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  • Putting the customer at the center

    Putting the customer at the center

    An interview with the Managing Director of Enfocus
    Some of our members may be aware of changes at Enfocus during this year. As change happens, staff turnover occurs and some new faces emerge. Such has been the case at Enfocus, however the one constant is their ongoing customer support, evident on PrintPlanet posts and by their own, internal customer support. At PRINT-17, our staff had the chance to meet the new Managing Director, Wim Fransen, and discuss his customer-centric focus.
    ...
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  • Seeking Full Disclosure: Who was Underwhelmed by PRINT 17?

    Seeking Full Disclosure: Who was Underwhelmed by PRINT 17?

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    Trying not to be snarkier than usual, I look back on four days at PRINT 17, remembering what it once looked like, thinking about what many I spoke with said about the show, and wondering what universe NPES lives in when they say this show went well.

    To be sure, the educational sessions, on the floor and in meeting rooms, were very good. These are one of the prime reasons for attending a trade show and anyone who goes to a show without taking advantage...
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    Last edited by noelward; 09-21-2017, 03:48 PM.

  • 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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  • 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
  • Print MIS: Can You Follow the Money?
    by noelward
    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...
    03-24-2019, 06:25 PM
  • The Move to Inkjet
    by noelward
    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...
    03-21-2019, 06:11 PM
  • A Fast Track for File Prep
    by noelward
    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...
    02-28-2019, 02:43 PM
  • How CHILI’S New Illustrator® Feature Plugs Into An Increasingly Automated Future
    by MyWildIrishProse
    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®...
    02-01-2019, 10:26 AM
  • Why Ever Would You Want to Automate?
    by noelward
    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...
    01-09-2019, 02:50 PM
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