page and make plates so you could run it on your press? (How does it feel to be ancient?)...
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  • New Affordable, Short-Run Finishing Systems:

    New Affordable, Short-Run Finishing Systems:

    A Competitive Edge for Commercial Printers?

    by Sean O'Leary
    Chief Technology Officer, PrintPlanet


    One of the hidden problems with the digital revolution is that it opens up new business opportunities for everyone – not just you. For example, you may have thought that a high volume inkjet press investment was a strategic move that would put you one step ahead of the competition, but in reality it turned out you’re just keeping up with the pack. For small-to-medium...
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  • No Jackets Required

    No Jackets Required

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Taking the jackets off your offset presses is the first advantage of adding LED-UV dryers to your press. After that, things get even better, putting an end to conventional drying methods while eliminating environmental concerns associated with old-school UV curing.

    Back in the day—and much of that day is still here—drying inks after printing required hot air or heat lamps. Forward-thinking printers who opted for UV inks had to add mercury-arc...
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  • You Won’t Survive by Printing Alone

    You Won’t Survive by Printing Alone

    By Noel Ward

    In the mid-90s I was going into print shops, setting up internal networks, training prepress people on using QuarkXPress and dragging many shop owners kicking and screaming into the tenuous new world of digital file prep and digital printing. Some embraced the new technology while others were skeptical or resistant. Suffice it to say that those who survived were not the skeptics or resisters. A couple years later I was an active advocate for digital printing, editing a...
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  • Chasing the Holy Grail of Inkjet Printing * Third of 3 Parts
    noelward
    Episode 3: Ink and Substrates Matter

    by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    So you know inkjet is the game changer and has a lot of room to grow and change, and that an inkjet press running coated or glossy paper offers more paths to profitability. Priming fluids may have helped, but are not necessarily essential. So it sill comes down to putting the ink on the page, which is why Ink and Substrates Matter.

    Inks and Substrates Matter
    On any flavor of press, substrates...
    12-11-2017, 11:55 AM
  • Chasing the Holy Grail of Inkjet Printing: The Second of Three Parts
    noelward
    Episode 2: To Prime or not to Prime?

    by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    The story so far: Inkjet printing on glossy and coated stocks is a Holy Grail of inkjet printing. But like in human relationships, there’s chemistry involved, only here it is the chemistry of inks and the surface of the paper. The technologies are advancing all the time, but for the moment it comes to one question:

    To Prime or Not to Prime?
    The surfaces of glossy or coated stocks are resistant...
    12-04-2017, 11:53 AM
  • Chasing the Holy Grail of Inkjet Printing: The First of Three Parts
    noelward
    Episode 1: Where Ink and Paper Meet

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    It’s probably no coincidence that adoption of high-speed inkjet printing has been growing right along with the throughput speeds of the presses. But for all they offer, high-speed inkjet systems have typically lacked the ability to handle coated or glossy substrates. Now, thanks to changes in inks and papers, such stocks are speeding beneath the print heads of many inkjet presses. This expands the opportunities...
    11-30-2017, 08:51 AM
  • Xeikon Café Opens Shop in Chicago
    noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    If you aren’t a Xeikon customer or prospect, or just didn’t go to the recent Xeikon Cafe in Chicago, you missed a great event. We’ll get to that. But first, a bit of history.

    That was then…
    A quarter century ago, at a trade show called IPEX (now a mere shadow of its former self) two smallish companies rolled out their full-color digital printing presses. Today, the latest iterations of their machines are still influencing the ever-expanding...
    11-19-2017, 03:01 PM
  • How Canon Users thINK
    noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Early fall is a fine time to go to south Florida. Hurricanes are (maybe) a bit less likely to disrupt travel plans, the temps have dropped out of the nineties and although the humidity is still there, the lower end of the Sunshine State is not a bad place to be, especially when the venue is the tony Boca Raton Resort and the reason for being there is Canon thINK 2017. This third iteration of Canon’s customer-driven conference brought in more than 400 people...
    10-25-2017, 01:32 PM
  • An under-the-radar flight pattern for MCS Inc.
    MyWildIrishProse
    by Sean O’Leary

    The first thing Glenn Toole said to me was “We change our world every 4 - 5 years and if we don’t we’re not moving ahead.”

    It was just last week that your PrintPlanet reporter stopped by MCS, Inc.’s Bolingbrook, IL National Demonstration Facility for a follow up chat with Glenn Toole, Vice President Sales & Marketing. This trip was sort of a continuation of a brief Print ’17 booth visit, after which I had been dogged by a feeling that there was more...
    10-12-2017, 09:22 AM
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