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INDUSTRY NEWS

May 1, 1997 12:00 AM


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R.R. DONNELLEY NAMES DAVIS CEO R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (Chicago) has named William Davis chief executive officer. Davis replaces John R. Walter who left the company last year to become president of AT&T.

Davis, 53, joins Donnelley after a 20-year career with St. Louis-based Emerson Electric Co. His most recent post was senior executive vice president of Emerson's process control group, the company's largest division with $2 billion in annual sales. Davis also played a key role in revitalizing the company's Skil power tool division in the 1980s. At presstime, Davis was unavailable for an interview.

Davis told the Chicago Sun Times that he is still evaluating whether extensive restructuring of Donnelley is required. He indicated that ongoing "day-to-day reinvention" may be the preferred strategy.

News of Davis' appointment was well-received on Wall Street--Donnelley's stock closed at $32.75, up $2.371+2 per share in the wake of the announcement.

"Bill Davis is an exceptional choice," comments John M. Richman, acting chairman and chief executive officer. "His outside perspective is an ideal complement to the unparalleled printing expertise of the existing management team."

PIA INTRODUCES PREPRESS PUBLICATIONS The Electronic Prepress Section (EPS) of the Printing Industries of America (Alexandria, VA) has introduced a new publication, Electronic Prepress Solutions. The publication offers practical advice for managers on streamlining the prepress workflow.

"It's chockfull of tips, techniques and workflow productivity enhancements," reports Kate Balch, PIA's new manager of technology services. "It's ideal for the employee who is on the line every day, getting files, dealing with customers and trying to make prepress work.

Solutions is published eight times a year. PIA will continue to publish EPS Decisions for managers. This six-time-a-year publication covers digital trends that can help cut costs, speed workflow or open new alternative or value-added revenue streams.

Only members of PIA's EPS are eligible to subscribe to Solutions and Decisions. Membership is $145 and includes the member's choice of either Solutions or Decisions; for $215 members can receive both newsletters. For more information, contact Joanne Vinyard at (703) 519-8170.

NEW HOME FOR GATF The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) is moving. The foundation isn't going far--it's relocating to a technology center near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Built in 1991, the facility was previously owned by Elkem Metals Co. The GATF purchased the 40,000-sq.-ft. building this past February. The new facility will enable GATF to consolidate its Center for Imaging and Excellence for a more efficient workflow. A balcony overlooking the 20-ft. high and 15,000-sq.-ft. Press/Bindery/On-Demand Center will allow visitors to observe several printing operations simultaneously.

The additional space also will provide GATF with ample room to house its Frank Preucil collection. This collection contains over 1,200 volumes, some dating back to the late 1800s.

GATF is slated to occupy the building this month. The new address is 79 North Research & Industrial Park, 200 Deer Run Road, Sewickley, PA 15143; telephone: (412) 741-6860; FAX: (412) 741-2311

HEIDELBERG RESTRUCTURES As markets change, so does Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (AG), Heidelberg, Germany. The new acquisitions of Sheridan Systems, Continweb and Linotype-Hell AG have contributed to this process.

As of April, Heidelberg has restructured into product-oriented business units.

The newly founded Heidelberg business units are: Printmaster, Speedmaster, Direct Imaging, Web Press, Finishing and, by fall of this year, Prepress. These business units will bear full responsibility for the development and marketing of machines and equipment.

Heidelberg Finishing (the former Sheridan and Contiweb acquisitions) has manufacturing plants in Dayton, OH and Slough, UK. It now serves the postpress market in three sectors: commercial bindery, publication bindery and newspaper packaging, all of which are new for Heidelberg.

Once restructuring is completed, Linotype-Hell AG will undergo a strategic repositioning in the market. Chairman of the executive board Bernhard Schreier stresses that the prepress company will be concentrating on its core and system business in the future.

The company has spun off a number of business segments into independent subsidiaries. These include the LinoPress newspaper and publishing system, fonts, gravure, Desktop Solutions (primarily low to moderate-priced scanners) and Ultra (small imagesetters).

The core business will continue to market high-end drum scanners and will emphasize digital workflow with Delta Technology RIP architecture. On the output side, Linotype-Hell will support a variety of technologies, including film, dry film, computer-to-plate and digital output. (Linotype-Hell recently concluded a contract with Canon.)

Once the restructuring has been finalized, including concentrating activities in Kiel, Germany, and shutting down the Eschborn facility, the company will have a workforce of about 2,000 and be known as Heidelberg Prepress.

NEW CHAIRMAN AT BALDWIN Baldwin Technology Co. (Rowayton, CT) recently announced a management change. Gerald A. Nathe, president and CEO, has been named chairman. Nathe succeeds Wendell M. Smith who has resigned. Smith will continue to serve on the company's board of directors.

Acknowledging Smith's contributions to the company over the past 30 years, Nathe says, "Wendell's vision has allowed the company to develop the current global scope of its business. Our challenge going forward is to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and to take advantage of opportunities for the company."

CONSOLIDATED GRAPHICS GETS BIGGER Consolidated Graphics (Houston) has signed a letter of intent to acquire Tucker Printers (Rochester, NY).

Started in 1960, the operation features five presses with up to six-color capability, an up-to-date prepress area and a fully equipped bindery. Management, including owners Kenneth E. Backus and Daniel Tucker, will remain in their respective positions of president and vice president.

The Tucker Printers addition gives Consolidated Graphics a total of 19 companies in 15 markets and annual run-revenue rates of $175 million.

RATIOS FOR SMALL SHOPS The Printing Industries of America (PIA) has added a new wrinkle to PIA Ratios, its benchmark tool for measuring individual company performance against industry norms and profit leaders.

The Alexandria,VA-based association added the new short-form survey at the request of smaller printing firms. Now printing firms with less than $1.5 million in sales can participate. Because smaller firms generally don't use the same accounting procedures as their larger counterparts, it isn't feasible to use the same survey for all printers. The short-form survey is less detailed than the standard form, but still provides useful operating and financial characteristics. For more information, contact Gail Cotten at (703) 519-8138.