December 2006 Issue


Ad Agency Opens New In-plant

Figment Designs, a Miami-based advertising agency, has started a new in-plant. Two months ago the company purchased a new five-color Heidelberg Printmaster PM 52 along with a Prosetter 52 violet CTP device, and hired three employees to run the equipment. After exceeding $400,000 a year in printing costs, co-owner Jeff Pankey said the shop brought printing in-house to control costs and better meet deadlines. “You want your clients to rely on your deadlines and promises; therefore, you have to have equipment you can rely on,” Pankey says. So far, the results have been excellent. Since installing the new gear, profitability has soared to 12-18 percent,

An Idle Digital Color Printer? Not Likely

I SUBSCRIBE to an electronic mailing list for in-plants, and lately I’ve noticed a number of postings regarding various aspects of purchasing a digital color printer. One recent posting asked a very astute question: are you planning to produce digital color for existing customers or do you plan to cultivate new customers? This is exactly the kind of question we pondered long and hard prior to our purchase of a Xerox iGen3 last December. Where would the business come from for our new machine? Would we be “robbing” color work from our offset presses? Is there some big pocket of business out there waiting for

Construction Project Leads to Expanded Color Capabilities at BCC

A partial, temporary shutdown allowed the Print Shop at Burlington County College to expand its digital color printing capabilities. Last June, the six-employee operation in Pemberton, N.J., was forced to crate its presses and move its remaining equipment across the hall into temporary quarters so the college could complete a heating/air conditioning replacement project in its area. To continue serving the color printing needs of customers during this disruption, Manager Stephen Amitrano arranged a three-month loan of a Konica Minolta bizhubPRO C500. The 50-ppm machine performed so well that Amitrano decided to keep it once the shop returned to its digs. “It’s a life saver,” he

In-plant Wins $164 Million Contract

The U.S. Department of State’s in-plant has won a $164 million contract to handle the department’s printing for the next decade, beating out some tough competition from commercial printers. The award decision culminated an 18-month public-private competition, comparing the government’s ability to provide graphic design and creation, copier management and a standardized worldwide publishing workflow with the private sector bidders’ ability to provide the same service. The competition was part of the government’s Competitive Sourcing initiative. The Department of State expects to save approximately $80 million dollars over the life of the contract, with improved quality and increased capability to reach overseas audiences. “The biggest winner here

In-plants Face New Strategic Realities

PRINTERS ARE confronted with a double-edged sword of shifting volumes and hungry competition. As the Internet and alternative media have cannibalized conventional print volume, they have also presented startling opportunities to all printers. This article will discuss evolving trends and the strategic positioning that a number of insightful in-plant leaders appear to be pursuing. Insourcing: Essential and Sobering Numerous in-plants are insourcing print volume from the competitive print market to fill capacity on key equipment. In-Plant Graphics’ surveys have shown this practice to be increasing, with nearly 60 percent of in-plants engaged to some degree. While the objective of bringing in incremental volume is

In-plants: An Epicenter of Industry Transformation

THE INTERNET has distracted enterprise management from the importance of adopting a strategic approach to the management of print. It is true that the print industry has embraced huge transformations in the past 15 years; there is nothing left of the print industry of just 20 years ago. But in many ways, the changes of the past 15 years have been about using digital technologies to emulate aspects of the analog print industry. A different type of transformation is now underway. The combined impact of the Internet and digitization is the root cause of a migration of print production closer to the source

JDF: Connecting Systems, Automating Setup

THE GRAPHIC arts market saw the need for industry standards and understood the growing XML (Extensible Markup Language) development when it supported the decision to create CIP4 ( This association includes major equipment and software vendors in prepress, digital printing, offset and finishing. CIP4 created the Job Definition Format (JDF) as a standard way to exchange and understand job information. This process can begin to empower creative and production staffs to support an efficient manufacturing process. Tremendous efficiency can result from understanding the interdependence of each department. We largely still depend on paper-based processes that are isolated and disconnected with our current way

Meet You at the Information Intersection!

An in-plant can be much more than just an end-of-the-line manufacturing process. In-plants can refashion themselves into knowledge managers that support their parent organization’s strategic objectives and business goals. The challenge for today’s in-plant manager is to compliment and add value to specific print-related skill sets by providing an information-rich environment integrated into the organization’s information systems. Rather than a unidirectional “island of information” that has just print output as its objective, the modern in-plant must become both an institutional repository and a multi-channel publishing entity coexisting with the organization’s total information environment. The modern in-plant must be both a contributor to, and participant

Océ Models Picked by BLI

Two models from Océ Imagistics have won Buyers Laboratory’s Fall “Pick of the Year” awards in the fax-centric multifunctional category. The Océ Imagistics fx2080 was deemed “outstanding” in the high-volume category, and the Océ Imagistics fx3000 received the same honor in the mid-volume category. To merit winning a BLI “Pick” award, a product must be a superior performer in BLI’s battery of lab tests, during which BLI evaluates all critical performance areas, including reliability, image quality, multitasking capabilities, productivity, print drivers, ease of use, toner yield and much more.

Print Management Creates Order and Savings

THE COSTS of everyday office printing, scanning, copying and faxing can add up in a hurry, especially if there isn’t a plan in place to make sure the equipment used is cost-effective and consistent. When organizations allow unmanaged acquisition of standard office printing equipment, they typically end up paying for more print devices than they need and for extra functions they don’t use. The Washington State Department of Printing has expanded and evolved its print management program significantly over the past two years. The program is so successful it is saving one department $11,000 per month. As many in-plant managers know, having

Printing Business Improving

The Industry Measure (formerly TrendWatch Graphic Arts) has released a report entitled “Printing Forecast 2007: The Industry Measure Perspective on the Challenges and Opportunities for the Printing Industry in the Next 12 Months and Beyond.” The report contends that “business conditions for the printing industry have stabilized in the past two years, but more turmoil lies ahead.”  Among the figures it presents: • Three out of 10 graphic design and production establishments expect that business conditions in the next 12 months will be “excellent.” • 76% of graphic design firms cited “collateral print projects” as a top sales opportunity, up from 74% six months

Printing Business Improving...Or Is It?

Printing industry profits increased slightly over the past year according to the 2006 PIA/GATF Ratios Survey. The average printer’s before-tax profit on sales was 2.7 percent over this past year. While this was an increase compared to 2.5 percent for 2005, it is still below the 3.0–3.4 percent range experienced from 1995–2001. Meanwhile, The Industry Measure (formerly TrendWatch Graphic Arts), in its “Printing Forecast 2007” report, says three out of 10 graphic design and production establishments expect business conditions in the next 12 months to be “excellent,” an assessment shared by 29 percent of commercial printers. Among those same printers, 22 percent said business

Purefoy Named New Director at Purdue Printing Services

Purdue University has just appointed Cheryl Purefoy director of Printing Services. Scheduled to start in January, Purefoy will oversee the 60+ staff who design, produce and mail more than 25,000 production print jobs annually at Purdue. She will also coordinate the in-plant’s relocation into a new 29,000-square-foot facility, with construction to be completed in mid-2007. Purefoy, director of Printing and Mail Services at The University of Akron, fills the position vacated by Sandy Komasinski, who took early voluntary partial retirement in May. Purefoy brings more than 21 years of managerial experience, 15 of which were in the printing industry. She has served on numerous graphic

Ralf Sammeck to Succeed Andreas Mössner as Head of Koenig & Bauer’s Sheetfed Division

RADEBEUL, GERMANY—12/01/06—In its November session Koenig & Bauer’s supervisory board approved changes at the executive level. On 31 July next year, at his own request, Andreas Mössner (43) will step down from the parent company‘s board of directors, resigning the position he has held since January 1998 as executive vice president for sales at KBA’s sheetfed division in Radebeul (Dresden). He will be replaced on 1 August 2007 by Ralf Sammeck (44), who has guided KBA North America’s sheetfed division to new heights since being appointed president and CEO in October 2002. Mössner has accepted an appointment by the supervisory board of KBA’s Austrian

Report the Right Data to Your Boss

Probably the biggest weakness in the relationship between in-plant managers and their bosses is the reporting process: What to report and when to do it. So says consultant Ray Chambers in an article in the December issue of In-Plant Graphics. “Too many in-plant managers use a shotgun strategy in reporting their activities—that is, they gather all the data they can find and fire it up the chain of command,” he says. The problem is, executives are problem solvers, and if you give them data they may assume that you want them to use it. Further, their conclusions may not match yours. Don’t flood your boss

Riso Names New CEO

Eigo Ishibashi has been named chief executive officer for RISO. Mr. Ishibashi has been serving as executive vice president since Daniel S. Weil announced plans to leave the company. Since joining RISO Kagaku, in 1991, Mr. Ishibashi has held a variety of management positions with the company. Earlier this year, he was appointed general manager of RISO Kagaku’s International Sales Division and general manager of RISO, Inc.’s U.S. Sales Department. Previously, he was deputy general manager of the International Sales Division and also general manager of both European and Asian sales. Mr. Ishibashi has named Todd Deluca as President and COO. Mr. Deluca

Rizzo Returns to PIA/GATF

Kenneth Rizzo has rejoined PIA/GATF as director of consulting. Rizzo will be responsible for managing PIA/GATF’s consulting activities and its staff of full-time, auxiliary, and external consultants. His work will focus on helping PIA/GATF members through technical plant assessments, equipment analysis and the use of Lean Manufacturing concepts and applications. He will serve as workshop leader for a new multi-day workshop for advanced press operators, as well as teach seminars and custom programs.

Ryobi Breaks Ground on Press Manufacturing Plant

Ryobi Graphic Systems, of Hiroshima, Japan, plans to begin construction on a new press manufacturing facility in January 2007. The new facility will be the third at Ryobi’s Hiroshima East central production center. Ryobi also recently reported that its second factory, completed earlier this year, is running at full operation. Ryobi’s newly expanded 215,000-square-foot manufacturing center—known as Hiroshima East Plants 1 and 2—generated a 60 percent increase in production capacity when the second plant became fully operational in late October 2006, according to the company. Ryobi officials said the newest facility, Hiroshima East Plant 3, will be at full-scale operations in September 2007. It

Sun Chemical to Increase Price of Inks in North America

NORTHLAKE, IL—December 1, 2006—Faced with continued increases in raw materials and operating costs, the Sun Chemical Commercial Group has announced an 8 percent price increase on its commercial and screen inks sold in North America, effective Jan. 1, 2007. “During these challenging times we have taken many steps to reduce our operating costs in an effort to offset these increases. Sun Chemical cannot continue to absorb these increases, and therefore must pass along a portion of the actual increases taken,” said Mark J. Levin, president of the Commercial Group. “We recognize the impact this has on our customers but must take this action to

SUPDMC Caps Successful Conference with Name Change

Its name hasn’t gotten any shorter, but it sure is more up to date. SUPDMC has changed its name to the “Southeastern University Printers and Digital Managers Conference,” replacing the dated term “Duplicating” with the word “Digital.” The renaming took place at the business meeting on the final day of the 32nd annual conference. Held recently in Memphis, the conference was co-hosted by Penni Istre of the University of Memphis and Tony Seaman of the University of Mississippi, thus carrying the theme “UM².” The conference was kicked off in Memphis style with an appearance by Elvis Presley (actually an imitator) who shook away everyone’s morning

Telling Your Story: A Key to Success

I have had the opportunity to talk to many high-level leaders in both the public and private sectors about the importance of their in-plants. There’s a scenario that plays out in most of these conversations, and it goes like this: At some point during the visit I’ll be introduced to the vice president responsible for printing. The VP’s name is generally uttered in

The Future of Print

THIS ARTICLE will attempt to use the past, as well as the present, to get a clear look at the future of the printing industry. Predicting the future, however, is a slippery slope. Here are some of my favorite predictions, just so I can feel I’m in good company. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” —Western Union memo, 1876 (By the way, after 145 years, Western Union, has finally gotten out of the telegram business.) “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would

Variable Data Lets In-plants Make a Difference

THE MARKETING budget in corporate America typically falls victim to intense scrutiny. In a results-driven age, the chief marketing officer feels intense pressure from executive officers, boards, shareholders and customers to deliver measurable results. As a consequence, marketers are always asking questions like these: • How can I be as efficient as possible in my marketing efforts so I don’t waste time and money? • How can I make sales personnel more productive in prospecting and closing business? • How do I keep the sales funnel filled with qualified leads? • How can I more effectively get clients to come to me instead of

Xerox iGen3 Comes to Boise State

Ted Bailey didn’t need a crystal ball to know that changes were coming. “We saw the trend moving not just to more color, but to more sophisticated variable data campaigns,” says Bailey, manager of Printing and Graphics Services at Boise State University. The 15-employee western Idaho in-plant had done some simple black-and-white variable printing jobs, and its 32-ppm Canon printer was doing its best to meet color demands. But clearly the busy shop needed a faster, more variable-data-friendly color printer. So this past summer, after a lengthy bidding process, the in-plant installed a Xerox iGen3 digital production press with an EFI Fiery server. “I