November, 2001: PrintCity – the strategic co-operation of companies within the graphic arts industry – is introducing an important new dimension to the printing industry through the creation of Activity Groups. These groups are seen as a core element in the future of PrintCity.
Member companies have already begun organising themselves into specialised Activity Groups, each of which will combine cross-functional competences to address specific subjects.
“This targeted clustering of specialised knowledge will allow PrintCity member companies to further broaden their customer orientation,” said Rainer Kuhn, General Manager of PrintCity. “This key PrintCity initiative will eventually provide printers with a wider choice of open solutions, tailored to their needs as well as those of their customers,” he added.
“Different groups’ projects will be co-ordinated within the PrintCity application and process matrix to ensure that optimum synergies are attained between them. Activities are organised in three principal areas – market applications, production processes and education.”
These three principal areas are summarised as follows:
Publishing, commercial printing and packaging groups will focus on printers and their customers to better understand the evolving needs in each market segment.
Subjects will include identifying macro and micro trends and the potential impact of each; how each market uses common production tools and processes differently (or uses dedicated tools); and, process convergence and divergence trends.
The objective is to identify development needs for production systems that can be optimised for different applications, with the overall goal of providing faster and better responses to evolving industry needs.
Market application groups
Ever greater competition is continually increasing the challenges that printing companies have to meet. However, no single supplier alone can provide comprehensive answers to all of the questions on process variables such as engineering, electronics, press equipment, or consumables, such as blankets, inks and substrates.
For this reason more effective co-operation between suppliers and customers can go a long way to helping improve total process performance. The web offset, sheet-fed, digital and network groups within PrintCity will focus on optimising products, services and process systems.
Their goal is greater efficiency in the definition, development and delivery of production tools to match the evolving production needs of printers. Their ultimate challenge will be to achieve total process integration - the industry’s “last frontier”.
This group will address both the needs of users and the internal needs of member companies to develop their “intellectual capital”.
Activities with customers will include how to help them use their equipment and consumables to achieve maximum productivity and quality; and also to share, and develop with them, management and marketing ideas and techniques.
Another goal for this group will be to help PrintCity companies improve the competencies of their own staff to make them more effective in helping customers.
Further information on the benefits being gathered by PrintCity member companies from this initiative will be released over the coming months.
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