March 2006 Issue


A Perfect Way to Bind

With on-demand printing making book production easy, in-plants are increasingly upgrading their perfect binders. Here are some of the latest models. By Elise Hacking Book Block Gluing Machine American Binding's Book Block Gluing Machine Type ID 5000 is specifically designed for the production of high-quality gauzed books. The machine is equipped with two glue trays, one for cold glue at the entrance (with infrared drying) and one with hot-melt glue and lateral gluing. Dimensions and processing of the gauze can be electronically adjusted. The ID 5000 handles paper sizes ranging from 3.9x5.9˝ to 11.8x20.5˝ in thicknesses of .11˝ to 3.2˝.

A.G. Edwards Makes Investment in Quality

CTP has revamped the prepress department at brokerage firm A.G. Edwards. By Bob Neubauer WHEN A.G. Edwards' print shop fired up its new Presstek Dimension 400 and Mitsubishi Silver DigiPlate computer-to-plate systems in the spring of 2004, it was a monumental change for the St. Louis-based operation. Up until then, the 35-employee shop had been using its camera to shoot film. "We knew from an efficiency standpoint that [CTP] was where we needed to be," says Sue Weiss, vice president of General Services. This was never more apparent than when the in-plant tackled one of its most cumbersome jobs, a directory of company

CTP Make an Informed Decision

Computer-to-plate systems have dropped in price and jumped in quality. Take a look at the different systems on the market. By Bob Atkinson Computer-to-plate (CTP) technologies have been the norm at large print shops and newspapers for almost a decade. In the past few years, though, competition and new technologies have driven the cost of both CTP equipment and consumables down to the point where they're affordable and practical to any departmental or in-plant shop. In fact, if you use just 250 square feet of plate material per month—that's about 145 13x19˝ plates or 62 20x29˝ plates, for example—you'll find that the cost numbers

Digital Color A Good Fit

In-plants are acquiring digital color presses like the iGen3, NexPress 2100 and HP-Indigo 5000 in increasing numbers. Is this the right time for you to make the investment? By Eric W. Martin CONSUMER LUST for high-definition TV is driven by digital technology. If studios and sports broadcasters can deliver a higher-quality image than ye olde cable provides, people are more than willing to shell out the money to see the result. Printing works the same way. As digital technology is adopted and improved upon in color printers, users gain the ability to print better quality images at higher speeds and lower costs with

Linda Balsamo A Multitalented, Multitasking Manager

Linda Balsamo enjoys Walgreens' ethical work environment and her dedicated staff. By Maggie DeWitt THE FACT that Linda Balsamo's father worked for Chicago-based commercial printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons most of his career may have somewhat influenced his daughter's employment decisions, but hers is more a case of being in the right places at the right times. Its not like the in-plant manager of Walgreens, in Deerfield, Ill., was purposely gearing up to walk her particular career path. "None of my education directly relates to my printing career, except for providing a well-rounded background for running a business," explains Balsamo, who recently received a

Mail Reform

Postal reform cleared another hurdle last month when the Senate passed its version of the bill by a voice vote. A conference committee will work to hammer out the differences between this bill and the House of Representatives version passed last July. Michael Makin, president of the PIA/GATF, hailed lawmakers for taking a major step towards modernizing the U.S. postal system. "Senate passage of postal reform is a huge victory in the printing industry's long quest for a major legislative overhaul of this country's postal laws," Makin said in a statement. The bill, he continued, "takes steps to ensure that future

Poor Man's CTP Rich in Benefits

Once but a dream, CTP has become an essential element at even small in-plants. Here's one manager's story. By Jim Sabulski Years ago I found it hard to believe I would see the day when everyone had a personal computer. Some time later, using the same logic, I doubted that all print shops were going to have computer-to-plate (CTP) systems. I thought it would be reserved for the large-format shops that could afford it. You see now why I am a printer and not a prognosticator. Not unlike at many small in-plants, the majority of offset work produced in College Misericordia's in-plant is one-

The Wal-Mart Way

The largest, most successful company in the country also maintains one of the most sizable in-plants, with a staff that's willing to bend over backwards to keep Wal-Mart on top. By Carol Brzozowski ASK DANNY Funkhouser, the general manager of Wal-Mart's Print and Mail Distribution Center (PMDC), what role his in-plant plays in the success of the country's leading retailer, and he replies: "benchmarking." By being competitive in pricing and speed, Funkhouser explains, the in-plant keeps its competition in line. "We typically get bids that are not inflated since most printing firms are aware that Wal-Mart has an in-plant operation," he says. "PMDC's

Xplor-GOA Partnership A Good Fit?

Xplor joined up with Graphics of the Americas last month to bolster its conference. Did it work? By Bob Neubauer AFTER WATCHING attendance at its conference dwindle since the booming days of the '90s, Xplor International teamed up with the successful Graphics of the Americas (GOA) conference this year, putting on a joint event last month in Miami Beach that drew about 24,500 attendees, according to organizers. The partnership seems to have been a wise move, as it freed Xplor from the task of organizing a trade show, allowing it to concentrate on its educational mission. GOA, in turn, got a host of