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Print Heroes, More From the GOA Floor and Last Words

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

By Noel Ward, Managing Editor, Trade Show Coverage One of the highlights at Graphics of the Americas is the annual GALA honoring the achievements of individuals who exemplify commitment to the industry in both North and Latin America. The GALA (Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas) award is presented jointly each year by PIA affiliates in the United States and Confederación Latinoamericana de la Industria Gráfica (ConLatinGraf), symbolizing not only industry excellence but also the linking of the Americas and two major industry associations. This year, the black tie, invitation-only event on Friday night hosted hundreds of industry leaders and guests to recognize Fernando Leiro, Director of Artes Graficas Modernas S.A., and John Wurst, Chairman of Henry Wurst, Inc. Based in Buenos Aires, Artes Graficas Modernas is a major commercial printer in Argentina, and is the first integrated company in Latin America that prints self-adhesive labels and promotional, specials and innovative products, and authenticity-security systems. Some of these are able to be developed due to AGM's ability to produce its own self-adhesive materials, with first level technology that produces and prints siliconized, adhesive plastic films without depending on international or national suppliers. AGM also develops and manufactures labeling machines, making it unique in its ability to provide a complete range of products and services that support its print customers as well as other print providers. Be sure to check out AGM's website, it's amazing to see all this company does. Mr. Leiro began as a letterpress printer in 1963 and grew the business in the eighties and nineties to what it is today. Throughout his career he has been committed to education and has provided continuous and unconditional support of the Gutenberg Foundation, an institute specializing in graphic industry education. Established in 1937, Henry Wurst, Inc. is one of the United States' largest providers of printing and communications services. Listed annually among the top 100 printers in the U.S., the Henry Wurst, family of companies includes six facilities in Missouri, North Carolina and Colorado, serving the business community from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, the graphic arts community and advertising agencies. John Wurst has been chairman of the National Advisory Council for Printing Education at Pittsburgh State University, continually involved with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, Printing Industries of America, and the National Scholarship Trust. He is a member of NAPL's Soderstrom Society, PIA's Ash Khan Society, and in 2002 was Kansas City's Man of the Year and recipient of the Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award. The Hurtado Trophy The awards didn't stop with the GALA. For the first time, a North American leader was honored with the Benjamin Hurtado Award Trophy, given in homage to ConLatinGraf's first president, Benjamin Hurtado Echiverria. This year, Printing Association of Florida president Mike Streibig, became the first North American to receive this prestigious award. When presenting the award to Streibig, Jose Luis Zamora, vice president of ConLatinGraf said, "While Michael is not Latin American by birth, in his heart and in this industry, he is truly a Latin American leader." Mike Streibig was humbled and honored by the award, and when we had breakfast on Sunday, he was still grinning at this well-deserved recognition of his work with graphic arts in all the Americas. Meanwhile, Back on the Show Floor. . . Saturday was another busy day, despite some torrential rains from a cold front passing through the area. The vendors I spoke with told me how pleased they were with the show and the leads they were getting from both U.S., Caribbean, and Latin American customers. It was indicative of the energy, optimism and enthusiasm that is spreading through the industry. John Parsons, Director of Marketing Communications at CGS Publishing Technologies said, "The show has been a big success for us. Our new Latin American division is seeing a big increase in customers from their region." CGS, maker of the ORIS color proofing system was showing the latest version of its Color Tuner 5.2 for Windows, scheduled for release by the end of this month. It offers precise control of spot colors, Generic Output Profile support, new soft proofing features, and faster automatic color matching and calibration. According to CGS, the new version continues their practice of adding direct support for new measurement and output devices. For example, GretagMacbeth’s iO device for the Eye-One spectrophotometer is fully supported for linearization as well as automatic color matching and device calibration. And for all devices, the speed of color matching and calibration has been improved, both in calculation speed and in the product’s software wizards. Lasermax Roll Systems took advantage of the presence of the Xplor conference taking place with GOA to unveil a pair of solutions for monitoring image quality and data integrity of high-speed continuous digital printer output. MICRcheck in-line MICR verifier provides assurance of MICR print quality to organizations printing large volumes of checks on high-speed continuous digital printers. Because verification can be completed in under a minute, testing frequency can be increased, raising the level of quality assurance. Web Vision monitors image quality, data integrity and workflow processes directly in-line after a continuous web digital printer, so that issues can be addressed immediately. Using state-of-the-art cameras to scan the full width of the web, Web Vision is able to capture very large, high-resolution images of printed output. Both products should be very attractive to service bureaus and data centers, many of which are facing increasingly demanding SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and can ill afford printer downtime while jobs are checked and verified. Stuff I Missed and Forgot to Mention Doing a show and conference solo tends to overload the buffer in my aging brain so a couple of things that I meant to mention earlier fell through the cracks. Xerox announced but didn’t show its new continuous-feed duplex printer, the Xerox 495. The single box machine is aimed at printers who want to transition from cut-sheet to continuous feed but need a compact design. In an technology switch for Xerox, it uses flash fusing instead of heat and pressure to create an image on the paper, opening up a new range of substrates for more flexibility. Right now it's only available in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Argentina and Chile. The rest of us get it by mid-year. Barr Systems was showing great reporting system called Rover (yes, like the dog's name) that aids compliance with SOX and HIPPA requirements without a lot of specialized training and IT overhead. It handles forms, spreadsheets, reports, and more, all Web-based and highly secure. And for My Last Words. . . GOA is the most unique show in the industry. It is regional, yet international at the same time. And because a large proportion of the attendees are from smaller markets than the U.S., their shops are also smaller which drives some of the flavor of the show. In some ways I am reminded of other U.S. shows of a dozen or more years ago, when there were more medium and small shops around. But when you look at the overall print market in the U.S. the Caribbean, and Latin America, it's really the small- to medium-size shops and in-plants that produce the majority of the jobs being printed. Given those demographics, the products and services vendors bring to Miami primarily target these small to medium businesses but there's still plenty to interest large print operations. So whether it is a small label press like the Degrava DP-8500, new wide format units like the HP 9000 or Xerox 6204, new offset presses from Hamada, Ryobi, or Shinohara or any other equipment or software on display, there was a lot of real interest on the floor in Miami Beach. You could tell by the "Sold To" signs being hung on all kinds of devices that deals were being cut and equipment was being sold. As at other shows, the interest in digital printing has continued to grow at GOA. It is the "now" technology and it is being adopted fast. There were steady crowds at HP, Kodak, Nipson, and Xerox, all of whom reported many good leads. As the products have become more stable and reliable, print providers recognize that their small to medium shops can make money and grow their businesses with digital printing. The same goes for pre-press and post press technology and equipment. For example, Pitney Bowes didn't show up with their heavy iron but with affordable table-top machines that let smaller shops add mailing to their services and better fill customers' needs. The seven articles I've written on GOA-06 only scratched the surface of the new products being announced in Miami. Some were big, others were small, but all were important to the companies making them, and more important to the attendees who come to shows to see new things. The official numbers from the show aren't in yet, but between aggressive marketing and the lift from Xplor's 1,728 attendees, GOA saw a double-digit jump in attendance this year, following another double-digit year in 2005. With many other print trade shows on the ropes or even extinct, this is a very positive start to 2006, not just for GOA/Xplor but for the entire graphic arts industry. With the new conference tracks, higher energy, and vendors using it as a platform to bring new products to market, I'm looking forward to being back in Miami Beach March 2-4, 2007 for next year's Graphics of the Americas. But now that it's over I think I really need a Mojito. With a Cuban coffee chaser.




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