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Unique Printers: traditional + digital

Jun 1, 2002 12:00 AM,

Unique Printers and Lithographers (Cicero, IL) offers traditional commercial sheetfed printing, via a six-color Heidelberg sheetfed press, a six-color Komori Lithrone (each press has a seventh unit for aqueous coating), and smaller one- and two-color presses. But the firm bucks tradition by also offering digital printing, in the form of a sheetfed Indigo digital offset color press. Its first Indigo

Blankets and quality assurance

Jun 1, 2002 12:00 AM, Ken Rizzo, GATFPress

Printers should choose blankets based on print quality and dot-gain characteristics. Document the effectiveness of new blankets during a specified period of time to keep track of performance for future purchasing. These data will also help determine the origins of poor print quality, blanket problems and potential machine deficiencies. Blanket specifications should include the following: Manufacturer

Blanket update

Jun 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Allison K. McLean, Associate editor |

To paraphrase a popular tire manufacturer's slogan, so much is riding on your offset printing blanket. With today's tiny margins, the pressure is on to provide optimum print quality while avoiding blanket smashes and other productivity killers. Fortunately, sheetfed- and web-press blanket options abound. Although some blankets are specifically designed for certain applications, such as coating or

Inline coating on 40-inch sheetfed presses

May 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Allison K. McLean, Associate editor |

Printers today rarely purchase 40-inch sheetfed presses without coaters. They've learned the extra investment can yield big payoffs in terms of production efficiency, output quality and customer satisfaction. To get a close-up look at the role of coating systems in printers' workflows and sales strategies, AMERICAN PRINTER spoke with four printers about their fullsize presses, coating systems and

Almost perfect

Apr 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Mayu Mishina, Managing editor |

Publication and catalog printers deal in perfect-binding speeds of about 8,000 or 10,000 cycles per hour (cph) and up. The major high-speed perfect-binder vendors include Heidelberg Web Systems, Inc. (Dover, NH), Mller Martini (Hauppauge, NY) and Kolbus (Mahwah, NJ). Heidelberg's Universal Binder (UB) 2 is rated at 12,000 cph to 20,000 cph. Mller offers five models of its Corona binder at speeds of

Small-format presses: AN IPEX PREVIEW

Apr 1, 2002 12:00 AM, LAURETTA ROBERTS AND THE AP STAFF Executive editor, PrintWeek |

Most quick and commercial printers' pressrooms have changed radically from just a few years ago, says Paris Walker, a 25-year quick-print veteran. Walker retired several years ago, but the former owner of Crown Graphics (Chattanooga, TN) still enjoys staying in touch with his fellow printers via the popular e-mail listserv at Few printers are buying one-color presses, which may speak

DI Presses: the models that haven't made it to market

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM, Samantha Oller, senior associate editor |

The past few years have seen a flood of sheetfed and web direct-imaging (DI) press introductions. And although some of the presses have become considerable successes since their launch--namely, Heidelberg’s Quickmaster DI, with 580 installations--a few have yet to hit the market. Some of the more conspicuous absences: Akiyama. In September 1999, imaging-system and plate-media vendor Presstek, Inc.

DI presses: Where are they now?

Feb 1, 2002 12:00 AM, by Samantha Oller, Senior associate editor, and Allison K. Mclean, Associate editor |

At Drupa 2000, 13 direct-imaging (DI) presses were announced. Two years later, a few of these presses haven't made it off the drawing board. Nonetheless, most major press vendors do have their DI ducks in a row. This article presents an overview of current sheetfed DI options and a glimpse into future press developments. HEIDELBERG Heidelberg (Kennesaw, GA) has approximately 700 DI press installations

Buying a used sheetfed press

Jan 1, 2002 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Senior associate editor |

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

Making makereadies faster

Nov 1, 2001 12:00 AM, by Joe Lipetri, Contributing editor |

The printing industry's razor-thin profits coupled with shorter run lengths leave no room for leisurely makereadies. A press that takes forever to get to that first saleable sheet eats up a lot of paper, time and, of course, money. Automation and computer integration are the hallmarks of makeready on a modern press. Digital links from the press to management-information-system (MIS) and platesetter

No more hand-cut coating blankets

Nov 1, 2001 12:00 AM, AP Staff

Spot- and pattern-coating jobs may look dazzling, but some printers are wary of the time and expense required to make a rubber or photopolymer coating plate. At Print 01, Gerber Innovations' (Manchester, CT) offered an alternative to hand-cutting blankets. Its Sector blanket-production system automatically processes blankets for spot-, knockout- and flood-coating applications. It is comprised of driver

tips for offset/digital success

Sep 1, 2001 12:00 AM, BY SAMANTHA OLLER Associate editor |

As digital-printing technology matures and its cost points recede, printers have begun teaming their conventional offset presses with new digital presses. Their aim: to offer a unique value-added service that can also turn a profit. Transactional printing, newsletters, labels, plastic cards, retail flyers, direct mail and human-resource booklets are the more common applications that benefit from the

Hybrid inks: emerging or enduring technology?

Aug 30, 2001 12:00 AM, BY CHERYL ADAMS Contributing editor |

Inline finishing and high gloss make hybrid inks attractive While hybrid inks will add a lot of excitement to the printing industry, when the dust settles, will the product simply be an emerging technology, or one that endures? Twenty years in the making, hybrid systems are promoted by ink manufacturers as the hottest technology since UV. While they have only been on the market for a few years and

The evolution of hybrid inks

Aug 30, 2001 12:00 AM, Tony Bean

From the late 1960s, the high-gloss, instant-drying and excellent resistance properties have made UV the standard for coating products. Early attempts, however, to put UV coatings over conventional inks were disastrous, since the UV and conventional chemistries were very different. Poor compatibility resulted in poor adhesion. Printers also found that the initial high gloss off the press was not long-lasting.

PRINT 01: Press trends

Aug 14, 2001 12:00 AM,

The presses exhibited at Print 01 will be well-dressed, to say the least, featuring everything from the highest levels of automation and full CIP3 workflow to automatic color monitoring and more. Being held Sept. 6-13 at McCormick Place (Chicago), Print 01 will showcase technology designed for faster makereadies, shorter runs and tighter turnaround. Attendees can expect to see a variety of hardware,

ONLINE CASE STUDY EXCLUSIVE: Something special in the compressed air

Jun 1, 2001 12:00 AM,

For an industrial facility, theres a fourth utility: compressed air. Although its only a line item on the operating ledger, todays industrial market is beginning to recognize the savings available in terms of energy efficiency, air quality, equipment, reliability and customer service. The proper compressed air system can offer effective plant operation and energy savings that increase profitability.


May 1, 2001 12:00 AM, DAVID DAVIS Director, INTERQUEST, a consulting firm in Charlottesville, VA, specializing in elect

There was a time when copiers were copiers, and presses were presses. But somewhere along the way, copiers became copier/printers, printers became printer/copiers, and presses morphed first into digital presses and then into direct-imaging (DI) presses. Confusing, isn't it? The machines released by Xeikon (DCP-1) and Indigo (e-Print 1000) in 1993 were clearly in a class by themselves. No one could

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Take a new look at polyester CTP

May 1, 2001 12:00 AM, Mayu Mishina, managing editor

Once panned by "real" printers as producing low quality, polyester plates are slowly becoming fashionable in a CTP environment. Vendors targeting the quick and small commercial printer are offering direct-to-polyester plate alternatives to the typically more expensive metal platesetter systems. A.B. Dick (Niles, IL), for example, introduced the Digital PlateMaster 2508, which can image to polyester

CTP gets adopted

May 1, 2001 12:00 AM, MAYU MISHINA Managing editor |

Smaller printers continue to migrate to CTP, though vendors drop few hints about Print 01 With four months until Print 01, vendors are staying close to the vest about any CTP-related announcements they may make there. Many appear to be in a holding pattern for the time being, refining or commercially releasing the products that they announced last year at Drupa. What manufacturers will say is that


May 1, 2001 12:00 AM, SAMANTHA HOOVER Associate editor |

WE CAN HANG 10 PLATES IN 10 TO 25 MINUTES [ON OUR PERFECTOR]. WE GET OUR FIRST PULL IN 30 MINUTES. The progress of technology and the evolution of the printing market are clearly evident at Sprint Denver, a general commercial printer in Colorado. The company, which has 100 employees and produces high-end annual reports and brochures, has the oldest six-color, 40-inch Komori sheetfed press in North