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  • Why Ever Would You Want to Automate?

    Why Ever Would You Want to Automate?

    by Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Why ever would you want to automate your operation? After all, it seems far too complex, costs money, involves a lot of your people, will absorb significant time, and you figure you probably don’t need it. And then you run out of excuses.

    I used to work with a guy who had some 20-odd years in printing and packaging behind him. He insisted that every shop he went into had a superbly lean and extremely efficient workflow and spectacular MIS. He...
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  • Can Reality be Printed?

    Can Reality be Printed?

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    The title above is not intended as an existential question, but as the relevance of print continues to evolve it is worth consideration. Of interest here is a technology called Augmented Reality and its relationship to print. Is there one?

    Definitely. At PRINT 18 I gave a presentation entitled “Is AR the Resurrection of Print?” which much to my surprise drew a standing-room-only crowd and has since generated numerous phone calls about this...
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  • Ultimate’s Red Hot Technology Breakthrough Award: New Dimensions in AI

    Ultimate’s Red Hot Technology Breakthrough Award: New Dimensions in AI

    Sean O'Leary

    In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, the Little Mermaid swam into our hearts and desktop publishing was a fresh new thing. Platforms like PageMaker, QuarkXpress and Photoshop were still novel and the PDF protocol was a future gleam in Adobe’s eye. But as I was writing this post, I discovered that another event took place in 1989 that surprised me: Ultimate Technographics launched the original version of its signature Ultimate Impostrip® digital imposition software....
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  • Canon USA’s Gamut Destinations Exhibit Is A Mini Vacation With A Message

    Canon USA’s Gamut Destinations Exhibit Is A Mini Vacation With A Message

    by Sean O'Leary

    I have been to more trade shows than I can (or want to) count at this point, so I think it’s accurate to say it takes something special to get my attention. At Print 18, there was no shortage of exhibitors willing to deploy loads of money and creative resources in an effort to somehow translate their corporate mission via the unwieldy medium known as the trade show booth (an esoteric and challenging art form indeed). But as has always been the case, funds expended...
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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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  • A Duplo Upgrade As A Weapon Against Commoditization
    by MyWildIrishProse
    Few observers of the commercial print industry have missed the fact that the industry now changes at hyper speed, even as it continues to consolidate. These days, most of these technology innovations fall under the aegis of automation, as efficiency becomes ever more critical to competitiveness. For better or worse, the machines keep getting smarter and taking on more of the workload as skilled operators become harder to find.

    Change is generally good – especially when it improves...
    06-13-2019, 07:26 AM
  • Learn to do Something That Can Kill You
    by noelward
    by Noel Ward, Editor @ Large

    Unlike many industry events there was no sense of déjà vu when coming to the third edition of Xeikon’s Café in North America. Every one of these events has been an improvement from the one before and the level of value keeps increasing. Why anyone who has or is considering a Xeikon digital press or ThermoflexX plate maker would not be at this event is mystifying. It’s one of the poster children for how vendor-sponsored events should be run.
    ...
    05-20-2019, 01:23 PM
  • Green Light For Green Button Laminators at the 2019 BindRite Conference
    by MyWildIrishProse
    Al Boese, Executive Director and longtime spirit guide of the BindRite Dealers Association, prefers the term “Green Button Technology” to automation.

    “It tells a better story,” explains Boese. Al likes stories and he is good at telling them. As a longtime player in the post print segment, Boese has enjoyed a front row seat as digital technology transformed finishing and laminating equipment.

    “In my mind, GBT originated in photocopying in the early 1970’s and...
    05-16-2019, 08:39 AM
  • 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...
    04-25-2019, 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
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