Save Ink, Save Paper…Save Trees with KeySetter

Xitron KeySetter

Save Ink, Save Paper…Save Trees with KeySetter

In many printing companies, the digital workflow stops with plate imaging and in most shops, there is still a gap between the prepress workflow and the controls in the pressroom. Unfortunately, this means that the valuable capability to leverage prepress output data in order
to preset ink keys on-press remains unused. Existing proprietary connections often come with high investment costs so there is little incentive for many small to mid-sized companies to invest in the opportunity to achieve significant savings, better efficiency and greater quality. And because it minimizes waste… it saves trees!

The objective of the ink presetting system is to achieve uniform target density across the print as quickly as possible after startup. Xitron offers 3 different options, independent of the press manufacturer, for your customer:

  • CIP3 is a great addition to any prepress environment. CIP3 saves time and money by presetting the ink keys on press. Save labor, ink and paper all through one software solution. CIP3 saves wasted time by analyzing the same data used for printing plates and then shares that information with the press control system. (Requires a Xitron RIP or Workflow)
  • Automate ink key settings. Xitron’s KeySetter line has two product versions that are both designed to provide improvements to the pressroom’s efficiency by communicating ink coverage data directly to the press, reducing make-ready time and materials waste. Less time is spent getting up to color, which means more time printing. Available as a direct connection to the press, a console-compatible data file or a printed graphic chart, KeySetter can reduce your make-ready an average of 20-50% which increases your operating profit.
  • Xitron’s Ryobi Ink Saver package is designed to replace Ryobi’s Ink Volume Setter software, which reached end-of-life status several years ago. A low cost replacement for IVS users, Xitron’s Ryobi Ink Saver (RIS) creates ink key data in the format required by Ryobi presses. Similar in functionality to the industry standard CIP 3 PPF (print production file) format, RIS creates .DEM files that the Ryobi console understands and uses to preset ink keys prior to a press run. RIS is based on the Keysetter Pro platform and supports output to supported presses through a network connection or floppy disk exchange. Along with the .DEM files, a job thumbnail (preview) is also created and supplied to the press.

Click here to learn more about Xitron’s workflow and RIP solutions >>>

5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Xitron Celebrates 40th Year

Xitron Celebrates 40th AnniversaryXitron Celebrates 40th Year as Provider of Prepress Independence

RIP, workflow, and interface developer reflects on history while charting future contributions to printing industry

Xitron, the leading independent developer of RIP and workflow products for commercial, digital, and high-speed inkjet printing has passed a milestone, now celebrating 40 years as a provider of prepress hardware and software to the printing industry. Xitron’s first products were “blue box” interfaces between newspaper editorial systems and high-speed laser imagesetters, first brought to market in 1977.

“Back then, our job was to provide technological independence to newspapers, allowing them to choose their editorial systems separately from their output systems,” said Karen Crews, President of Xitron. “As we mark our 40th year in the print industry, we continue to develop RIPs, workflow software, and hardware interfaces for commercial, newspaper, in-plant, flexo, screen printing, and high-speed digital output devices without binding our customers to any single vendor.”

Xitron’s business model has allowed them to place nearly 35,000 RIPs and over 20,000 CTP and imagesetter interfaces in printing companies on every continent. From Papua, New Guinea to Plainview, New York; Anchorage, Alaska to Cape Town, South Africa; Xitron continues to drive almost every output device used in print production today.

“This achievement really speaks to Xitron’s commitment of independence when it comes to a user’s prepress choices,” said Gary Fry, CEO of Global Graphics, authors of the Harlequin RIP. “Xitron has been a development partner since 1992, and, coincidentally, our anniversary with Xitron is a milestone in and of itself,” he continued. “We plan to honor our 25 year association with Xitron by presenting them with a special Silver Partner award at Print 2017 later this year.”

In advance of Print’s return to Chicago this September, several new products that build on Xitron’s commercial catalog are slated for release. Included in the line-up are Raster Blaster 4.0, which is an intelligent TIFF catcher for all supported CTP devices; B3, a new network-based interface that doesn’t require a computer platform; and a very economical USB/SCSI interface for legacy Fujifilm platesetters that (until now) could not be upgraded beyond Windows XP operating systems.

An upgrade to Xitron’s Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE)-based Sierra workflow is also planned, in cooperation with their Adobe development partner, FFEI, Ltd. “Xitron and FFEI have a relationship that began in 1999 with the Xenith workflow,” said Andy Cook, Managing Director of FFEI. “We’ve continued to work together through the introduction of Sierra using the Mercury RIP architecture introduced in APPE 3, with which Xitron has significantly impacted the high-end workflow market in the US.”

While continuing their successful approach of delivering alternative RIP and interface strategies to the commercial market, recent innovation in print technology has required Ms. Crews to keep one eye focused beyond traditional printing. This has fostered the development of color matching workflow software designed specifically for the needs of high-speed inkjet press manufacturers around the world.

“Staying relevant in a market whose technology moves as quickly as ours is not easy,” said Len Lauer, President and CEO of Xitron’s inkjet technology partner Memjet. “And yet, here they are, developing remarkable color RIP and workflow software for over half of Memjet’s OEMs. We’re looking forward to sustained expansion of this market with Xitron.”

“This is a very exciting time for Xitron and I have to thank our worldwide dealer organization and OEM customers for their contributions.” said Crews. “While being firmly entrenched in the traditional print landscape, we also have clear vision of the technological future of our products. Forty years of development have provided us with an excellent foundation to move forward with this industry.”

Driving CTP devices from Agfa, ECRM, Creo, Kodak, Presstek, Heidelberg, Fuji, and Screen, Xitron helps customers who want to maximize their investments by extending the life of their prepress systems. View Xitron products here!

Xitron Media Contact
Brett Farrah

5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Pamarco launches new ‘Fidelity’ water rollers

Pamarco launches new ‘Fidelity’ water rollers

Written By Bill Ford

After a year in development, we have created a product that we believe will surpass everything else on the market. But rather than tell you ourselves, we decided to share some feedback that we got from a happy customer. Here’s what Jeff Satterfield, of Highland Computer Forms, has to say about his ‘Fidelity’ experience:

In Terms of the Hype

“I just want you to know that the Pamarco rollers that were sent to me for testing have lived up to everything you said they would do in regards to performance. Through the education classes that Carmon Madison presented to my staff, our roller performance improved with the old compound so much that when you said that we would see an even better performance from the new compound – well, to be totally honest, I thought it was just a sales pitch. Boy was I off base.”

In Terms of the Performance

“It was an immediate change in the ink train, we needed to reduce our water speed (as you said would happen) because the plates were getting way too much water. The water speed was reduced from plus 19 to plus 7. We also were able to reduce our ink speeds by 5 numbers as well. The ink transfer is super with these rollers, so much so that we run all of our heavy solids on this unit with little to no problems whatsoever.”

And an Added Benefit

“Now that we have had several months using the rollers, we have noticed some other benefits. Our chrome rollers and pan rollers are staying so much cleaner on this unit when compared to any other units on the press. We installed the test compound rollers on 8/21/16, and they are performing just as good today, 3/7/17, as they did on day one.”

In Summary

“They are amazing.”

Thanks to Jeff and his team at Highland Computer Forms for partnering with us and for really putting Fidelity through its paces. We are looking forward to many more happy customers as we roll Fidelity out.

Read more articles from Bill Ford here >>>

5459 Fenton Road
Flint, MI 48507

Specialty Folding

Specialty Folding + Set Up In As Little As 14 Seconds

Specialty FoldingDesigned for commercial printers, in-plant printers, and binderies, the Standard Horizon AFC Series Floor Model Folders include advanced set-up automation, including gap settings, through a user-friendly color touch-screen control panel. Up to one hundred different jobs can be stored in memory with set-ups accomplished in as little as fourteen seconds. Precise stepper motors drive end stops and fold plates to the exact location for the sheet size and fold style selected.

  • Consistent fold quality – AFC Folders ensure consistent fold quality with steel and soft-formed polyurethane combination rollers
  • Reliable and high speed – An advanced rotary suction-feed system guarantees fast, smooth feeding of a very wide range of stocks.

Here are a few of Standard Horizon’s AF Series Folders:

  • AF-406F + Right Angle – Fully automated 6-buckle folder with pile feed and suction head, and an optional 6-buckle second unit added with a right angle conveyor for pharmaceutical, small format, and direct mail applications for sheets folded down to .79″ x .79″.
  • AFC-564A – The AFC-564-A computer-controlled folder combines superior feeding and registration with touch-screen control. Select from 14 pre-set folds or set up 200 custom folds.
  • AFC-566FG – Floor model vacuum-feed folder features fully automated set-up, including gap settings, and 6 fold plates for a wide variety of folding applications. Stores up to 200 different jobs in memory with automated make-ready in 14 seconds.
  • AFC-746F – Large-format folder with advanced set-up automation through a user-friendly color touchscreen control panel. Features quick changeover and fully automated setup with up to 47 automated adjustments.

Each Standard Horizon AF Series folder is designed for quick, easy set-ups, precise folding, and operator convenience. Click here to learn more about Standards Horizon’s AF Series Folders>>>

Mid-State Litho (MSL)
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
PH: 810-238-7370

On-Demand Book Production Company Achieves ROI After 11 Months with Challenge Machinery Book Trimmer

On-Demand Book Production Company Achieves ROI After 11 Months with Challenge Machinery Book Trimmer

Company Achieves ROI After 11 Months with Challenge Machinery Book Trimmer“Since we have installed the CMT-330, it has processed one-third of our total plant output, which is up to 350,000 books per month. Pretty good for a five-figure investment.” – Bruce Jacobsen, Executive Vice President, Bridgeport National Bindery

During its first 100 years in operation, Bridgeport National Bindery (BNB) served traditional library bindery clients. In 2003, the company installed its first digital printers and began serving the complete short-run book production needs of its rapidly growing on-demand customer base. A few years later, complete on-demand book production had become a significant part of BNB’s business. Most of BNB’s on-demand jobs were ultra small quantities, which led to a new set of operational challenges.

The Challenge

BNB had to find a way to reliably produce up to 8,000 perfect-bound books per day. Most of BNB’s jobs feature production quantities of 10 or fewer, in other words, 1,000 (or more) different jobs can flow through its perfect binding department each day. Reducing make-ready times to a bare minimum was a clear key objective.Click here to read more >>>

The Solution

BNB chose the CMT-330 three-knife book trimmer, Challenge Machinery’s premier book trimming solution for the shortrun, on-demand market. The CMT-330 integrates with perfect binding equipment for fully inline production. With the CMT-330, BNB could now consistently set up jobs in as little as ten seconds. Click here to read more >>>

The Results

Like many graphic arts companies, BNB usually expects to break even on capital investments within three to five years. However, eleven months after installing the CMT-330, Bridgeport calculated that the machine had already paid for itself. Click here to read more >>>

Customer Testimonial Provided by Challenge Machinery
Britt Cary
Sales Director, The Challenge Machinery Company

Mid-State Litho (MSL)
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Standard Horizon’s New Multi-Function Systems Make Any Finishing Job Possible!

Standard Horizon's New Multi-Function Systems Make Any Finishing Job PossibleStandard Horizon’s New Multi-Function Systems Make Any Finishing Job Possible!

Make any finishing job possible

Say “YES” to virtually any job with a new line-up of Standard Horizon solutions from Mid-State Litho! Now you can perform multiple functions in a single pass for a vast and varied range of output possibilities. Each system can process a variety of finished product independently with efficiency and ease, or combine system capabilities to handle even more applications. Crease, Fold, Cut, Die-Cut, Perforate, and more to achieve ultimate production flexibility. The Sky’s the Limit!

MSL can help you automate your bindery for efficiency and profit.


    Eliminates cracking on digital color output and accepts a wide range of coated, uncoated or laminated stocks from 24 lb. bond to 18 pt. on sheets up to 14.33″ x 34″. Features 7 selectable fold patterns and 6 selectable cover creasing patterns for perfect binding. Stores up to 200 jobs in memory.

    Crease and fold up to 5,000 sheets/hour. Optional perforating available. Ideal for restaurant menus, greeting cards, book covers, and marketing collateral. Learn more here >>>


    Die-cut, kiss-cut, crease, perforate, slit, hole punch, and round corner on a wide range of substrates in one process for digital and offset prints. Up to 6,000 cycles/hour on sheet sizes up to 15.74″ x 21.65″. Repeat register function allows multiple-up applications from a single die pattern to minimize costs! Creasing also available for applications that require additional folding after die-cutting, such as boxes, pocket folders, and greeting cards. Learn more here >>>


    Introducing an all-in-one smart sheet processing system that can slit, gutter cut, edge trim,cross-cut, perforate, and crease all in one pass. Print mark registration adjusts for digital print image shift from sheet-to-sheet. Simple operation and easy job set-up via barcode. Ideal for greeting cards, table tents, invitations, and business cards. Skip perf feature can produce T- and L-perfs for tickets, coupons, and reply cards. Learn more here >>>

Mid-State Litho, Inc. (MSL)
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Packaging equipment for all types of industries

Packaging equipment for all types of industries

Packaging equipment for all types of industries

MSL now offers a complete and competitive line of packaging equipment for all types of industries. 

Most businesses require packaging equipment for their daily operations. Bakeries, printing companies and other commercial locations pack items. While that might seem obvious, choosing the right packaging equipment isn’t so simple. Therefore, MSL can help you find the right equipment to tackle this task in an efficient manner.

If you are deciding to install a new packaging line, check out a list of our products below:

Equipment Overview:

  • Adhesive Tape Sealers
  • Air Pillow Machines
  • All-In-One Sealers
  • Automatic L’Sealers
  • Bag Sealers
  • Bags-On-Roll Sealers
  • Band Sealers
  • Banding machines
  • Blister Sealers
  • Carton Erectors
  • Carton sealers
  • CD/DVD Overwrappers
  • Checkweighers
  • Slam Shell Sealers
  • Conveyors
  • Cutting Machines
  • Drop Sealer/Bag Opener
  • Filling and Capping
  • Friction Feeders
  • Horizontal Flow Wrapper
  • Impulse Sealers – Hand
  • Induction Sealers
  • Inkjet Printers
  • Label Dispensers
  • Labeling Machines
  • Mail Baggers
  • Metal Detectors
  • Pallet Wrappers
  • Pouch Sealer (Pick & Fill)
  • Poly Bundlers
  • Portable Sealers
  • Ribbon Blendors/Mixers
  • Semi-Auto L’Sealers
  • Shrink/Dip Tanks
  • Shrink Banding Tunnels
  • Shrink Sleevers
  • Shrink Tunnels
  • Side Seal Machines
  • Skin Packaging/Die Cut
  • Steam Shrink Tunnels
  • Strapping Machines
  • Stretch Wrap Machines
  • Tape Dispensers
  • Tray Sealing Machines
  • Vacuum Sealers
  • Vertical Form Fill Seal
  • Weigh Full Linear Scales
  • Weigh Scales
  • X-Ray Machines

Visit us online for more information at or contact us at 810-238-7370.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

Gatherall Bindery Invests in Game Changers

Gatherall Bindery Invests in Game Changers

Investments in Standard Horizon technologies open new markets and opportunities

Gatherall Bindery Invests In Game ChangersSince 1968, Gatherall Bindery of Wixom, Michigan has been serving southeast Michigan’s small and mid-sized businesses with quality binding of print from more than 200 regional, small and commercial printing plants. Much of that work today is digital in nature, with short print runs and fast turnaround expectations.

Mark Culley and Brian Johnson lead the business, and noted that some of the greatest challenges a bindery faces today are keeping pace with the fast-turn workflow and managing the array of paper and substrates that come through the door. That’s why the decisions they make regarding binding and finishing equipment are so critical. “As far as bindery goes, the equipment is our business,” Culley said.

Working with local dealer Mid-State Litho of Flint, Michigan, the company has built an impressive, coordinated workflow based predominantly on equipment supplied by Standard Finishing Systems. In fact, the company has a more than 20-year relationship with Standard Horizon technologies.

“Back in the mid-‘90s, we were in the market for a binder, and we looked at a Standard Horizon system and also at the competitor, which was slightly cheaper. Back then, we were still green and thought that every single penny we spent up front was the most important thing,” Culley recalled. “And then we discovered that the Standard Horizon solution was a much better product.”

Today, Culley and Johnson field questions from colleagues all the time about equipment dilemmas, and inevitably they’ll suggest, “Just buy the Standard Horizon. You’re not getting a tinker toy. You’re getting a machine that’s going to last,” Culley said.

Among the Standard Horizon investments Gatherall has made are: a BQ-270 Perfect Binder; an SPF-200L Bookletmakerwith VAC collating towers; a StitchLiner 5500 Saddlestitcher with four VAC collating towers installed in 2006; and the newest installation, a BQ-470 Perfect Binder with PUR adhesive.

The StitchLiner 5500 has been a workhorse. “It’s used 10 hours a day, five days a week, and it has allowed us to create thicker books that we weren’t able to do before,” Johnson said.

“For example, I was just able to quote a 120-page self-cover saddlestitched book, and in the past, because of the page count, that may have been sent out to another bindery. Now, we can do that with confidence and quickly,” Culley explained.

The most significant “game changer” investment came in the form of the Standard Horizon BQ-470, according to Johnson and Culley. “It has opened up a whole new market,” Culley said. The same could be said for the SPF-200L Bookletmaker, which enabled the bindery to produce landscape-oriented publications. But it’s the BQ-470 with the PUR adhesive that was truly transformative.

“Because we receive jobs from so many printers, and are asked to perfect bind books with all different weights and grades of paper, we were finding that EVA glue wasn’t always the best option,” Culley recalled.

“We didn’t want to turn jobs away, and there was a period when we lacked confidence that the binding would hold up over time. The BQ-470 with PUR glue gave us that confidence, as well as the quality, speed, and consistency we needed. It was a game changer and problem solver,” he added.

The team at Gatherall Bindery applauds their representatives at Mid-State Litho and at Standard Finishing Systems, who they noted are unwaveringly knowledgeable, responsive, and trustworthy.

“To have a team of resources like that is huge,” Johnson said. “Installations have all gone smoothly, and any time we’ve had a question or needed a part, they have been incredible. They bend over backwards for their customers.”

Visit Gatherall Bindery online at

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

The NEW Photo Book Trimmer is here!

Challenge Machinery CMT-330 TC Photo Book TrimmerThe NEW Photo Book Trimmer is here!

CMT-330 TC Three-Knife Trimmer

The new generation of CMT-330TC three-knife trimmer features expanded capabilities making it the perfect machine to trim photo books. Featuring a 10.5″ color touch screen control panel for ease of use; Integrated bar code reading system for automated set up; Integrated in-line and near-line book feeding components; Graphical display of book path throughout the system; Automatic book size detection; Trims landscape formatted books up to 12″ x 12″ (305mm x 305mm), perfect for photo books; Powerful hydraulic powered cutting; Trims books up to 2″ thick; True three-knife on-demand book trimming.

The CMT-330 TC will be unveiled at Graph Expo 2016 in Challenge Machinery’s Booth #1025. Stop by and see their latest paper cutting equipment up close!


  • New 10.5″ Color Touch Screen control panel
  • New Integrated Bar Code reading system for automated set up
  • New Integrated In-line and Near-line book feeding components
  • New Graphical display of book path throughout the system
  • New Automatic book size detection
  • New – Trims landscape formatted books up to 12″ x 12″ – perfect for photo books!
  • Powerful hydraulic powered cutting
  • Trims books up to 2″ thick
  • True three-knife on-demand book trimming

Additional information coming soon. Visit our website for more information about Challenge Machinery’s NEW CMT-330 TC three-knife trimmer.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507

MBM Aerocut Velocity

MBM Aerocut Velocity

aerocut-velocityMBM’s Aerocut Velocity is the refined model of the Aerocut Classic slitter/cutter/creaser and features enhanced productivity and user-friendliness.

Feeding is an important and essential part for any print finishing device. This machine has an innovative patented feeding mechanism, that drastically reduces the risk of double feeds and mis-feeds. An optional perforating unit is located inside for an accurate registration.

The Velocity is twice as fast and includes more adjustments than base Aerocut Classic with a greater (4”) sheet capacity.The robust all-metal construction keeps top level accuracy and finishing quality on every job. Includes 268 preset cutting jobs and up to 150 additional custom programs can be stored in memory.

The Velocity is an ideal solution for finishing, especially for short-run digital printed applications, such as business cards, post cards, invitations, greeting cards, leaflets, tickets and more. Flex mode allows operators to cut multiple size cards from a page and add the desired number of creases on these; It enables designers and printers to create new aspects of applications. Self-correcting cut mark registration function and air suction feed system ensure accurate cuts every time.

Channel creasing allows the Velocity to offer world-class quality creases on digitally printed stocks. Creasing pressure can be adjusted in 5 levels instantly by shifting the lever. Magnetic paper guides are easily adjustable for various stock sizes. The handy business card collection tray snaps into place for neat stacking of finished cards.

The Velocity also features 2 single blade slitters to trim the top and bottom margins, and 2 double blade slitters for center gutters and precise accuracy. The durable blades cut stocks up to 400 gsm. The air-suction top feeding system easily feeds coated, digital, gloss and other stocks precisely without damage. Includes the Lytrod VisionDirect software to simplify the task of formatting, imposing, and adding personalized information to documents for fast and efficient cutting on the Velocity.

Mid-State Litho
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507