Commercial Printing Evolves with the Times
Manufacturers' presses accommodate customers' needs
By Stacey Wenzel
Commercial printing is emerging as one of the more profitable avenues for forms manufacturers seeking new areas for growth. But to keep up with the changing market, manufacturers have to stay on the cutting edge of new technology.
"We think that many forms manufacturers will enter into the regular commercial printing field over the next few years," said Bob Nuttmann, national sales manager for the press division of Muller Martini, Hauppauge, N.Y.
According to Dick Prentice, director of sales and services for Graphic Systems Services (GSS), Dayton, Ohio, some printers are trying to produce commercial printing and direct mail with their existing equipment, only to find out they aren't able to compete. He said the equipment doesn't have sufficient color capability, ink coverage, variable size, inline finishing capabilities or correct delivery systems.
"Those who replace older equipment with new presses, like our VS-1020 equipped with UV or heat set dryers, can enter into these new markets and compete very well against slower, less flexible sheet-fed equipment or web presses limited in number of print units, print coverage and finishing capabilities," Prentice said.
At Heidelberg USA, Kennesaw, Ga., Josef Niehueser, director of marketing services said Heidelberg is producing presses, such as the Speedmaster SM 102, which will solve many problems commercial printers face such as reducing labor costs by developing faster machines that cut downtime.
Niehueser foresees a trend toward short run and on-demand jobs that use fewer than 100 sheets, due to economical value. "Print-on-demand is one of the key issues in the printing industry, not only for small presses, but especially for larger format presses," Niehueser said.