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Meet Jeff Jacobson, Presstek's new CEO

Aug 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By M. Richard Vinocur

In May, Jeff Jacobson formerly CEO of Kodak's Graphic Communications unit was named CEO of Presstek. During my career in this industry, I've encountered hundreds of vendor executives and have considered myself a talent scout for potential top-performing CEOs. When I meet an up-and-coming executive, I usually ask myself whether I'd hire that individual to run my own company. Over the years, I've compiled

Picture-perfect profits

Aug 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Ask any consultant, academic or equipment vendor about digital opportunities, and they'll give you a knowing look and say, Color picture books are hot! You'll probably nod in agreement, and then call me to ask, Johnson, what, in your world, are color picture books? Forget shoeboxes full of photos or disks filled with digital images. Frank Romano of the Rochester Institute of Technology predicts the

Paper dolls

Jul 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

Every month we find our intrepid Johnson's World correspondent staring blankly at his computer monitor. Daddy, are you writing a column? asks my daughter Roxane. Yes, dear, I'm supposed to, but I'm having trouble thinking of ideas. Why don't you write a story about dollies? Dollies? As in dolls? Well, Roxane, this column is for AMERICAN PRINTER, so the subject should somehow relate to printing. Besides,

Think about your ink

Jul 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

I visited a plant that had many quality problems, in particular, slow ink drying, scuff issues, chalking, low gloss, burn out, excessive dot gain, ragged dot structure and a host of others. The pressroom was clean and orderly, prep was immaculate and pressmen seemed knowledgeable. So what was causing all the problems? After looking over the plant, I found the ink room and what a surprise 30 brands

What's the problem?

Jul 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

The job was processed without a hitch. For once, the specifications were complete and accurate. The job was awarded. When the files arrived, they were prepared well and elicited no alteration charges. The job cleared press and bindery with few, if any, alterations or extra charges. Everyone involved in the process understood the importance of this job; internal communication was exemplary. Everyone

Typesetting, prepress & printing negotiations

Jul 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By M. Richard Vinocur

Last month, following AMERICAN PRINTER's launch of PRINT & MEDIA BUYER, I promised to provide some stories of my print buying career. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to buy printing, but you do have to have common sense. Forward thinking In the late 1970s, I joined Technical Publishing, a unit of Dun & Bradstreet. We had 24 magazines in our stable and were a very profitable company. Like most

Technology through a print buyer's eyes

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By M. Richard Vinocur

As part of my ongoing series discussing the history of the printing industry over the past 25 years, I had intended to write about the merger and acquisition phenomenon that took the industry by storm in the late 1980s through the turn of the century. I actually started that column attributing the initiation of that trend in the mid-1980s to Mark Pope of Graphic Industries (Atlanta, GA). He was the

Build bridges, not boxes

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Dick Gorelick

In my April 2007 column, I wrote that both constraints (most often, traditional ways of managing a company) and vacuums can cause bottlenecks. There's another dimension to the equation: Constraints also can cause vacuums. Let's look at one example: the titles of sales representative and customer service representative. Your company might use account executive, account manager or some other term but,

Sorting out R2006-1

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

Postal rate cases are a fact of life for most printers compliance typically requires plugging the new rate information into a company's spreadsheets. But implementing the latest postal rate case poses some challenges, particularly for catalogers. The current postal rate case, (R2006-1), will require many mailers to overhaul their mail preparation processes as well as obtain and install updated software.

Everyone's a winner

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Steve Johnson

I've just won a prize, and if you are a digital printer, I invite you to share it with me. My digital printing company has won hundreds of awards. We've won for our marketing campaigns, our technical bulletins and our newsletters. We've won awards for Web sites our own and those we've designed and implemented for our customers. Yours truly has even won awards for articles in AMERICAN PRINTER. We've

Packing that press

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

In roughly half of the plants I visit, I find presses packed incorrectly. Some of the most common excuses given are: We don't have a packing gauge. We had a packing gauge but don't know where it is. It is locked up in the foreman's office. We checked it last month when we put on blankets. The installer said the manual was wrong. The list goes on and on. Let's tackle an easy one first: I have yet to

The truth about RFID printing

Jun 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Frank Romano

The hype of printed electronics, especially RFID, is out of sync with reality at least as far as the printing industry is concerned. There is no doubt that the future will see a wide variety of products printed with tags that broadcast their identity, use and authenticity. The application of printed electronics gives rise to appellations such as smart labels, smart cards and smart packaging. This

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

Profitable plastics

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

Sixty years ago, James Wolff entered the printing industry as an apprentice. Today, Wolff is president of General Press Inc. (Natrona, PA). As with all journeys of this magnitude, Wolff has faced many challenges along the way. In recent years, faced with a marketplace rife with plant closings and consolidations, Wolff recognized the survival of his employee-owned company would be based on its ability

Tech Thought No.5

May 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

If a plant wants to produce good work efficiently, maintenance is a must. But how much time should you allow for it? Manufacturers specify the exact amount based on operation hours. The old rule of thumb was four hours per week. These days, sheetfed presses are reaching speeds from 10,000 to 18,000 iph and running two 12-hour shifts, seven days per week. In productive plants, we are seeing at least


May 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Julie Shaffer

It's a simple fact of computing life: Software applications and file formats are updated on a regular basis. Because the Portable Document Format (PDF) had become the de facto standard in the exchange of files for print production, keeping up with the every 15 to 24 months changes in the PDF specification and the Adobe Acrobat application has been especially critical for design and prepress professionals. PDFs : What you need to know about ISO, XML and other developments.

Scratch free is the way to be!

Apr 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Scratches on litho plates have been a problem for many years in printing plants. With the advent of more positive CTP plates, the problem has been increasing. In addition, buyers have increased quality expectations. No scratches are acceptable in work today. Scratches add dramatically to makeready time on press, because the press operator has to stop the makeready and use scratch remover or hone out

What causes doubling on press?

Mar 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

Nothing but Net

Mar 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Julie Shaffer

What can Web portals do for you?

What causes doubling on a web or sheetfed press?

Mar 1, 2007 12:00 AM, By Raymond J. Prince

When looking through a 100x glass or microscope, a double will show itself rather prominently in the 15 percent to 25 percent dots. It will show as a light dot beside or overlapping a strong dot. Two sheetfed causes Doubling can occur two ways on a sheetfed press. The first is premature contact with a blanket normally on the first unit of the press caused by stiff paper or board slapping the blanket.