Vendors reported a good amount of interest in bindery equipment at this year's GRAPH EXPO in Chicago. The bindery equipment at the show offered in-plants some great opportunities to expand their services and increase their efficiency.
A sudden workload increase came when cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc. shifted the printing and folding of product inserts from outside printing suppliers to the company's in-plant facility in Carrollton, Texas. "It hit us like a ton of bricks" recalls Keith Hopson. "We didn't know it was coming until we were flooded with work."
THOUGH PRINT 09 may have gotten off to a slow start, the crowds eventually showed up. And when they did, many of them headed right for the bindery equipment. Nowhere was that more true than at the Standard Finishing Systems exhibit, which was bustling with activity on the third day of the show, even as other booths appeared to be on siesta. Mark Hunt, director of marketing for Standard, thought he knew why.
When cosmetics giant Mary Kay Inc. departed from the trend of producing products overseas, Keith Hopson, supervisor of Mary Kay Printing Services, in Carrollton, Texas, had to move fast. The company’s decision to make its products in the U.S. included the printing and finishing of leaflets and inserts. “Our world kind of got turned upside-down in August of 2007,” Hopson recalls. “We struggled for about four months trying to keep up with the orders.”
THERE ARE two sets of attendees walking the show floor at Graph Expo. The first type has done his/her homework, knows all the primary players for a given product, has whittled down the equipment choices to a short list, and is at the show to see the machines in action. This person is on a mission. The second type has been to all the booths offering freebies, has three or four posters, two flash drives, one guitar and assorted other trinkets. For him, this show is a two-day reprieve from work. This tire kicker doesn’t really have an agenda. An educated shopper is the
THE LATEST USPS regulations may have inspired visitors to Graph Expo to be more aggressive in their purchasing habits. Across the show floor, mailing equipment vendors reported a lot of interest in their wares. Here’s a look at what was available. BCC Software demonstrated its Mail Manager 2010 mail preparation solution. It is USPS-certified to deliver top encoding and presorting performance, and is fully compliant with all recent Postal Service rate and regulation changes. A new 2010 premium option, the deluxe automation product Job Manager, was demonstrated at the show. It uses watchfolder technology to provide unattended mail processing operations. Böwe Bell + Howell highlighted its
WHEN IT’S time to shop for a saddle stitcher, automation, quick setup and ease of makeready are neccesities. But what other new features are available that might help your in-plant? And how should you go about comparing equipment? We talked with saddle stitching experts at several companies to get their tips and ideas to help you get the best machine for your in-plant. Buying Tips When comparing equipment, examine a range of format sizes and provide job samples (floating cards, envelopes) to equipment manufacturers, ensuring the best possible fit for your shop’s individual needs. —Steven Calov, Heidelberg USA Look for a line that will
Selecting a Collator: If there is a big difference in price, there is usually a reason. It is always good to test the equipment on equal footing and speak to owners about what they like or dislike about the system they own and what drove their purchasing decision. —Bob Flinn, director of Business Development, Standard Finishing Systems Consider the reliability of both mechanical and electronic components, the number of years the manufacturer has been in business, the number of years the machine has been manufactured, the average life of the machine. Speak with other end users. If possible, visit a current user and
A year after Drupa, what new surprises do graphic arts vendors have in store for in-plants? Here's an advanced look. In-plant managers eager to see the latest graphic arts technologies can't do much better than Print 05 & Converting 05. Held in Chicago once every four years, this is the printing industry's main event. Larger than last year's Graph Expo show, Print 05 will feature nearly 800 exhibits covering more than 725,000 square feet of floor space. To help in-plants prepare, many of the industry's key vendors offered a peak at the products they plan to display in Chicago. Offset Boasting