September 1998 Issue


In Motion

Package printers can get the most out of brakes, clutches and motors with adjustment savvy, package deals and new technology. Industry experts offer a comprehensive cross-section of motion controls currently at work for converters. By Susan Friedman Edd Brooks, project manager and senior technical specialist at Horton Industrial Products, a subsidiary of Horton, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN, says pneumatic, single-position tooth clutches that allow engagement in one place are helping achieve precise ink color changes in tight register print jobs. Brooks also reports air-controlled brakes are providing strong cost and operation benefits, while electrically-controlled components' high technology aura is garnering attention. AC motors are

In the Groove

Advances in electronic and laser technology and expanded cylinder choices push the dynamic progression of gravure engraving. By Susan Friedman Gravure engraving technology and service suppliers are carving out distinct grooves that can help package printers make more educated decisions about handling engraving themselves or engaging a trade shop. Bob Balzan, VP sales/marketing at Max Daetwyler Corp., says printers who also engrave typically have two to 10 presses, 25-120 employees, and spend $300,000 to $500,000 for an engraving machine. Engraving service providers contend that taking on the complexities of engraving in-house often results in costly mistakes, and can distract from the core business

Operation Digital Output

Shopping for and finding digital output devices to enhance workflow productivity is a matter of education in relation to your needs. By Marie Ranoia Alonso SHOPPING THE output odyssey is not a simple task for package printers looking to expand in a digital direction. So many solutions in the platesetting segment, so much to consider. Thermal or non-thermal platesetter? Small or large format? Semi- or fully-automated? What is the ROI? Pay close attention to new OEM agreements, such as the recently struck Agfa agreement to market Krause America's LaserStar 140 and LaserStar 170 platesetters, bringing a great deal of PDF power to the Krause

Something Special

One-time, from-the-ground-up press designs aren't package printers' only route to acquiring a unique'specialized' printing and converting system. By Susan Friedman It's a doozy of an order, a real profit-booster—hundreds of thousands of impressions and multiple reruns during the next few years, but nothing currently on the pressroom floor can print and convert it the way the customer has specified. Is this a signal to recruit a supplier to build a one-of-a-kind specialty press? Not always. Chris Faust, marketing manager, Comco International, says specialty press purchases are indeed often motivated by the end-user's need to put a value-added, printed product on the shelf that draws

Zooming Toward Quality

Sophistication across all levels of web inspection technology make it a manageable investment for package printers. By Susan Friedman Why buy a Mercedes when you can reliably, stylishly get from Point A to Point B in a Honda? The infusion of sophistication across all levels of web inspection technology makes this analogy ring true for many package printers' purchasing decisions. "The largest base for video web inspection technology will continue to be simple, inexpensive video systems for general web viewing, while new image-based technology is being developed to bring value-added features to more sophisticated web printing processes," observes Paul Burrows, product application engineer at