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Digital Directory
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JUNE 2013



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Dealer Opportunities in the Pressroom

Shorter runs equal more opportunities for graphic arts dealers.

While it is true that offset pressroom product sales are moving down the curve - one dealer reported that in their market their offset business continues to erode at 10-20% per year. And, although they've not given up on the offset side of their business, as it still remains active, this does give them reason to think about their future. Admittedly, they are increasing their efforts in the growing wide format sign market.

A dealer in Wyoming who is a member of a group of industry businessmen said we are looking at the latest technology that shows potential which could be wide format and-or products in the mailing sector. As for our dealership, once we've established a direction, we will ease into change while we hold on tight to the offset sales by bundling it with digitally oriented products and supplies.

Offset printing is not even close to dying. According to Roger Giza, President, Burnishine Products, (www.burnishine.com) the dealer in Wyoming needs to hear this.... "Burnishine product sales are 17% higher than last year at this time, proof that offset is not dead." Giza continued, "As the industry is aware, Burnishine sells through Master Distributors and through the traditional dealer network. We attribute the growth to the efforts of both channels." As a manufacturer, Burnishine encourages dealers to entertain inquiries for special formulations or specialized pressroom products not in the line.

Another company doing well in pressroom supplies sales worldwide is Printing Research (www.superblue.net). Here is a company that began 45 years ago by Howard DeMoore with an idea about how to prevent marking on offset presses. Today as the leading anti-marking technology company, PRI (Printing Research, Inc.) sells a complete line of anti-marking products, each for specific purposes, all sold through dealers. In addition, the company offers dealers a series of Infra-Red and ultraviolet drying products along with AIRS technology which reduces hickeys.

No doubt the name H.S. BOYD (www.hsboyd.com) is no stranger to the channel. Although still manufacturing their original line of pressroom products, LithoPerf, and LithoScore, the company has expanded its line to include products for larger offset equipment. "The new products in our line are not new, the opportunity for dealers is new," stated the company president, Richard Booth.

H. S. Boyd Company has been involved in the Dealer Channel for over 50 years. The relationship with dealers has been critical to the success of the company and the dealers it serves.

In addition to the H. S. Boyd original line of on press products - LithoPerf and LithoScore -- new lines are now available that allow further opportunities to expand the successful relationship Boyd has developed with their Dealer Representatives. The new lines include Inline Offset Cutting (IOC) and the Perf Print Plus (PPP) that contribute to the expanding opportunities for dealers that sell products for the Pressroom.

There are sales in offset shops if you know what to look for
Even before the beginning of this century we began to see the trend towards the era of "just in time" printing. First the lead times eroded with customers cutting down the time for prep and proofing leading to very short turnaround times. Today jobs are wanted in a matter of hours. Also, the noticed trend is that print runs are getting shorter. Part of this is due to the added selectiveness print customers are putting into building mailing lists and methods of distribution. Add the impact of digital printing to the mix and the print volumes per job continue to shrink.

While we had seen faster web and sheetfed presses introduced to the market over the past two decades most of the more recent focus by printing press manufacturers is to answer the shorter run trend by finding ways to reduce makeready times and corresponding labor costs. Besides the obvious integration of mechanical improvements like plate loaders, blanket/cylinder washers and register systems used to get plates in position quicker, there has been considerable work done with electronics through more sophisticated monitors to control the setup and running behaviors. Does the professional dealer fit into this picture? We say YES.

One of these electronically assisted improvements started in 1999 with a consortium of manufacturers including Adobe, Heidelberg and Man Roland.

They initially called themselves the International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress Organization (CIP3) or as we know it today, CIP4. This group was founded to create a technical standard that would facilitate a cross-vendor workflow implementation with an initial focus on prepress. We know the product that came out of CIP3 to be the Job Definition Format (JDF).

High Technology Is Here Dealers Must Still Pay Attention To Printers With Older Presses
The potential of JDF is huge. One vision for JDF includes a customer calling up a printer's Web site, obtaining a timely quote, and sending a PDF file to the printer, complete with a JDF-supported job ticket. The printer's JDF-based system would automatically schedule the job through the production process, reserving time on the presses, folders and other equipment. On the production side JDF feeds information through machine consoles to set guides, provide registration assistance and in presses set the fountain keys.

While new presses have JDF enabled ink fountain setting capabilities there is a large population of older presses ready to facilitate this capability. The economy has dictated that printers hold onto their older equipment longer as indicated by the slump in new press sales. Having a capability to allow printers to meet the challenge of shorter runs competitively is appealing.

Dealer Communicator (DC) is constantly looking for opportunities to share with our dealer-readers, especially profitable products that provide a good return on investment (ROI) for their customers. This month DC has an advertiser that should be of significant interest to graphic arts dealers, especially those selling product into the pressroom.

QuickSet Corporation (www.quicksetcorporation.com) was founded in the late '90s to provide a better way to preset ink fountains with the goal of increasing productivity and reducing paper waste. Steve and Louis Surbrook took their 18 years of research and embarked on an ink pre-setting project and in 1999 founded QuickSet. They initially developed and patented a unique ink key lever to replace screw keys. They also incorporated a low-cost scanner to get the density settings from the plate.

In 2003, they adapted their technology to get information from the Raster Image Processors (RIPs) used for computer to plate imaging. By this time, the 1995 CIP3 standard for ink pre-setting had been adopted by almost all other vendors, but the CIP3 ink pre-sets, even with learning algorithms, still required ink adjustment and taking significant paper waste after the ink pre-set. Alternatively, the QuickSet ink pre-sets did not need further ink adjustment, with the better results being achieved through what is called the QuickSet Fingerprint. Based on the company's explanation: "This is a mapping of the ink-key values needed on the press to achieve proper density for any percentage ink coverage being printed. Every single individual press unit has a different fingerprint, as is true for each person. In fact, every single ink-key position has a different fingerprint from any other ink-key position. More information at info@quicksetcorporation.com.

Another product that promises to reduce makeready time and waste is from CMYK Distributors (www.cmykdistributors.com ). Mark Williams, Director of Sales of CMYK reported to DC that user's enjoy a savings of about 30% of makeready time and 50% of makeready waste. The company has several pressroom products plus a two sided ink jet proofer. InkZone is the product used to manage and monitor ink settings and performance. In addition CMYK has a proofing product that writes CIP3/JDF files and passes them on to InkZone or to the printer press console.

The prerequisite for a CMYK, InkZone implementation is that the press has a console. However, even the oldest presses can be outfitted with a console. Evidenced by a testimonial on CMYK's website where they put the InkZone product on some Nebiola and Miller presses that we can agree are vintage.

It is worth taking a tour of the QuickSet (www.quicksetcorporation.com) and CMYK (www.cmykdistributors.com) websites to get a full sense of their products. These products are sold through dealers providing profitable sales opportunities. They are also an example of the type of pressroom products that have good, provable ROI's that will benefit the print customers in your territory. DC

publisher's note: The key for survival and continued growth in the offset market is knowledge. When was the last time you did a tour of offset pressrooms and discussed the issues such as too much waste or makeready times being too long along with some ideas and solutions on how to fix the problems? Your customers need an education on what can be done and how to do it. I urge you to Learn and Sell.

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