White Stone, VA, June 2005 — On June 15, 16 and 17, the Research and Engineering Council of NAPL held its 7th annual Digital Smart Factory Forum in Miami Beach. At the meeting, representatives from printing companies and suppliers discussed the progress being made by the industry toward automation. The conference, which followed immediately the EFI users group meeting, Connect 2005, brought together printing industry technologists who shared details of their successes with the audience.
The keynote speech was offered by Kodak Graphic Communications Group Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Pellow, who told the group that the printing industry has an increasing need for marketing effectiveness and efficiency, including business process reengineering; just-in-time printing, and the need for more and more color in documents. She also noted that content created once must be capable of being repurposed for multiple channels. Additional speakers included Frank Romano, Rochester Institute of Technology Professor Emeritus, and Dennis E. Mason, President of Mason Consulting, both of whom provided observations of how printers are moving toward the factory of the future.
At the meeting, a number of printers described their efforts to employ Digital Smart Factory concepts in their operations. Raymond M. Hartman, group executive vice president of manufacturing and technology at R. R. Donnelley & Sons told the group how his company is emphasizing automation at a new plant being built in Atlanta, Georgia. The audience also heard executives speak their about automation efforts at Action Printing, Bennett Graphics, Classic Graphics, Franklin Trade Graphics, Finlay Printing, Fort Dearborn Company, Great Lakes Integrated, JohnsByrne Company, LAgraphico, Papa John’s Pizza, Rex Three, and St. Ives USA.
Commenting on the success of the seminar, R&E Council managing director Ronald L. Mihills said: “No other meeting in the industry focuses solely on the process of moving toward the automated printing plant. This year, technologists and print managers heard from an extremely high level of speakers, with particular emphasis on the practical aspects of automation.”
Since 1950, the Research & Engineering Council of the National Association for Printing Leadership has been dedicated to the education of printing industry personnel in the latest technologies and productivity improvement methods. The Council conducts seminars at which publishers, printers, educators, consultants and suppliers meet to share information and learn about leading edge technologies affecting the graphic arts industry. At three annual seminars—Pressroom, Bindery, and Digital Smart Factory—the latest technologies are reviewed in the context of actual print production. The Council also holds technology breakfasts at key industry trade shows, highlighting critical trends in the graphic arts industry. Information regarding membership and seminars is available from the Council at 804-436-9922, at [email protected]
, or at www.recouncil.org. Hear It Here First at the R&E Council.