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INDUSTRY NEWS

Feb 1, 1997 12:00 AM


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WATERLESS PRINTERS CONVENE The Waterless Printing Assn. (WPA) recently hosted its annual meeting and conference in Rosemont, IL. Although the WPA has conducted annual meetings since 1993, this was the group's first featuring tutorials and demonstrations.

According to executive director Arthur LeFebvre, the event drew 155 participants.

Adam Pangrace, president of Adam Pangrace & Sons (Cleveland), was among the attendees who applauded the expanded program. "I'm glad to see that the vendors are taking the technology seriously." Pangrace's six-man operation produces brochures, product sheets and other advertising material and is almost entirely waterless.

Sandy Fuhs, marketing manager for Presstek (Hudson, NH) assisted in demonstrations led by Creo and Heidelberg and participated in several forums. "I see some significant growth for waterless," predicts Fuhs. "The technology is maturing. The ink vendors have worked with the temperature control vendors and the press manufacturers are supplying presses with hollow core rollers in them now. All of these factors are paving the way for waterless."

Several speakers cautioned against overemphasizing the waterless process as a marketing tool. "Waterless shouldn't be marketed on its own," asserts Fuhs. "That shouldn't be your sales strategy, 'we have waterless, so buy from us.' I've never heard designers specify waterless printing. What they want are the benefits of waterless--cheaper, better and faster services."

Plans are already underway for next year's conference. For more details, contact Arthur LeFebvre at the WPA, P.O. Box 59800, Chicago, IL 60659; (773) 743-5677. Or visit the WPA's Internet site at www. waterless.org.

TWENTY YEARS OF PRINT LEADERSHIP Regis Delmontagne recently completed his 20th year at the helm of NPES The Assn. for Suppliers of Printing and Publishing Technologies (Reston, VA). Delmontagne joined the group in 1976 when it was known as the National Printing Equipment Assn.

During his tenure, NPES membership has grown from 37 companies to more than 350. Delmontagne also serves as president of the Graphics Arts Show Company (GASC) and the Graphics Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF).

KODAK EXPANDS PLATE PRODUCTION Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY) has completed an expansion of its Windsor, CO plate manufacturing operations. Kodak recently invited customers and industry representatives to see its new coating machine for lithographic plates and to learn more about the company's direct imaging thermal plates.

Tom Saggiamo, general manager of Kodak's worldwide plate business, explains that the plate can be exposed digitally as part of a CTP system or conventionally in a standard plate frame. Noting that these plate are available from more than 50 distributors, Saggiamo stresses that, contrary to some reports, pricing is comparable to conventional plates and that the company's direct imaging thermal plates have moved beyond the testing stage to become a fully commercial product.

"The bottom line is that thermal is real," Saggiamo says. "It works--it's here now and it will change the industry."

Saggiamo indicates that developing dry processing plates is Kodak's next goal. "To us that means no liquid processing is used to develop plates," he concludes.

SCHOLARSHIP HONORS JOHN BEHRENS A print media scholarship has been established at Utica College of Syracuse University in honor of Professor John "Jack" Behrens to recognize his work as a writer, editor and journalism educator. The $7,500 scholarship has been established by Behrens' family, former students and friends.

Behrens, who joined the Utica College faculty in 1965, has been an american printer columnist since 1978. Behrens helped establish the $250,000 Frank E. Gannett Foundation Journalism scholarships, The Reader's Digest Foundation Research/Travel Grants and the Alex Haley Magazine Writing Awards. The Reader's Digest Foundation has supported over 300 of Behrens' students with nearly $20,000 in magazine writing research awards.

FUJIFILM OPENS DISTRIBUTION CENTER Fuji Photo Film (Elmsford, NY) has opened a 340,000-sq.-ft. distribution center at its North American headquarters in Greenwood, SC. The facility will manage the shipment of products throughout North America and more than 40 countries around the world.

Fuji's Greenwood complex is made up of six facilities occupying approximately two million sq. ft. of manufacturing and distribution space for the production of presensitized plates, videotape, one-time-use recyclable cameras, color photographic paper and 35mm film finishing and packaging. An additional factory for the production of graphics arts film is currently under construction and is expected to open this spring.

IPA LAUNCHES MARKETING CONFERENCE How's your marketing plan? If you've invested in new equipment, but neglected your marketing strategy, mark your calendar. The International Prepress Assn. (IPA) is holding a Sales and Marketing Conference, March 20-23, 1997 at the DFW Lakes Hilton Hotel in Dallas.

Attendees at this new conference will hear presentations on How to Develop a Marketing Plan; The Hows and Whys of Market Research; How to Find, Interview and Hire Winners; Marketing from the Customer Viewpoint; Identifying, Analyzing and Beating Your Competition; and Managing Mavericks. For more information, contact the IPA at (800) 255-8141.

VUE/POINT SLATED FOR MARCH Arlington, VA is the site of the eighth annual VUE/POINT conference for electronic prepress and digital imaging executives. This year's conference, slated for March 11-13, features a "users only" panel format. Topics to be discussed include process automation, digital ad distribution, CTP infrastructure requirements, new RIP workflows, server strategies, file management and thermal technologies.

Sponsors include american printer, Adobe, Anitec, Apple, Archetype, Augment Systems, Autologic, BARCO, Creo, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Fuji, Gerber, Imation/Luminous, Indigo, Linotype-Hell, Pitman, Polaroid, Polychrome, Presstek, PrimeSource, ScenicSoft, Scitex, Screen (USA) and Xeikon. For more information, contact Footprint Communications at (800) 962-5650.

PROGRAPH FORMS NEW FIRM Prograph Inc. (Pittsburgh) has formed a new software company, Prograph Progicels. The new venture, a buy-out of U-Gen Progicels, Inc., a Montreal-based software developer, provides plant-wide scheduling solutions for single and multi-plant printing facilities. Prograph Progicels also will use data created by Prographs' management software tools to provide printing facilities with long-term planning, budgeting and resource allocation assistance. With six Canadian employees, Progicels will maintain its offices in Montreal and establish new offices at the Prograph offices in Pittsburgh.

Principals in Prograph Progicels are Martin Olin, Prograph Management Systems' president; and Eugene Delage, founder of U-Gen. Bob Jones, Prograph, Inc. president is recently deceased.

AGFA NAMES NEW GRAPHICS EXEC Agfa (Ridgefield, NJ) has named Alexander van Meeuwen to succeed Jerry Stolt as senior vice president of Graphic Systems. Most recently, van Meeuwen served as senior vice president of the Graphic Systems Business Group in the U.K.

The executive intends to expand Agfa's share of the desktop market. "This area has great growth potentials for us," notes van Meeuwen. "With the recent expansion of our digital cameras and scanners, we're reaching new areas such as small and home offices and the consumer market."

SOLAR CELEBRATES 35 YEARS Solar Communications, Inc. (Naperville, IL) recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Founded in 1961 as J.F. Hudetz and Sons in Chicago, the company moved to Naperville in 1972.

Solar specializes in card packs, solo mailings, bind-in and blow-in cards, trading and specialty cards, fulfillment services, CD-ROM and diskette packaging and flexographic printing. The company has sales of $64 million annually.

PIA SETS LEGISLATIVE GOALS Creating a high-technology depreciation schedule for computer equipment tops the issues on the Printing Industries of America (PIA) Government Affairs Committee's legislative agenda. PIA, responding to the high turnover of computer-related equipment in the printing industry, will seek tax code changes from the 105th Congress. PIA officials noted that the applicable sections of the tax code do not reflect the changes that have taken place in the industry since the mid-1970s. Although many printers turn over computers and related equipment every 14 to 24 months, the depreciation schedule used for tax purposes was created before much of today's technology existed.

OSHA reforms also count among PIA's goals. PIA is pursuing five specific points: allowing printers up to 30 days to correct violations, granting certain considerations if an accident results from employee misconduct, reducing penalties for employers with safety programs, prohibiting OSHA from using citation quotas and allowing OSHA-industry partnerships.

PIA is continuing its quest for enactment of the Regulatory Fair Warning Act. The act ensures that business and property owners would receive fair warning of conduct either prohibited or required by regulations. For more information on these issues, contact PIA's Government Affairs Office at (703) 519-8113.

CARLSON WINS IPA KUDOS The International Prepress Assn. (IPA) recently presented Lowell D. Carlson with the Leonard Holzinger Award. Carlson, president of Quantech (Milan, IL) and co-chairman of Monet (Tampa, FL), was honored for his dedication to the Edina, MN-based organization.

IPA officials praised Carlson's contributions to the CEPS Video Program, as well as the comprehensive report: "Prepress--Its Changing Role." The Holzinger Award was created in 1985 to honor significant contributors to the IPA and the industry it serves.