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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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  • Inklings:

    Inklings:

    Smart Inks: A Tsunami On The Horizon

    It’s usually the printing presses and other hardware that fire hype and imagination in the printing world. This is partly because we can actually watch the latest print machinery at work and (often) admire the convergence of design and function as the big iron cranks out the product.

    Meanwhile, the less accessible chemistry of ink is often all but ignored, in spite of chemistry’s place as a core driver of progress in the world of...
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  • How to Stop Chasing Color and Increase Profitability
    noelward
    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
    ...
    06-08-2018, 02:10 PM
  • You, the Tax Man and Section 179
    noelward
    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...
    06-05-2018, 08:12 AM
  • SGIA and NAPCO Media Engineer an Inclusive Trade Event for an Evolving Market
    MyWildIrishProse
    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...
    05-10-2018, 07:55 AM
  • You've Been Hacked!
    noelward
    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...
    05-02-2018, 03:48 PM
  • The Light Stuff:
    MyWildIrishProse
    GTI’s Illuminating thoughts on ISO 3664.:2009 and color viewing environments

    Sean O’Leary

    As printing technology gallops like a runaway stagecoach along the digital trajectory, one critical production facet persists as decidedly analog and human: the dream of universal color viewing environments. Especially for higher value creative projects, the standardization of color evaluation supply chains is essential across the creative/production continuum. Designers, brand...
    03-22-2018, 11:37 AM
  • Why Inkjet?
    noelward
    By Noel Ward

    When the first high speed inkjet machines, all roll-to-roll devices, began reaching the market there was a lot of skepticism. Even some of the journalists and analysts with whom I swap perspectives weren’t sure inkjet was going to be a real player. Some thought (or maybe hoped) electrophotographic (EP) systems would go on forever. EP was, after all, their comfort zone. Many remained skeptical about inkjet.

    Why would anyone want cutsheet inkjet?
    A couple...
    03-12-2018, 12:22 PM
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