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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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  • Targeted Direct Mail Without a Postal Permit—Yes!

    Targeted Direct Mail Without a Postal Permit—Yes!

    Every Door Delivery (EDDM) Is the Door to Saving Time & Money on Direct Mail


    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    As any mailer can tell you, acquiring mailing lists for direct mail campaigns is perhaps the biggest challenge in marketing. Sure, lists can be purchased, but they’re expensive, and mailing lists can go out-of-date quite easily as people move, switch jobs, get married, and are otherwise on-the-go.

    Few people, it seems, are aware that...
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  • Pay Attention to the Machine Behind the Curtain

    Pay Attention to the Machine Behind the Curtain

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    They served champagne. It was a product launch, after all.

    About halfway through the afternoon, at the far end of a meeting room deep within the Boca Raton Resort, Canon pulled back the curtain on the Océ Colorado 1640. Rolling out an entirely new set of technologies, the new roll-to-roll large format printer opens up new opportunities for Canon–and its customers–in the fastest growing segment of the large format market.

    The...
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    Last edited by noelward; 03-28-2017, 01:20 PM.
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  • 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
  • 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
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