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  • Short-Run Rotary Die-Cutting: More Value and More Margin

    Short-Run Rotary Die-Cutting: More Value and More Margin

    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    Printing today is about more than ink on paper. In fact, even saying “ink on paper” is an anachronism, given the bewildering variety of substrates that today’s equipment can print on. Today’s print customers are increasingly looking for ways for what they produce to stand out from other printed items, either in customers’ mailboxes, on store shelves, or any other environment where printed materials are jostling for attention. To that end,...
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  • Automated Cross Platform Color Management is Now a Thing

    Automated Cross Platform Color Management is Now a Thing

    "What do you want the job to look like, where is it going and what are the rules for mapping out of gamut colors?"

    Sean O’Leary
    Chief Technology Officer | Print Planet

    I was recently involved in producing case studies documenting a half dozen large commercial printers’ installations of high speed production inkjet printers. The featured inkjet models were built by Xerox, Fuji, Ricoh, HP, Konica-Minolta and other major manufacturers and they had been installed...
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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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  • Wtp
    noelward
    by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    What do you do when things go sideways? What does your team do? Who decides? And how do people feel when it’s all over? Successful? Or maybe like everyone just dodged a bullet?

    When things don’t go according to plan, there are usually a few people in any organization who fall apart, operating under a policy that goes something like, “when wracked by fear, or deep in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.” Meanwhile, cooler heads usually...
    02-11-2018, 02:32 PM
  • Accelerating Delivery for Parts & Service
    noelward
    by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Ask yourself a question: How dependent is your business on the support available for the equipment and technology on your shop floor? If your company is like most others in our industry the answer is probably something like, “More than I’d like it to be.”

    To minimize the stress and moments of panic that come with an unexpected equipment failure, you probably have a series of procedures in place to help ensure you can still meet deadlines...
    01-26-2018, 04:53 PM
  • 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
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