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Dollars & sense: Ideas to drive profits

Jul 1, 2002 12:00 AM, By Jill Roth, Special projects editor

The U.S. printing industry is composed of 46,000 establishments producing approximately $160 billion in annual shipments, making it the third-largest American manufacturing industry, according to Printing Industries of America (PIA) (Alexandria, VA). But big isn’t always better. Since the early 1990s, print sales have grown at a slower pace than throughout the 1980s. Print is a mature medium with

avoiding paper pitfalls

Jun 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

Who knew that baseball pitchers and binderies face the same challenges? The Colorado Rockies recently announced a new scheme to cut down on home runs: The team is storing its baseballs in a temperature-controlled chamber to prevent them from drying out. According to one sportswriter, the idea is to make the balls easier for pitchers to grip and harder for batters to hit out of the ballpark. Similarly,

*Meet the Fastest Growing

Jun 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

This is our ninth annual Top 50 Fastest Growing Printers competition. Participants entered either using the Top 50 form that was bound into our March 2002 issue or by downloading the form from www.americanprinter.com. To be eligible, graphic-arts firms had to be in business for at least three years and have sales of more than $1 million during 2001. Winners were selected based on percent of sales

Full Court Press: an emphasis on community

Jun 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

Ed Symbol and Jerry Sands launched Full Court Press four years ago in Westbrook, ME. Neither partner had experience in the printing industry they were local businessmen who simply wanted to run a small business, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of the Westbrook community. Our downtown has been decimated by large malls and one-stop stores, Symbol says. There are several projects

The Gray Printing Co.: Fostoria's brightest light

May 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

The Gray Printing Co. has an unusual claim to fame: light-bulb labels. In the early 1900s, a Fostoria, OH, light-bulb manufacturer, Mazda Incandescent Illuminating Co., couldn't etch wattage and voltage information on its bulbs. So The Gray Printing Co. got the job of printing and diecutting millions of tiny, gummed lightbulb stickers. The company recently installed a Creo Lotem platesetter, Heidelberg

Eva-Tone: all services under one roof

Mar 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

All under one roof could qualify as the unofficial slogan for Eva-Tone (Clearwater, FL). The family-owned printer began in 1925 when founder Richard Evans patented a molded rubber-stamp technology. This led to Eva-Tone's soundsheet product in 1958, and gradually, we added new technologies to meet customers' needs, explains Karen Sarno, manager of marketing and advertising. Those technologies span

Tanagraphics: much more than print

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

Tanagraphics (New York City) is more than a commercial printer. While vice president of marketing Peter Forster stresses that traditional print remains the primary driver of Tanagraphics' business, the company has diversified to include the subsidiaries Tana Digital, Tana Bindery, Tana Mailing and Tana Interactive. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Tanagraphics committed itself to embracing what

DIVERSIFICATION PLANS

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

Percentage of NAPL's (Paramus, NJ) State of the Industry participants who currently or plan to offer the service indicated by 2003. Service Percent Electronic prepress 88.6% Finishing/bindery 88.6 4-color lithography 80.5 2-color lithography 76.4 More than 4/c lithography 65.0 B&W lithography 63.2 Fulfillment 61.9 Art, design, creative 61.3 Mailing 55.9 Digital printing 49.6 Database archiving 39.6

Improving the cutting process

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Don Piontek, Print business manager, ARPAC | dpiontek@arpac.com

Cutting is the heart and soul of most printers' production process paper often must be cut before, as well as after, it goes through the press. And printers are constantly cutting stocks to different sizes. But it's labor-intensive depending on the application, the paper may need to be lifted, jogged, aerated, turned and repeatedly moved. Material-handling and cutter upgrades reportedly can yield

STRATEGIES FOR SMART PAPER BUYING

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY MAYU MISHINA Managing editor | mmishina@primediabusiness.com

If there's a trick to smart paper buying, it's getting to know your supplier. Admittedly, this tip is common sense. But a good relationship with your paper supplier can ensure your order goes through when supply is tight, help you lock in competitive paper prices and keep you tuned in to market development. Currently, the market is doing poorly. Supply and demand have been out of balance for quite

Get complete and accurate specifications

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY DON MERIT Contributing editor, and a customer service, production management and estimating consu

Job specifications come to customer service representatives (CSRs) from all directions. They can come directly from customers, either written or verbal. They can be turned over by salespeople. Many times, necessary specifications are missing. CSRs are expected to put specs in apple-pie order and pass them on to job planners, who use the information to generate job jackets. In many cases, when specs

WHAT TO CHARGE FOR PREFLIGHTING

Jan 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

The number of companies charging for preflighting is increasing, according to a study by the Electronic Prepress Section (EPS), a special section of GATF/PIA whose members are printers with prepress operations, prepress companies and service bureaus. Chargeable vs. Nonchargeable Downtime in Electronic Prepress, 2001 Edition, which follows up on a 2000 study on preflighting policies, found that 36.1

Sandy Alexander: focus on clients, technology

Jan 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

Distill Sandy Alexander into its essential elements, and you'll find three resounding themes: a commitment to customer satisfaction, quality printing and technological innovation. These themes are evident in the company's history. Sandy Alexander has embraced technology from early on. With its recent purchase of a MAN Roland (Westmont, IL) Rotoman press, it is reportedly the first commercial plant

Folder basics

Jan 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by AP staff | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

This article is an online sidebar to "A new breed of floor-model folders," January 2001. There are two basic types of folds and folders. Buckle folders make parallel folds. Often used for leaflets and brochures, a parallel fold involves making two or more folds in a sheet where the folds are oriented in the same direction. Knife folders make right-angle folds. A right-angle fold involves making a

Buying a used sheetfed press

Jan 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Senior associate editor | soller@primediabusiness.com

On one hand, you've got more machines coming onto the market through auctions and bankruptcies, and on the other hand, you have a lot of people who are putting off buying a brand-new machine for a year or two but still need to grow, and are buying higher-quality, pre-owned equipment," observes Bill Litviak, sales manager of pre-owned equipment at MAN Roland (Westmont, IL). SAVE MONEY, SATISFY CUSTOMERS

2002 Hot markets

Dec 1, 2001 12:00 AM, BY VINCENT MALLARDI, C.M.C. Contributing editor and consultant | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

2001 was a disappointing year for the printing industry. A scant 1.5% economic growth in the first half was wiped out in the second, following the most costly catastrophe in U.S. history. Financial, direct-mail and commercial web printers, after flat or reduced sales, are slowly recovering from the aftermath of Sept. 11. A 4% annualized gross domestic product (GDP) is under way, promoted by government

Makereadies: 106 ways to make them faster

Nov 1, 2001 12:00 AM, BY JOE LIPETRI Contributing editor | APeditor@primediabusiness.com

Makeready is what happens between the printing of the last good product sheet of one job and the first good product sheet of the next on a particular press. A press operator’s makeready duties can be loosely categorized as hard or soft. "Hard" makeready refers to mechanical tasks such as washing up and cleaning the press, changing plates, setting the press feeder, inking and dampening systems and,

Crowson Stone: photolithography pioneer

Nov 1, 2001 12:00 AM,

Crowson Stone Printing Co. opened its doors for business in 1923 as Crowson Printing. Charles E. Stone became an equal partner in the company in 1943 and bought out founder William E. Crowson in 1946. In the 1950s, the company billed itself as South Carolina's Pioneer Photolithographer as Stone transitioned the all-letterpress company into offset printing. After Stone's death in 1986, his son, Ed,

Better MEASURE those paper costs

Oct 31, 2001 12:00 AM, BY KATHERINE O'BRIEN Editor | kobrien@primediabusiness.com

You can't manage what you don't measure. It's common sense, but not commonplace in the printing industry. Although paper typically accounts for 35 percent of a job's total printing cost, many operations have a hazy idea of their true expenses. We're amazed at the number of plants that either keep poor or no waste/spoilage records, says Bill Lamparter, principal of PrintCom Consulting (Charlotte, NC).

Reducing spoilage & waste

Oct 31, 2001 12:00 AM, BY PETER DOYLE Operations manager of Action Printing (Fond Du Lac, WI) | pdoyle@actionprinting.com

Printers estimate that they lose one percent to 20 percent of annual sales on costs associated with spoilage and waste. Many printers would obviously like to decrease spoilage and waste, but it's an elusive goal. Three obstacles must be overcome: inadequate definitions for spoilage and waste, insufficient measurement systems and common ignorance of what factors cause waste. Printers' perceptions of