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VP of Post Press Tech Bill Graushar on the future of feed and finish

Published on June 28, 2011

Cary Sherburne grabs VP of Post Press Technology Bill Graushar from Quad Graphics to discuss what's going on in the future of the rapidly developing post press technology during a recent conversation at Hunkeler's Innovationdays.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Bill Graushar, who is Vice President of Post Press Technology at Quad Graphics.  Welcome.

Bill Graushar:  Thank you.  Thank you, Cary.  Happy to be here.

Cary:  So post press technology, that’s an area that’s changing pretty rapidly.  What do you see as some of the innovation there today and where’s it going in the future?

Bill:  Well, in finishing, there’s always something new.  You know, we like to say, you know, “We can do everything but change the dots on the paper.”  But finishing today, you can see all the digital finishing.  We’re looking at short fun, we’re looking at long run digital.  There’s a blend of it happening and there’s a lot of areas where you can position yourself into or if you want to be a book of one, you can be a book of one.  If you want to be a book of 500,000, you can still customize and you’re seeing it all here today at Innovationdays.

Cary:  Well, that’s great.  And, you know, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting your Sussex operation, this was way before the recent acquisition, and, you know, that’s all web press and highly automated and so on.

Bill:  Right.

Cary:  Now with the acquisition, you’re into a whole different area.

Bill:  Right.  We are in books, direct mail, we’ve been in direct mail for a long time, we’ve dabbled in books.  But the digital arena is taking us deeper into this, bringing more value to our customers and we’re there for them, and we have to be there for them.

Cary:  Have to be there for them.  And so turnaround times are shorter, quantities are shorter, the automation and the errors, you can’t have errors on the bank end.

Bill:  No, no.  With all the inspector systems that we’re seeing here today, errors are becoming a non-event.  It’s taken for granted today, really.  You know, the way our suppliers are designing their equipment, it’s easy to set up.  We don’t need a rocket scientist.  So, they’re making it easy for us and in turn, we’re here showing our support.

Cary:  And you know, underlying all of this is JDF, right?

Bill:  Oh, yes.

Cary:  And we don’t talk about it any more, but—

Bill:  No, it’s a given.

Cary:  It’s a given.

Bill:  It’s a true given, yes.

Cary:  Yeah, you know, a few years ago, I remember the, Margaret Mountan who was the CEO of Cid Four saying, “You know, in two or three years, it’s going to be like USB ports, you don’t talk about it, it’s just there.”  

Bill:  You just assume it.

Cary:  Yeah.

Bill:  Yeah.  Exactly.

Cary:  So you’ve seen that evolution?

Bill:  Oh, yes.  You know, we use it all the time, you know, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just there.

Cary:  That’s great.  Well, thank you very much.

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By Clint Bolte on Jun 28, 2011

This interview brings an interesting thought to the fore. QuadGraphics has been the only printer in the world to invest their own innovations into the latest offerings of the print equipment offerings. And then sell these patented enhancements to competitors via their wholly owned QuadTech subsidiary.

And yet these improvements have been limited to Quad's presses. No post press processes! Surely their internal innovations don't stop once ink is on the paper?


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