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Going lean in any pressroom

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

We hear the hype of Lean Manufacturing and read about it in many articles across all manufacturing sectors. After reading most of the concepts, I realized that my father must have read all the books 50 years ago. He believed in 5S strongly and hammered it in to me. He ran a very clean shop and used, in his own way, the following lean tools: 5S sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain and

Litho is changing. What can a small printer do?

Aug 1, 2008 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Recently a small printing company asked me what they could do to set themselves apart from others and truly impress buyers of print? The printer did not have much money to spend that was the challenge. My answer, after a fair bit of thought, was to go green and sell green. Why? Well, let's look at a few observations and facts: It costs little or no money to go green. Most print buyers are young people

Strength in numbers

Jul 1, 2008 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

Founded in 1981, Einstein Printing (Dallas) is a $1.4 million printer. There's nothing flashy about the nine employees or the mix of digital and offset equipment in the 5,800-sq.-ft. operation. And founder Keith Einstein seems like many other entrepreneurs a hard working guy who isn't afraid of a challenge. Like any printer, Einstein must contend with an uncertain economy, fierce competition and the

Acquiring minds

Jan 1, 2008 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

In the 1970s, two quick print titans launched their empires in college towns. Paul Orfalea established his first copy shop near the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California in 1970. The following year, Virginia Rogers hung out her shingle in a small house near the University of Texas campus in Austin. FedEx acquired Kinko's in February 2004. By contrast, Ginny's Printing has been the acquirer

Presses plus a whole lot more

Aug 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By AP staff

You never know what you'll find at Graph Expo. Consider this story: Impressions Printing (Oklahoma City) is a small commercial printer specializing in everything from monochrome and color digital to full-color offset printing. In October 2006, company president John Braaten and vice president Jason McWilliams spent three days at Graph Expo. One item on their agenda was a follow-up visit with Spiel

Aim high

Aug 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By AP staff

At first glance, Spectrum Printing (Orlando, FL) might seem like a typical small or midsized printer. The 10-year-old, 24-employee company occupies a 2,700-sq.-ft. facility. A quick look at Spectrum's equipment list, however, soon reveals Spectrum's cutting-edge capabilities. The prepress department is anchored by a Rampage workflow driving a Fuji Javelin thermal platesetter. The workhorse of the

What are you?

Jul 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Tom Crouser

Quick vs. small commercial and why it matters A friend of mine does $300,000 in annual sales. I'm not a quick printer! he insists. I'm a real printer. Conversely, I know a commercial printer with $9 million in sales and web equipment who proudly calls his company a quick printer. And then we have industry pundits who categorize any shop with less than 10 employees as a quick printer. Do you remember

Now playing

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

If you go to Greenville, SC, you'll have no trouble finding the new home of Indexx Printing. Just look for the company's gigantic sign on the main drag. It's the same sign that used to advertise movies and coming attractions for a 10-screen multiplex. Keep going past the sign and eventually you'll see a sprawling 52,000-sq.-ft. building. The former theatre has been completely renovated the sloping

Hitting color

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Dan Remaley

You know the common statement when the proofs don't match the press: It must be a film, plate or proof! I've been the person who had to visit the printer, conduct a press check and determine what was wrong. This helped me understand the entire printing process, from scanning to proofing, platemaking and printing. Through process control measurements, we can define where the problem lies. The control

By their Bootstraps

Apr 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Denise Kapel

Most printers agree that to succeed in this industry, you have to love it. For partners Marya and Brigid Kaye, working low-level printing jobs in their Texas hometown wasn't enough. They struck out on their own in 1995, moving all the way to Philadelphia and founding Creative Characters, a burgeoning digital and offset print business serving medical and educational clients across the country. Cofounder

Going digital, Staying lithographic

Mar 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Patrick Henry

Digital presses computer-controlled, plateless devices using electrostatic toner to image printing forms began to appear in the early 1990s. By then, conventional offset lithography was almost a century old, and some said the emergence of the new process was a sign that offset's antiquity was catching up with it. But digital had its detractors, too, and it seemed at first that nobody who favored one

Old Faithful

Jan 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Patrick Henry

Many sprawling plants trace their roots to a single small-format press. We’ve all heard inspirational tales of Chiefs and Multis clattering away in basements and even some entrepreneurs’ bedrooms. But today, small-format presses face considerable competition from evolving toner-based equipment, as well as increasingly efficient larger format presses. What next for these workhorses? Here are some insights from Hamada, Heidelberg, KBA, Komori, Presstek, Ryobi/xpedx, Sakurai and Screen USA.

Fits like a dream

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 AM, By AP staff

Affordable I-Trap powers prepress for Car-Lin Graphics.

Peer 2 Peer NETworking

Dec 1, 2006 12:00 AM, By Katherine O'Brien

Using phpBB, an Open Source bulletin board package, Corey Smith launched in March 2003 to create “a place for people working in the prepress industry to get together and share ideas, help troubleshoot files and talk about technology.”

The Stevie Awards

Nov 1, 2006 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Six months ago, I asked AMERICAN PRINTER readers to help prove a point by sharing their variable-data printing (VDP) case histories. Not the same old stories we've heard over and over, but fresh examples that have been overlooked, perhaps because these projects didn't fit the expected profile of variable printing. I wanted to showcase these break the mold stories. Some industry experts reacted with, Variable-data printing (VDP), Web-to-print

Heidelberg USA launches program for small printers

Nov 1, 2006 12:00 AM,

Heidelberg USA (Kennesaw, GA) has announced the launch of a new program for small businesses. Called Heidelberg Printers Advantage, the program is designed to provide small printers with information and business solutions to help them solve problems unique to small business enterprises. Membership is free, and printers need not own a Heidelberg press to register. Heidelberg's Printers Advantage is

A Big Package for Small Printers

Oct 17, 2006 12:00 AM,

Komori and Fujifilm partner to provide a turnkey prepress/press system for small to mid-sized printers

Meet the presses

Oct 1, 2006 12:00 AM, By AP staff

Graph Expo and Converting Expo will be held Oct. 15-18 at Chicago's McCormick Place. The show's organizer, Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) ( promises four days of comparison shopping, networking, live equipment demonstrations, seminars and critical investment decision making. Here are some pressroom highlights. Look for more show news at High-volume press fulfills

A clean start

Aug 1, 2006 12:00 AM, By Denise Kapel

Printing technology manufacturers have achieved advancements that raise print quality to high levels across all press formats and, consequently, from one commercial print business to another. In a recent edition of his PrintForecast Perspective e-newsletter (, industry commentator Dr. Joe Webb notes, When we talk to print buyers, they claim that they see all printers

The details are in the dots

Jul 1, 2006 12:00 AM, By Katherine O’Brien

RIPit says its PerfectBlend hybrid screening technology offers printers the best of both worlds: a traditional AM halftone pattern over most of the tonal range and an FM pattern in the highlights and shadows. We asked some PerfectBlend users for their feedback.