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The Edge of Technology, the Color of Success

WhatTheyThink recently visited two German printing houses that provide an aspirational lesson for printers everywhere who want to know how far investments in production technologies can take growth-minded companies.


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About Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry is a journalist and an educator who has covered the graphic communications industry since 1984. The author of many hundreds of articles on business trends and technological developments in graphic communications, he has been published in most of the leading trade media in the field. He also has taught graphic communications as an adjunct lecturer for New York University and New York City College of Technology. The holder of numerous awards for industry service and education, Henry is currently the managing director of Liberty or Death Communications, a content consultancy.


By Rossitza Sardjeva on Jan 19, 2013

Short inking system with anilox roller in it(Anicolor) for offset printing, is something not new, it is well known already, years ago.......


By Patrick Henry on Jan 19, 2013

Nobody, including Heidelberg, is saying that Anicolor is "new." The two printers profiled in this story say it is effective at minimizing waste in short-run production.


By Erik Nikkanen on Jan 19, 2013

Patrick, in a way you are right. Heidelberg is not just saying that it is "new" but that it is a "revolutionary new technology".




By Patrick Henry on Jan 19, 2013

Not to get into a semantic debate here, but the point is not in the adjectives and the adverbs. It's in the experience of the end-users, and in the experience these two customers, Anicolor just gets the job done. My guess is that they wouldn't care whether the technology was 100 years old or fresh out of the lab yesterday.


By Erik Nikkanen on Jan 19, 2013

OK, its a "revolutionary old technology".

I am happy with the improved performance shown by the Anicolor press under limited situations. It should make people think that offset lithographic printing is not as difficult a process as everyone has been mislead to believe. That is what is new and important.


By Greg Imhoff on Feb 11, 2013

The issue is offset or digital automation to serve client needs profitably. That Germans purchase from Germans is not new. That their smaller markets still support AniColor or Offset as well as digital might be one lesson for North American printers.

Another lesson may be updating and automating depreciated investments now on the floor achieves results. This may not be about investment in new presses it may be more about finding the leadership to provide solutions your market wants and needs. That requires thoughtful analysis and sales efforts. It is work to identify and serve client needs efficiently profitably and with the best quality.

The reward in fitting automation of on floor equipment is when the end result is improved with new market share efficiencies client satisfaction and profits. To achieve printers must first dig deep with clients to determine what they need and want then update the processes to deliver. Presses eating plates is a good thing.



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