Category Archives: Shared Articles

Graph Expo 2014 Free Registration

Graph Expo 2014

Graph Expo 14, together with co-located show CPP Expo, is the most comprehensive “selling”  trade show for Digital, Inkjet, Offset, Flexo, Gravure and Hybrid technologies, products and services for the Commercial, Transactional, Converting and Package Printing, Publishing, Mailing, In-Plant, Photo Imaging, Marketing and Industrial Printing industries this year!

There are only 45 days left until Graph Expo and if you have not registered for your Free Attendee Badge, you can do so by selecting the link below and completing the form: Register for Graph Expo Here!

When: September 28 – October 1, 2014

Where: McCormick Place South, Chicago, IL USA

Show Dates & Hours:

  • Sunday, September 28, 12 noon – 5 pm
  • Monday, September 29, 10 am – 5 pm
  • Tuesday, September 30, 10 am – 5 pm
  • Wednesday, October 1, 10 am – 3 pm

Check out our vendors at Graph Expo 2014:

  • Standard #1923
  • Morgana #4013
  • Challenge Machinery #3621
  • Akiles Products #4048
  • Baum  #4704
  • Deluxe Stitcher Co. #3940
  • Drylam #3963
  • Ferris State University #4945
  • MBM Corporation #4051
  • MGI #3013
  • Mitsubishi Imaging #1643
  • Okidata #4231
  • Rena #2602
  • James Burns (Foliant) #1941

For a complete list of vendors, visit www.graphexpo.com. Housing for Graph Expo 14 is open, visit Graph Expo’s hotel and travel section here!


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

MGI Digital Graphic Technology

MGI Digital Graphic TechnologyArticle Provided by
My Print Resource

As a world leader in digital printing and finishing equipment, MGI Digital Graphic Technology provides groundbreaking and value-added solutions for the graphic industry. Founded in 1982, MGI is listed on the Euronext/NYSE as ALMDG.

MGI’s R&D center blends engineering performance in electronics, IT, micro-mechanics, colorimetry, chemistry and inkjet, while keeping current with market demands and trends. With an annual investment of 20% of sales back into R&D, the constant innovation process leads to the rapid integration of new technology in order to provide graphics professionals with unparalleled quality, flexibility and profitability in the evolving graphics market.

Our line of products is backed by reliable and proven technologies designed to meet our customers’ high expectations. We strive to integrate environmentally friendly solutions into our design and manufacturing processes, such as using ozone-free lamps and promoting active recycling programs.

MGI’s digital printing and finishing solutions are placed in a wide range of industries, including commercial printers, plastic card manufacturers, government agencies, packaging firms, in-plant printers, newspaper printers, photo printers/labs and book printers.

As we look forward to the new dawn breaking over the printing industry, MGI’s goal remains innovating a product portfolio that remains one step ahead of the curve, all while keeping the same company values that has lead to our success: To remain an environmentally and ethically responsible company, constantly driven by innovation, and dedicated to providing graphic professionals with cutting edge tools that will help lead the print industry’s revolution.

Product Portfolio

  • Meteor DP8700 XL – The most versatile digital press in the global graphics market, the Meteor DP8700 XL offers users the widest range of substrates available (paper, plastics & envelopes), the largest sheet size available (up to 102 cm / 40″ in production), laser-safe prints, no click charge and an economical total cost of operation, 25 different line screens (including stochastic), plus offset-comparable output quality.
  • JETcard – A fully digital inkjet plastic card production “factory” that prints up to 6 colors with varnish, with full personalization and data encoding done on the fly.
  • JETvarnish – MGI’s revolutionary JETvarnish digital inkjet spot UV coater provides an economical, 100% digital method for offline spot UV coating, a premium service that generates real bottom line profits.
  • PressCard Pro – An industrial production unit dedicated to the short run lamination of plastic substrates.
  • PunchCard Pro – A semiautomatic card punching unit capable of punching 8,500 ISO CR-80 plastic cards per hour.

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

Decorative Choice

Decorative Choice by Way of New Processes
By Jeff Peterson, Executive Director, Foil & Specialty Effects Association

Over the last several years, a great deal has changed in how the printed sheet can be enhanced and protected through specialty decorating processes. Technological advancements in the cold foil process, new specialty UV processes, and laser cutting technology are just part of what is now available to create spectacular designs that can stand on their own or enhance printed material such as cartons, greeting cards, invitations, folders, and much more.

Sheetfed Cold Fold Technology

Although cold foil is not brand new to the marketplace, the technology to apply it has become more reliable and has become very popular in the narrow-web flexographic market for label applications. Where it has seen more recent growth has been with the application of cold foil in-line with large-format sheetfed presses. This technology utilizes a tacky adhesive that is applied in the first printing head of a sheetfed printer. The foil is nipped to the adhesive and the foil carrier is stripped away, thereby applying the foil only where the clear adhesive is laid down. Press manufacturers are offering this technology on new presses and there are retrofit units on the market for existing presses.

The print finisher/foil stamper may look at this process as a competitive one to conventional foil stamping, but in reality it has much more of an effect on metalized board or paper. The cost of applying the cold foil to a standard carton stock and then overprinting the foil can be much more cost effective than using a metalized board for many applications. For applications where foil is utilized in just certain areas of the sheet or carton, even if overprinting is involved, traditional methods of hot stamping the foil and then overprinting is more cost effective. Applying cold foil in-line on a sheetfed press is best suited for coated stocks and does not perform as well on dry, porous stocks.

It must be pointed out that cold foil technology does not provide the overall brilliance that can be achieved with applying foil through traditional hot stamping methods. So there are limitations that will continue to keep traditional foil stamping a viable option for many applications.

Specialty Coating and Films

UV coatings, both spot and flood, have been a popular choice for adding a protective shine to all types of printed materials. Recently, extensions to standard UV have surfaced, providing even more choices to enhance the printed sheet. One of these newer technologies is a process called Cast and Cure or film casting. This technology creates diffractive surfaces to produce high-gloss, matte, and holographic finishes with the use of UV coatings and specialty film and can be utilized on both sheetfed and web-fed applications.

The film casting process utilizes a specialty film that has micro-embossed holographic pattern. Once the UV coating is applied, the film lays over the top of the sheet before the coating is cured. Then the sheet with the film still applied runs through the UV dryer and is cured. The film is stripped away, leaving the holographic effect on the sheet. Because there is no actual transfer of a foil or material on to the substrate, the film can be reused several times before new film is needed.

In addition, there is now an array of specialty UV coatings available that can be applied with standard off-line UV coating equipment. These coatings included raised (embossed) UV that applies a heavy pattern (up to 5 mils) to the printed image. It provides both a visual and “special feel” to a printed piece. There are also glitter UV coatings where small metallic flakes can be added to the coating, providing a unique look and an alternative to the conventional glitter process. Thermochromic UV coatings that change colors with temperature change, as well as texture, pearlescent, and even glow-in-the-dark coatings are available.

A new digital process for applying UV has splashed onto the scene that applies the coating through a digital inkjet process versus traditional coating techniques. This technology can apply a flat UV or “raised embossed” spot UV effect to all types of printed materials, including stationary, brochures, greeting cards, folding cartons, and more. The process provides an economical UV solution for short to medium-sized runs and works well for digitally printed materials.JetVarnish 3D

Laminating films have seen many changes over the past few years as well. Films are no longer relegated solely to clear films used for protecting printed materials. Laminating films are now available in many metallic and holographic patterns that can be overprinted or foil stamped. Clear iridescent films are also available, providing a unique appearance when tilted from side to side. They are completely translucent, allowing graphics and text to show through and still provide a unique pattern with the film. Laminating films are an excellent choice when wanting to combine protection with a colorful enhancement. Depending on the application, the ability to provide rigidity to a printing piece in different thicknesses is one of the big advantages that laminating films offer over other decorating processes.

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting continues to grow as a decorative alternative and can provide extremely intricate cutout shapes and graphics. The technology has grown and costs have decreased, making laser cutting a more feasible option for greeting cards, stationary, packaging applications, and promotional mailings. Although laser cutting is making inroads into functional diecutting applications, especially in the digital arena, it is not a preferred process or competing process to standard diecutting. If a shape or printed sheet can be diecut conventionally, that is still the best option, especially in larger quantities. Laser cutting is an excellent choice to provide extremely detailed cuts for decorative purposes and is most cost effective for small-to medium-sized runs. The running speed for a laser cutting job can run from 200 to 2,000 sheets per hour, depending on the job requirements.

Currently, most laser cutting is done by specific companies specializing in the process that work closely with print finishers or packaging houses. However, as the cost of the machinery and technology decreases, adding laser cutting services through print finishers will begin to become a more viable option in the future.

Conclusion

Today, a multitude of effects and processes are available as enhancements to printing or as a standalone decorative processes. There are now a variety of high-visibility effects and finishing techniques to explore and to offer to customers-whether providing it themselves or working together with partners to provide the finished product. The key in today’s market and particularly in the current economic items is to offer a variety of services, including new innovative solutions for the customer.

 

 

 

Document Shredding Company Employee Eyed in ID Theft Ring

Identity TheftNBCDFW Special Report by Scott Gordon / Friday, March 28, 2014

A Fort Worth man who worked for a document shredding company did not destroy bank records and instead shared them with thieves, according to court documents.

The number of potential victims is in the thousands and the total loss may be in the millions of dollars, a law enforcement source told NBC DFW.

Patrick Doucet, 43, of Fort Worth, drove a truck for Cintas Document Management, police said. The Ohio-based company promotes its off-site shredding business as safe and secure.

Major businesses, including an insurance company, contracted with Cintas to destroy their customers’ records.

The police investigation is outlined in a search warrant for Doucet’s North Fort Worth home. In a search of the house last week, police seized computers, cell phones and other items after investigators said they found a victim’s check in Doucet’s trash.

Doucet has not been arrested but the investigation is still very active, the source said.

According to the search warrant, the investigation started in Henry County, Georgia, in January.

Police there arrested Shanika Jackson, 37, of Atlanta, and charged her with writing fake checks in the name of a Bedford woman.

Investigators said she implicated Doucet and told them he worked for a document shredding company.

It is unclear how the two may know each other.

Fort Worth detectives said they confirmed Doucet was a truck driver for Cintas and that the thefts involved Cintas’ customers on his route.

Court documents label this a multi-state theft ring.

Police said a man near Seattle was robbed of his identity after he wrote a check to Allstate Insurance Company and mailed it to Dallas.

Detectives said they found the man’s torn-up check in a search of the trash in front of Doucet’s house and the victim later confirmed someone had recently tried to write fraudulent checks on his account.

Investigators also said they confirmed Allstate was one of the businesses on Doucet’s route.

In a statement, Allstate said, “We take our customer’s privacy very serious and are looking into the report.”

Allstate is the only Cintas client mentioned in the search warrant and it is not clear what other businesses and their customers may have been victimized.

Michelle Goret, Cintas’ director of corporate communications, did not respond to a phone message or emails late Friday.

Mike Hansen, Cintas’ vice president and treasurer, also did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Doucet did not answer his door Friday afternoon and could not be reached.


Using a shredding service is putting your company’s security in the hands of strangers. Shredding at the source is the essential security measure. View our shredding solutions by CLICKING HERE!

3 Benefits for Adding Printing Solutions to Your School

By Michael Garofola | Wed June 25, 2014

Teacher and StudentWith the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference right around the corner, I thought we could talk about some important ways printing solutions help the education industry to save money, meet security concerns and enhance productivity:

  • Take control & save green. The use of color in a classroom is very important. in fact, it’s so important that it can help increase student retention by 78% while also increasing students’ willingness to read and participate by up to 80%*. Pretty cool, right? But with budgets always a concern, schools cannot afford to allow everyone to print in color whenever they want. To help deal with these concerns, many printing solutions are out there that control printer usage by setting up who and what can print in color, in black & white, or not at all. By limiting color usage, the school/district can allow color printing to benefit student learning, while also saving some green.
  • Print on-the-go. As technology becomes more and more advanced, the concept of bringing-your-own-device (BYOD) is a growing trend in the classroom setting. Therefore, schools are creating a more dynamic learning environment, where students use mobile devices –like tablets – in the classroom. Yet despite the obvious perks, BYOD brings a ton of security concerns, as well as considerations relating to mobile device printing. Offering easy-to-use printers that are compatible with mobile devices and include security features are necessary for the schools of the future.
  • Get more done, faster. Because testing students and analyzing results remain intricate and time-consuming processes, teachers aren’t given the opportunity to address student learning gaps. While every type of testing has its challenges, schools have reached the point where additional efficiency is needed. Teachers should focus their time on teaching, and districts need to find solutions to severe budget challenges. Providing schools with solutions that can increase efficiency (such as an automated test grading solution) will benefit not only the educator, but also the student who will get more one-on-one time with their teacher.

In education as in other settings, it is important that printing solutions exist to control costs while helping improve daily processes and workflow.


Article Provided by OKI Data Solutions

New Mailing Incentives Start Next Month

By Kim Mauch, July 11, 2014

mailing solutionsThe Postal Service™ has had quite a bit of success offering discounts for certain mail piece designs. These incentive programs have encouraged mailers to use modern and innovative designs that allow users to interact with their mail in new ways.

The promotion results from the first half of the year aren’t in yet. However, there are some interesting new incentives that will start up in August that mailers may want to take advantage of. It’s important to note that for most of these incentives, you’ll need to sign up using the Business Customer Gateway, and use electronic documentation (eDoc) to submit paperwork for any mailing claiming a discount.

Color Print in First-Class Mail® Transactions

First-Class Mail, from personal correspondence to bills and statements, has been in a continual decline since 2006. USPS® is offering this 2% postage discount to help limit that decline. From August 1 through the end of the year, First-Class mailers sending statements and bills can claim this discount by using 4-color printing for marketing and consumer messages.

Many mailers have included inserts with their statements to sell additional services and inform customers. However, those customers can get into a bad habit of tossing those messages to the side in favor of the content of their bill or statement. With this program, mailers would print that information directly on the statement using dynamic/variable color print.

Emerging Technology featuring NFC

Smart phone usage, for social media, web browsing and e-commerce, has increased sharply over the last few years. USPS has struggled to link this growing trend to the mail. In its latest attempt, USPS is offering mailers a 2% discount on mail that includes Near Field Communication (NFC) technology or “enhanced” augmented reality. This incentive will be available for mailings in August and September only.

While several Android smart phones and tablets include NFC capabilities, iPhone and many others do not. The additional work required to satisfy the “enhanced” augmented reality option can be costly. This is an innovative incentive, but it may be before its time. While only the most innovative mailers will attempt this discount, it will be interesting to hear what their results are.

Mail Drives Mobile Commerce

Starting in November, the Postal Service will again offer a 2% discount for mailers who use a physical mail piece to drive customers to a mobile-enhanced online store. An additional percent discount is available for those who use USPS to fulfill those orders.

This has been one of the most popular incentive programs, and is timed perfectly for the holiday shopping season.

For each of these promotions, you’ll need to fill out a survey at the end to tell USPS about your experience. It’s also a good idea to compare the results of these mailings to any previous design, as the new features may be more or less effective.

Brainstorming has begun for the 2015 promotions as well, which may feature the first Periodicals incentive, promotions for nonprofit mailers and repeats of previous successes. The official list of new promotions should be out sometime this fall.


Article Provided by Satori Software. View more articles by Satori Software.

Night of Nights

Night of NightOn July 12, 1999 the US closed commercial Morse operations, but every year since, on that anniversary, the Maritime Radio Historical Society commemorates maritime radio by bringing stations KPH, KSM and KFS back on the air for one night. Other existing radio stations participate with related content.

A Revolutionary New Paper – Rock Stock

Stone Paper

A Revolutionary New Paper – Rock Stock

It’s not very often that we get to write about new technologies in the world of paper. Granted, the modern processes behind the manufacturing of papers and coatings are incredibly sophisticated. However, those advancements could be classified as evolutionary to a very old technology. The first evidence of paper comes from the 2nd century BC in China. The first pulp-making process was written by Cai Lun. From there paper technology spread to Middle East  and Europe through the 13th century where the first paper mills were built.

Our last major change in the papers industry came in the mid-80s with the introduction of a new class of synthetic papers made from different thermoplastics. With great properties such as being waterproof, resistant to tearing and general durability for tough applications. These materials have opened up new opportunities for print providers. Cost factors and environment impact have slowed their adoption and limited acceptance to specialty applications.

Meet stone paper.

Conceived during the late 1990s in Taiwan by Lung Meng Tech Co. stone paper, or rock paper, is literally made from stone byproduct. Although not technically a paper, the look, feel and properties give a common user the impression of it being regular paper. In many ways, stone paper helps to bridge a gap between common paper and synthetic papers. It does so by filling living in-between the two market spaces. It also marries together the properties of both.

Stone papers benefits are numerous.

Firstly, it is static-free, which is an enormous benefit on the manufacturing side. It will resist stains and tears and will not break down in the presence of water. Its superior durability lends it perfectly to tough environments like outdoor signs and manuals that will undergo rigorous handling.

Advantages:

  • Anti Static
  • Acid Free
  • No Grain Direction
  • Water Resistant
  • Grease Resistant
  • Tear Resistant
  • Insect Resistant

Applications

  • Maps & Charts
  • Tags & Labels
  • Posters
  • Brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Menus Manuals
  • Banners & Signs
  • Packaging
  • Point of Sale
  • Shopping Bags
  • Outdoor Applications

Unfortunately there are downsides.

Stone paper is described as being eco-friendly but this is a declaration that the market hasn’t fully backed. The product is known to be non-biodegradable which is a large concern considering the percentage of landfill volume made up by paper. It is recyclable with number 2 plastics. This means that the stone paper could continually be processed and re-manufactured with very little waste, assuming it lands in the recycling bin rather than the waste bin. Another concern is the issue of compatibility with many laser printers. Digital printing systems use heat as their curing method and this high temperature can cause problem with stone paper or even damage sensitive digital imaging components. Digital printing is a huge portion of the printing industry so this needs to be worked out.

Some of these environmental pressures are alleviated by the fact that no trees are used in the creation of stone paper. There’s also no bleach, acid or other harmful components used to treat wood pulp before it’s made into papers. How everything stacks up in terms of business decisions is still being worked out by the industry as a whole.

If there’s one we thing to know, it’s that the technology is young. We’re in a heyday of advancements in materials science. In time I believe we could see large improvements to stone paper and it may even carve out a sizable market share.

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

 

 

2014 Ben Franklin Award Dinner

The Benjamin Franklin Award competition recognizes the highest quality printed pieces in various categories from around the world. Each year, only the most worthy pieces receive Awards of Recognition, Certificates of Merit, and the highest honor – the Benny statue.

The Benny has become a universally recognized symbol for excellence in the printing industry. For more than sixty years, winners of the largest, most prestigious print competition in the world have leveraged this honor to gain a competitive advantage.

Benefits of Winning a Premiere Print Award Includes: 

  • An invitation to the Premier Print Awards Gala Featuring InterTech Technology Awards and web2awards-Best of Category winners receive complimentary ticket
  • Inclusion in the Premier Print Awards Supplement mailed to 10,000 print buyers
  • Exposure to the media with a press release from Printing Industries of America
  • A Benny statue, certificate, or plaque to proudly display
  • Industry Recognition
  • A self-promotion kit to help endorse the win
  • Premier Print Award imagery to display on your promotional pieces

Printers have found that winning a Premier Print Award can be a powerful tool in helping to grow their business. Receiving an award in the largest, most prestigious print competition in the world tells your customers and prospects that your company produces some of the finest print in the world today.

The promotional possibilities are endless!

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

Scientific American: Why the Brain Prefers Paper

Scientific American: Why the Brain Prefers Paper

There is good news for those who enjoy paper and print!  An article in the recent November 2013 issue of Scientific American magazine clearly supports what we already know:  most people understand and remember text better when read on paper rather than a screen.  According to the article, while e-readers and tablets are becoming more popular as these technologies improve, reading on paper has many advantages.

Since the 1980s, there have been more than 100 comparative studies in the Unites States, U.K. Taiwan, Sweden, Norway, France and Japan to explore differences of how people read and comprehend on paper versus screens.  While technology has continued to improve, it still hasn’t reached the comprehension level of traditional paper users.  What we have learned from these studies is that readers prefer real paper over its electronic counterpart and achieve high levels of comprehension and retention with paper.

In the article, researchers agree that “screen-based reading can dull comprehension because it is more mentally taxing and even physically tiring that reading on paper.  E-ink reflects ambient light just like the ink on a paper book, but computer screens, smart phones and tablets shine light directly on people’s faces.  Prolonged reading on glossy, self-illuminated screens can cause eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision.  In an experiment by Erik Wastlund, then at Karlstad University in Sweden, people who took a reading comprehension test on a computer scored lower and reported higher levels of stress and tiredness than people who completed it on paper.”

While there are obviously several advantages to using digital technology like being able to access an abundance of information at any time from one device or being able to conveniently travel with a number of different resources in one digital location, paper is still more conducive to learning.  And e-readers fail to re-create certain tactile experiences of reading on paper, the absence of which some find unsettling.

The graphic below  helps to weigh paper against pixel with some compelling points.

http://twosidesus.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/scia.jpg

Paper not only has inherent environmental features such as high recyclability, carbon storage, and a renewable primary raw material (wood, recycled and alternative fibers), it also fills a key societal role by helping readers create their own unique experience whether it is through learning and study habits or getting personally involved in a work of fiction.  It is less distracting and allows the reader to focus on the text.  The absence of multi-tasking leads to a greater understanding of the subject matter and in turn creates a memorable experience.

Check out the article for yourself.  It goes into great detail about why the brain prefers paper and how the human brain interprets written language, perceives text and constructs a mental representation of the text that is similar to the mental maps we create of terrain and indoor spaces.

Scientific American is available at many newsstands.  To subscribe to Scientific American on-line or purchase the November issue go to:  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-reading-brain-in-the-digital-age-why-paper-still-beats-screens

Scientific American: Why the Brain Prefers Paper
December 2, 2013 by Two Sides U.S.