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  • Print MIS: Can You Follow the Money?

    Print MIS: Can You Follow the Money?

    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...
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  • The Move to Inkjet

    The Move to Inkjet

    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...
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  • A Fast Track for File Prep

    A Fast Track for File Prep

    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...
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  • How CHILI’S New Illustrator® Feature Plugs Into An Increasingly Automated Future

    How CHILI’S New Illustrator® Feature Plugs Into An Increasingly Automated Future

    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®...
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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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  • Have You Been Corrugated Lately?
    by noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    On any given week one news source or another runs a story about Amazon. The stories go on and on about the company’s outsized influence, its enormous market capitalization, the impact its facilities have on real estate values, local infrastructure, and more. They all miss one thing: Amazon’s indelible impact on corrugated packaging.

    Corrugated containers are simply the most practical way to ship a much of Amazon’s products, and cardboard—the...
    09-18-2019, 02:04 PM
  • PitStop Pro 19 Delivers the Tools Users Asked For
    by MyWildIrishProse
    PitStop Pro 19 Delivers the Tools Users Asked For
    The PDF editing platform we know as PitStop Pro has become a ubiquitous industry standard since it was introduced in 1993, embedded in the commercial printing industry like a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As the dominant preflight product, PitStop provides deep quality control and editing for PDF printing workflows. Over the decades, Enfocus has continued to develop new functionality, moving steadily toward more and more automation. Each...
    08-15-2019, 09:20 AM
  • Follow the Money with an Automated Workflow
    by noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large, PrintPlanet.com


    What is time worth?

    This means your time or that of your CSRs, prepress technicians, press and finishing equipment operators, and even the people in shipping. What is their time worth, and how do you translate those hours into payroll, the dollars you keep in your operating account, and profitability?

    Mounting competitive pressures and customer expectations for fast turnarounds and competitive prices rising...
    07-24-2019, 03:17 PM
  • What You Missed
    by noelward
    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large


    If you have medium- to large-size Ricoh presses and printers and didn’t go—and you probably did get an invitation—you missed an opportunity to learn how to make your operation more efficient and profitable.

    I’m talking about Ricoh Interact 2019, held June 5th and 6th in Denver, the second full-scale version of the company’s customer-oriented event that was all about making one’s business work better and not about prying money out of...
    06-20-2019, 01:50 PM
  • 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
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