Blog Posts - Research and Technology

  • 09/22/2014

    Helping companies produce accurate, consistent color is a full-time job for Dillon Mooney. As our Technical Consultant for the Center for Technology and Research, Dillon, a 30-plus-year industry veteran, has encountered many of the challenges your company faces each day.

    Here Dillon dishes five key improvements you can make today to get the consistent color your customers demand.

    (Psssst! If you’ve ever called our Technical Hotline, you probably already know Dillon—he answers more than 1,500 inquiries a year!)

    1. The success of color management depends on consistency of the output devices. Once color management is implemented, it must be managed through process controls to maintain its repeatability. Run color bars on all jobs and include solid ink density patches, gray balance patches, 50% tint patches, and...
  • 06/11/2014

    As printing companies expand, sooner or later, they outgrow their Management Information System (MIS). Software must meet current needs by providing e-commerce, file submission, and more end-to-end solutions.

    If you’ve ever had to purchase a new MIS, you know it can be a daunting task. There is a lot riding on this one integral software solution that must integrate seamlessly into many different parts of the production process. Plus it’s extremely challenging to calculate the ROI, because of the fact that it is a software solution.

    How would you like to be able to compare and analyze a variety of different MIS? 

    A new Technology Bulletin just released from the Center for Technology and Research, the 2014 Printing Industries of America Survey of Management Information Systems,  profiles 49 different software programs. We asked each vendor to dish all of the details on their...

  • 02/25/2014

    Are you one of the hundreds of entrepreneurial startup companies that has developed an innovative technology this year? Now that you’ve invested resources into product development, a solid marketing strategy is critical if you want to earn an ROI.

    Printing Industries of America provides technical support to countless industry members, and we’ve seen that many of them share a big challenge—getting their technology in front of the right customers. Small startups may have fewer resources to devote to sales and marketing, while some larger companies are searching for new or additional avenues to get in front of their target audience.

    Although we can’t give you the magical marketing plan that is going to catapult your brand new technology to market success, we can provide some vital core...

  • 09/17/2013

    You’re looking for more ways to optimize your workflow to stay competitive and turn a profit. As technology expands, however, so do your choices in printing methods.

    When deciding on a printing method, offset printing and digital printing offer plenty of their own advantages and disadvantages. Offset printing success depends largely on the optimized speed and efficiency of both your machinery and operators to achieve ISO 12647-2 and G7® qualifications. While digital allows for shorter variable runs, it does not always reproduce the high image quality associated with offset. So how do you choose a method?

    To help kick start your decision, here is a quick look at the advantages in offset vs. digital printing:

    Offset

    • High image quality
    • Lower cost-per-unit as quantities increase
    • Wider range of substrates and finishes
    • ...
  • 08/23/2013

    An Interview with Keith Whistler, Technology and Research Analyst

    The expert consultants for our Center for Technology and Research have one main feature in common: qualifying experience and the drive to help companies find solutions. More than a dozen full-time and external consultants are available to support members in all facets of printing operations. The goal is to help firms improve their operational performance and competitive position.

    So just how do these business-saving experts and consultants help your company? We talked to one of our consultants, Keith Whisler, who lends his expertise in offset and digital printing, color management, and operational issues. With two decades in commercial printing, it’s safe to say he has a vast amount of experience and knowledge. But it is his holistic perspective from a customer’s point of view that really sets...

  • 08/15/2013

    When you hear “Who you gonna call?” we tend to think of those ghost-busting heroes from the 1980s. But Printing Industries of America has real experts who printers call on when they need challenging problems solved and are continually working to drive the industry forward with technical innovations. 

    The full-time researchers and scientists working on-site at the Center for Technology and Research have helped hundreds of industry members by offering technical advice, lab testing, consulting services, training, and more.

    In our 2013 Member Satisfaction Survey, more than three-fourths of members said these technical services are an important membership benefit. At the Center for Technology and Research, we focus on all aspects of the printing process, including paper and ink testing, color management, digital printing, and management information systems. Find out about the services we offer in “What Can the Center for...

  • 08/13/2013

    This is a guest blog post from Michael Walters, Executive Director, Distributor Services at Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). For more information about the National Buying Power Programs available to members through Printing Industries of America affiliates, visit www.printing.org/buyingpower.

    Every client who buys from you already uses imprinted items—logo pens, t-shirts, bags, etc. Selling promotional products is a natural progression for a lot of printers—you already have your clients’ logos, there aren’t any start-up costs, there’s a high ROI, and it’s easy to get started! The Printing Industries of America National Buying Power Program with ASI, for members through Printing Industries of America affiliates, is a great way for you to break into this $19.4 billion industry and immediately begin increasing revenue.

    ...

  • 07/17/2013

    Like a common language, wide-format digital printers need set standards to enable their devices to communicate with different parts of the workflow efficiently. When different products operate on the same standard “language,” printers can easily purchase new equipment that will integrate with their existing workflow and connect with one another. Using JDF technology, they achieve standardized interoperability and break free of the data exchange issues and loss of time and revenue caused by competing systems.

    Through Printing Industries of America, you can take advantage of a new CIP4 JDF Product Certification Program for wide-format devices to complement the existing certifications. This new certification is based on the Digital Print Workflow Interoperability Conformance Specification (DPW ICS) 1.4a. Why is this important to the growing wide-format market? For starters, a JDF Certification provides a...

  • 06/27/2013

    Where would we be today without technology and innovation? We’ve seen new technologies in areas like workflow automation, high-speed inkjet, and intelligent mail that provide industry members with expanded opportunities. Printing Industries of America has a dedicated team that stays on top of advancing technologies and how they will likely impact the future of our industry.

    What began with the Lithographic Technical Foundation (LTF), which became the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), has grown into the Center for Technology and Research. Members of the printing and graphic arts community recognize us as the trusted source for technical information, testing services, publications, expert training, and consultation.

    So what can the Center for Technology and Research do for you? Take a look at some of the benefits we offer that make your organization more profitable and efficient.

    ...
  • 04/29/2013

    This article is contributed by Keith Whisler, Technology and Research Analyst, Printing Industries of America. He also manages Printing Industries of America’s Production Manager Listserv Group.

    Eleven years ago I began working with a large multi-facility commercial printing company, and one of the first things they did was include me in the company’s prepress listserv. It was nice at first because, being new, I didn’t get much email. The listserv provided a steady stream of messages to read. Many of which looked interesting, so I began saving them in a separate folder.

    As time went on, however, I found the listserv to be a useful resource. It was like having over 100 counterparts instantly available to answer questions and provide support. If I couldn’t remember a setting in an application, I just had to ask the question on the listserv to receive multiple answers. Have problems with a...