October 2007 Issue
OUR IN-PLANT just made a big change in the way it does business: we sprang for “Big Color”—a digital color press. Over an eight-month period we considered the Canon C7000VP, the HP Indigo 3050, the IKON CPP 650, the Kodak NexPress 2100, the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6500, Océ’s CPS900 and CS650 Pro, and Xerox’s DocuColor 6060, 7000 and 260. Many of you are considering a similar acquisition, so I will share some aspects of our experience with you.
IF YOU veer away from the Las Vegas Strip and drive about a mile east, until the Hard Rock Casino fades away in your rear view mirror, you’ll hit the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), an academic oasis on the fringes of the casino world. Celebrating 50 years in 2007, the university now hosts more than 28,000 students on its 350-acre campus. Providing UNLV’s printing for 38 of those 50 years has been the Reprographics/Design Services (R/DS) department, now operating out of a 7,200-square-foot facility in the center of campus, plus an adjoining 2,000-square-foot copy center. With 20 full-time and
THE LATEST folding technologies were on display at Graph Expo. For those who couldn’t make it to Chicago, IPG has collected a sample of products that were featured at the show. B&R Moll showed its Regal folder/gluer system. It includes a primary pocket folder/gluer unit and a complementary folding unit that glues, forms pockets and can change product directions for secondary operations. Also shown was the Standard 2000 folder/gluer. It has a makeready feature for easy setups. All settings are in inches. It comes with a roll up standard stacker. Challenge Machinery displayed its Medalist 870 folder, which provides floor-model features in
I HEADED up to New York a few weeks ago to take part in the very first TransPromo Summit, a two-day series of seminars dedicated to the practice of printing promotional messages on transaction documents. More than 300 people packed the Hilton New York, in-plants among them, to learn about this up-and-coming marketing opportunity. As word combinations go, “transpromo” has always sounded a little clunky to me. (I think it’s the “trans” part; makes me think of “trans fat.”) The word seems to have stuck, though, so now I guess we’re stuck with it. Linguistics aside, the summit was rather a big
IN RECENT years, we’ve seen a significant increase in the emphasis placed on “environmentally friendly” business practices. Caused in part by a national trend toward “eco-friendly” processes that seems to include all segments of society, this trend is likely to continue and even accelerate in the coming years. For printers, this raises a real challenge. In the face of this shift in the national mood regarding the environment—which actually started back in the ’60s—how should fiscally responsible in-plant managers respond? How is the trade-off between being a responsible steward of the organization’s resources and being a responsible user of environmental resources resolved? This question
GRAPH EXPO returned to Chicago last month, bringing printers together from all over the globe. Despite its earlier than usual start the weekend after Labor Day, the four-day graphic arts trade show packed a decent crowd. Granted, opening day attendance thinned noticeably around NFL kickoff time (it was the season opener, after all), but by day two McCormick Place was jammed solid. An impressive 640 exhibitors (including 120+ new ones) spread out across 460,984 net square feet of exhibit space. In-plants interested in wide-format printing or in mailing/fulfillment could go to special sections of the show floor where such equipment was clustered.
FROM WORKFLOW tools and variable data software to CTP and proofing technologies, Graph Expo had enough technology to make any in-plant manager’s head spin. Here are some of the latest products we saw at the show. Computer-to-plate Systems Agfa demonstrated its :ThermoFuse plate technology, including the chemistry-free :Azura plate, which eliminates chemical processing. By significantly reducing liquid waste in the plate creating process, it supports a more environmentally friendly solution. Also shown was Agfa’s :Energy Elite, winner of a 2007 InterTech technology award. The newest addition to the Agfa range of thermal plates, :Energy Elite is a true no-bake plate offering run
HEWLETT-PACKARD launched its $300 million worldwide marketing campaign in style. More than 700 guests joined 100 HP employees on the 52nd floor of 7 World Trade Center in New York recently to hear about “Print 2.0: Extending the Power of Print.” Out of the massive wall-to-wall windows, attendees (in-plants, commercial printers, commercial businesses, even some Fortune 500 companies) could see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and more. However, the main attraction was inside: HP’s “Experience Center,” which resembled a Hollywood set, complete with a faux bedroom, living room, home office, business office, retail store, winery
Innes Publishing, the parent company of printing industry trade publication Small Commercial & In-plant Printing (SCIP), has closed its doors, according to sources familiar with the company. The Libertyville, Ill., company’s Web site no longer functions, and its main number has been disconnected. A long-time competitor to In-Plant Graphics, the company’s In-plant Printer magazine was merged late last year with another publication called Instant & Small Commercial Printer to form SCIP. The new magazine lasted only a few issues. Innes discontinued another title, High-Volume Printer, in October 2006.
MBO America has been hosting an annual open house for nearly a decade now, but the one it has planned for next month will outdo them all. The finishing equipment company has invited 20 other vendors to exhibit their wares in MBO’s new and expanded Technology Center in Westhampton, N.J. The event, called Innovation Days, will take place November 7-9, from 10-6. It will once again feature an authentic Beer Garden buffet. Joining MBO this year will be Buskro, Baumer hhs, Bograma, Colter + Peterson, Delphax, Ehret, H&H, HP, Hohner, KBA, Lake Image Systems, Longford International, Muller Martini, Oce, palamides, Ricoh/IBM, Ryobi, Shinohara,
PHYSICIANS MUTUAL relies on direct mail as one method of reaching prospects for its individual health and life insurance products. The ability to connect with potential customers has enabled the Omaha-based insurer to write more than one million policies. In 2006, Physicians Mutual’s 73 full-time print and mail shop employees were responsible for 71 million pieces of mail, including promotional and fulfillment mailings. About 60 percent of those pieces were printed on the Mail Processing Center’s Océ Pagestreams and Xerox color and black-and-white printers, which include a new Docu Color 8000. Though the operation
WHEN ROBERT Gomez was hired as a press operator for the Texas Senate in 1974, the in-plant was housed in the basement of the state capitol building. It was staffed by a supervisor, a secretary and three production employees. Layout involved mat boards, wax machines and spray adhesives, and hand-developed film was stripped up on light tables. Thirty-three years later, Gomez—who was appointed director of senate publications and printing in 1985—oversees 20 staff members in a facility that occupies more than 20,000 square feet. The journey along his career path began when Gomez was just a kid growing up in Austin, Texas, where