Printing Industries of America Blog


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  • 03/01/2016

    The 2016 Premier Print Awards opened for submissions in February, and all of us at PIA headquarters are excited to see what printers around the world have produced over the past year.

    Often referred to as “The Oscars of the Industry,” this international competition brings together printers from around the globe to have their pieces meticulously judged by our panel of industry experts. Together, our judges have over 100 years of industry experience and will thoroughly examine each piece down to the last drop of ink.

    Now in its 67th year, the Premier Print Awards prides itself on honoring every deserving company no matter their size; from the mom-and-pop shop to the million dollar franchise, every organization has their fair shot at the prestigious, coveted Benny statue.

    Recipients of the Premier Print Awards benefit from substantial industry exposure. Winners are announced to a list of over 800 industry media contacts and included in the PPA...

  • 02/23/2016

    Jim Workman, Vice President, Center for Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America

    Technological capability is a critical competitive advantage for commercial printers. It is one reason that even companies with in-house printing capabilities rely heavily on commercial printers for their business printing needs.

    The issue came to the forefront again during a recent survey of 400-plus marketing and business executives at medium and large companies across different industrial sectors. Printing Industries of America and FedEx Office jointly conducted the survey, which delved into the executives’ use of and attitudes toward business printing.

    Among the many topics explored in the survey, respondents indicated if they would like more services in seven specific areas. Technology-related services were three of the top four print-related requests by business and marketing executives. The top four included the ability to print from the Cloud...

  • 02/22/2016

    The following post was submitted by 2016 President's Conference sponsor, Heidelberg.

    Your profit per job should be the driver of which technology and processes you use to produce a job.

    Think of an ideal production scenario:

    1) Your MIS/workflow would determine (based on cost parameters) how a job is scheduled and produced to maximize your return on that entire job.

    2) Your color management is so well defined that quality across technologies is a given and will match.

    3) Data from your production devices would provide exact and timely feedback for that critical information loop on cost versus estimate.

    With Heidelberg, that production scenario is a reality today, not a futuristic “wish list”!

    Heidelberg is committed to improving and expanding its digital solutions as its customers need to run jobs from one to a million sheets.

    The crossover cost point of digital versus offset technology is much, much lower than people...

  • 02/19/2016

    No matter what segment of the postpress industry you’re in, there are always a few special products that really make you proud. Whether it was a unique binding or a project that everyone said couldn’t be done, you made it happen to the best of your abilities and then some. It’s these types of projects that deserve recognition on an industry-wide level. And now, you have the opportunity to enter these into one of the biggest industry award competitions—the Premier Print Awards.

    Starting in 2016, those companies who previously entered the Product of Excellence Awards now have the opportunity to showcase their work within the Premier Print Awards Competition. The Premier Print Awards recognize the highest quality printed pieces in various categories from around the world. Each year, only the most worthy pieces receive Awards of Recognition, Certificates of Merit, and the highest honor—the Benny statue. For more than sixty years, winners of the largest, most prestigious print...

  • 02/17/2016

    The following post was submitted by 2016 President's Conference sponsor, Fujifilm.

    Fujifilm’s Graphic Systems Division is proud to continue our long-standing support of Printing Industries of America and the 2016 President’s Conference. Our loyalty to PIA and its members aligns with Fujifilm’s prevalent role in the graphic communications industry. 

    Fujifilm stands apart based upon our broad perspective on both the legacy, analog components of your business, along with every aspect of the newer options for digital print production. Whether it’s pressroom supplies or the premier portfolio of offset and flexo printing plates and equipment, we’ve got you covered. When it comes to digital print, we span the gamut from toner-based solutions to hybrid combinations of traditional and digital, to the cutting edge of 100% digital for applications ranging from commercial to packaging to wide-format.

    Our commitment to our...

  • 02/15/2016

    The following post was submitted by 2016 President's Conference sponsor, Heidelberg.

    Let’s view the print process as a car manufacturing production line. It’s designed, tested, and highly monitored to achieve the highest level of efficiency at the lowest unit cost and at a set quality level.

    Print is a manufacturing process and should be viewed in exactly the same way.

    Automation and color monitoring (importantly it must be spectrophotometry!) has led to print being a honed process, not an art. Equipment investment should therefore be judged on its ultimate output cost per sheet.

    Productivity of your investment far outweighs any initial premium you may pay for that piece of equipment. If you are hanging onto older, paid-off equipment, I can almost guarantee that the latest equipment used by competitors has a lower cost per sheet, including the fact that their cost rate includes paying back that new investment.

    Let’s look at an example in...

  • 02/12/2016

    The following post was submitted by 2016 President's Conference sponsor, FASTSIGNS International.

     

    In 2003, Richard Helmey transitioned from being a senior executive in the Coca-Cola Companies juice division to the owner of a local printing business in Houston area college campuses. With a finger on the pulse of industry advancements and the changing needs of his customers, Helmey parlayed his background into quick revenue growth. He changed his company’s name to truecolor GRAPHICS and began offering marketing communications services as well as more comprehensive printing offerings.

    “My penchant for big growth led me to enter the wide-format market,” Helmey explained. “While we were in the wide-format business for some time, we felt there was a greater opportunity that we were missing out on. We evaluated expanding the product line internally, but knew we would need help to be effective in both production and marketing.”

    Helmey looked at...

  • 02/08/2016

    This post was submitted by 2016 President's Conference sponsor, FASTSIGNS International.

     

    As the need to diversify service offerings grows, many independent print operators are turning to FASTSIGNS International, Inc. for direction and ongoing support to develop and sell wide-format signage. In 2015, the company’s Co-Brand program accounted for 20 percent of the franchise agreements it signed, a significant increase from prior years.

    Launched in 2012, the FASTSIGNS® Co-Brand program helps independent business operators with print-related services add the FASTSIGNS brand and full-suite of solutions, while retaining control of their existing businesses. Co-Brand franchise owners maximize their businesses’ true potential by expanding their service offerings and effectively marketing and selling the new services with ongoing guidance...

  • 02/04/2016

    By Dr. Ronnie H. Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, and Tai McNaughton, Economist, Printing Industries of America

    Even companies with in-house printing capabilities rely heavily on commercial printers for their business printing needs. Why?

    A recent survey of 400-plus marketing and business executives jointly conducted by Printing Industries of America and FedEx Office revealed the answer. The survey respondents were managing marketing activities at medium and large companies across different industrial sectors.

    According to the survey respondents, there are several important reasons to use commercial printers—nine specific reasons listed in the survey were cited by over 7 out of 10 respondents. Product quality was given as the number one reason to rely on a commercial printer, followed by volume considerations, cost issues, color consistency, and color accuracy. A key takeaway is that customers recognize the array of advantages that...

  • 01/21/2016

    For someone who has never been to the TAGA Annual Technical Conference, the thought of attending might seem a little daunting. Organized by PIA’s Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) group, the conference provides the opportunity for members to learn about the latest industry advances and those of related fields, as well as brainstorm with other experts about solving problems and roadblocks in order to move our industry forward. Members come to the Annual Technical Conference from all over the world and from all facets of the graphic arts industry.

    To give you a better understanding about what you can expect at your first TAGA Annual Technical Conference, we spoke with Birgit Plautz, TAGA Board Member, Manager of Technical Services at GMG Americas, and longtime...