Printing Industries of America Blog

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  • 05/17/2016

    The 2016 Premier Print Awards deadline is coming up fast! This June, expert judges from all segments of the print industry will come together to meticulously examine entries from across the globe. You’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to have your best pieces judged—all for a chance at receiving the coveted Benny statue. If you’re still on the fence about submitting your pieces to the “Oscars of the Industry,” we’re here to help make your decision easier.

    Michael Klyn, the 2016 Premier Print Awards chairman and decades-long veteran of the graphic communication industry, knows a thing or two about what goes on during this intense competition. Check out our video series where we got his two cents on some of the biggest trends seen throughout the Premier Print Awards. 

    The 2016 Premier Print Awards


  • 05/02/2016

    Over the last few decades, our industry has changed dramatically. We’ve come a long way from the wood block and movable type printing techniques of the past. Now, we have the ability to print digitally, print 50 ft. signs, and even print in 3D. Who do we have to thank for these new technologies? Innovators and their technology.

    If not for the great print innovations, we would still be spending hours replicating one file or pulling out our hair trying to keep consistent color across prints. That’s why Printing Industries of America honors the innovative technology that moves our industry forward.

    With the InterTech Technology Awards, PIA invites all of the movers and shakers of print technology to submit their greatest inventions to be judged by a panel of distinguished decision makers in the industry. Just about any technology in the industry is eligible for an award including design and production software, paper and other substrates, press accessories, and more. As...

  • 04/20/2016

    The entry period for the PIA InterTech Technology Awards is currently underway. Graphic communication suppliers and vendors from all over the world are fighting for their chance to have their innovation named as one of the top technologies to impact our industry.

    With all the tough competition out there, we thought it would be helpful for you to get some advice from someone who knows what it really takes to wow the judges—one of the InterTech Technology Award judges themselves. Check out the conversation below and get the inside scoop on what the judges are really looking for in an InterTech Technology Award recipient.  

    PIA: Why did you agree to take part in the PIA InterTech Technology Award judging process?

    InterTech Judge: Firstly because I was asked, but after having judged it for a few years now, it is a great way of seeing all the latest technology and how they apply to the market. The...

  • 03/30/2016

    The following post was submitted by 2016 Continuous Improvment Conference sponsor, Heidelberg.


    Striving for the most efficient workflow to drive productivity and profitability is one of the underlying goals of many of today’s printing companies. Often, the focus is on being more productive with less by increasing production speeds and reducing makereadies while also reducing touch points throughout the workflow.

    There are many tools and techniques that can be used to drive these goals, from procedural/operational changes to new equipment/software acquisitions. The decision on what works best will depend on each individual production facility, the customer base, the verticals addressed and the business philosophy of the company. However, common principles can be applied to every company and optimized to the facility.

    Business growth can be equally as important as equipment optimization, depending on the particular company. Too many times...

  • 03/24/2016

    The following blog post was submitted by 2016 Continuous Improvement Conference sponosor, Heidelberg.

    What is OEE? 

    When optimizing your production, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) provides a valuable independent measure of how well a piece of equipment performs over time. It also helps gauge the impact of changes to workflow and production methods. There are several ways to define this, but for the purposes of this blog, I have used the definition we use (at Heidelberg) of OEE as:

    OEE = Speed Index × Quality Index × Time Index


    Quality Index = Total of all good products

                                 Total of all printed...

  • 03/23/2016

    What Can You Expect at the 2016 Continuous Improvement Conference?

    The 2016 Continuous Improvement Conference (April 10-13) is the only industry event focused on helping companies achieve operational excellence by using the concepts of Lean Manufacturing and other management and quality systems. Year after year attendees directly link reduced costs, lowered waste, and increased profit margins to ideas gained from conference presentations and networking. Whether you’re starting a structured improvement program or are looking for ways to sustain and improve your existing efforts, the conference has content specifically designed for your knowledge level. The conference is organized around subject areas: Leadership and Culture, Process and Tools—Advanced, and Process and Tools—Fundamental.
    With the event right around the corner, we sat down with PIA Vice President for the Center for Technology and Research and In-House Continuous Improvement Guru Jim Workman about...
  • 03/16/2016

    Printing Industries of America mourns the loss of one of its long-time allies, James (Jim) Mayes, Jr. Recognized as a faithful supporter and vocal advocate of the printing industry, Jim leaves behind an indelible mark.

    Jim owned and operated Colorcraft of Virginia for many years prior to his retirement. He was exceptionally active in Printing Industries of Virginia (PIVA), Print & Graphics Association of the Mid-Atlantic (PGAMA), and Printing Industries of America (PIA). Jim served on several committees within all three organizations, chairing both, the PIA and PIVA organizations, during his career.

    His most recent tenure was spent as the Chair of the PIA’s Premier Print Awards, a position he whole-heartedly embraced. Jim’s spirit...

  • 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...