PostPress - November/December 2019

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November/December 2019

Print Decorating, Binding and Finishing

Holography at the Front Line of Security

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Choosing the Right Folder-Gluer Recipe for Binding Thick Books Greeting Cards Still Shine

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Event Review

Finishing and Binding Make a Strong Premiere at PRINTING United

The event, previously known as SGIA Expo, adding post press to its show floor and educational session lineup.

Features 6




Economic Outlook







Choosing the Right Folder-Gluer

What to consider before investing in a new folder-gluer.

Four Issues Likely to Define 2020

A deep dive on trade, recession, workforce and politics.

Greeting Card Popularity Still Shines Exploring the value of a well-crafted greeting card.

Year-end Tax Planning Opportunities

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 continues to influence tax returns for 2019.

Sustainable Printing: The Why, The What and The How

SGP’s certification criteria is specific to the printing industry, helping to promote sustainable business practices.

Industry Influencer Steve Bonoff

President of the Printing Industry Midwest association discusses the importance of engaging a new workforce.



Holography on the Front Line of ID Security and Protection Tomorrow’s security and authentication lie in holography.



>> Foil Innovation Catches the Eye for Added Value Brand Packaging >> Magic in the Cards: Foil Graphics Celebrates the Holidays with Special Christmas Card >> A Carton that Conveys a Message from Studio On Fire




Finding the Perfect Recipe for Thick-Book Binding A review of coil, thread sewn and perfect binding used on thick books.

PostPress | November/December 2019

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Departments 4 24 29

Viewpoint Product Tech Watch

AIM and EyeC-America’s SIG-CHECK Print Inspection System


Equipment Highlight


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FSEA Association News Industry Installations Supplier Quick Links Marketplace Calendar

Foil Decorating

Official Publication of:

Published by: 2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite 101 Topeka, Kansas 66614 785.271.5801 Editor-in-Chief Jeff Peterson

Managing Editor Katy Ibsen

Advertising/Sales Gayla Peterson

Art Director Becky Arensdorf

Contributing Editors Brittany Willes Lara Copeland

Circulation Manager Brenda Schell

Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) 2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite 101 Topeka, KS 66614 785.271.5816 Executive Director Jeff Peterson Assistant Director Dianna Brodine

Online Director Mikell Burr

November/December 2019 | PostPress


Viewpoint >>

It All Starts with an Idea! by Jeff Peterson, executive director, FSEA


any graphic artists and package designers are not exposed to the special embellishments – including foils, coatings and laminates – that are available in the market today. So many are working with colors and print on their computer screen, and the idea of adding a special touch of metallic foil or a raised spot UV coating never enters their mind. It really is our job – meaning those of us involved with the processes of foil embellishments, embossing, specialty UV coatings, soft-touch laminates, etc. – to better educate the graphic design community on what is available to enhance their printed designs. Projects start with the designer, and if these specialty techniques are not specified early in the process, they may never be put to use. Sabine Lenz, founder of PaperSpecs, understands that graphic designers need further education when it comes to the printed piece. With this in mind, Lenz started PaperSpecs ( – an online community dedicated to inspiration, information and hands-on-tools for creatives who love paper and print. It is full of great resources on paper, print and specialty embellishments. Lenz is an advocate for the use of specialty effects and often highlights print projects that include embellishments, special binding, unique folds and much more. If you have not visited the PaperSpecs website, you should soon. FSEA recently partnered with Lenz and PaperSpecs to create the Foil Cheat Sheet to further educate the graphic design community on the techniques available for applying metallic effects; and the advantages and disadvantages of each. PaperSpecs had originally envisioned the concept of the Foil Cheat Sheet and included a downloadable pdf on its website. I approached Lenz and asked if she would want to partner on a printed and foil-decorated guide of the Foil Cheat Sheet, with true examples of each type of metallic decorating process. We produced a small quantity last year in 2018 and came back with an improved second version this year in 2019. FSEA now has the Foil Cheat Sheets available for FSEA members and others. Visit and click on the Foil Cheat Sheet icon. Others are out there banging the drum for print decorating, and we’ve been excited to partner with them at recent events. Earlier this year, FSEA sponsored its first-ever Binding Summit, which took place the day before the Odyssey Expo in Atlanta. Deborah Corn from PrintMediaCentr ( was the keynote speaker. The PrintMediaCentr provides “printspiration” resources and information to global print and marketing professionals. Deborah shared many of her ideas on how finishers and binders


PostPress | November/December 2019

need to step up their game when it comes to marketing and educating their customers and their customers’ customer. One of our FSEA members, Phil Blalock from Art Laminating and Finishing, attended the Binding Summit and took Corn’s thoughts and ideas to heart. Instead of just talking about doing something new and different, Blalock went back and started a Sample and Resource Center at his Art Laminating facility. Blalock has collected more than 200 samples of his company’s work and also invited vendors to display foil and die options. He is inviting print service providers (PSPs) to have meetings at his facility, making it easy to show their customers all that can be done with specialty finishes. Blalock’s new Sample and Resource Center is a success story from several angles. First, he took the time to attend an FSEA-sponsored event and came out of it with tangible ideas that he could put into action. Second, those actions have created something his business can use for years to come to educate and market the services offered at Art Laminating and Finishing. There is no better way to promote finishing and foil than actual samples. This is what designers, PSPs and end-users want to see. I hope many of you will mark your calendar to join us this next year in Indianapolis for the 2020 FSEA•IADD Joint Conference – April 27 to 28, 2020. We will have further presentations and networking opportunities on how to better educate and market to the graphic design and printing communities along with discussions on how our FSEA members and others can best utilize tools such as our new Foil Cheat Sheet. We also are excited to host plant tours at two FSEA member facilities – Baugh Graphic Finishing House and Eckhart and Co. The use of foil and other specialty effects is hot right now in all types of applications. As the saying goes, “Strike while the fire is hot!” Take advantage of the tools we have at FSEA and make the time to educate your customers on all you have to offer. It is sure to pay off in the end. Jeff Peterson is executive director of the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) and editor-in-chief of PostPress. An industry veteran with deep roots in the foil and specialty effects industry, Peterson can be reached at

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Industry Influencer Steve Bonoff has spent almost 20 years in graphic communications’ association leadership. In 2018, his career led him to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he now works as the president of the Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) association, a five-state membership association supporting print, mail and marketing service providers. “We provide members with access to trusted information, costsaving resources and cutting-edge education designed specifically for print and integrated marketing professionals in the upper Midwest,” he says. Prior to joining PIM, he served as the executive vice president at Idealliance and before that worked his way up to president at the International Prepress Association (IPA). “As president [at IPA], we initiated groundbreaking online programs to help our members effectively react to the dramatic changes impacting the prepress industry,” Bonoff says. “Recognizing the need to facilitate its members’ adoption of end-to-end media production workflows and technologies, I led the charge to merge IPA with the international standards body, Idealliance, in 2010.” He’s a visionary with a plan to promote jobs through his PIM Workforce Coalition. We visited with Bonoff to learn more about PIM and what his goals are for the industry.

Share with us the mission at PIM. Our mission is to ensure the vitality, innovation and business success of our member companies and the industry we serve. Members participate to: enhance skills and stay ahead of the curve, reduce injuries and keep OSHA regulators at bay, attract and retain well-qualified personnel, discover industry best practices and learn from peers, reduce expenses through collective purchasing, gain recognition for quality work and employees, ensure production stays online and in top-form, and support efforts to reduce regulations and spur growth

Tell us about the Workforce Coalition and why it is important at this time for the industry. The industry needs action NOW to ensure we have a nextgeneration workforce. We’re in a battle with other industries to 6

PostPress | November/December 2019

attract and recruit our workforce, especially in the areas of press and bindery production. We’ve done a poor job of public relations about the advanced technology aspect of our industry. This includes the promotion of careers that could attract more young people to the industry if they were aware of the high-tech skills now needed in most print media companies. Our ability to attract young professionals will determine our future.

How would you describe the lack of skilled/technical workers in the field? The pipeline of professionals that previously came from twoand four-year graphic communication schools has slowed to a crawl with the loss of many of these programs. If schools aren’t informing career-seekers of the opportunities in print, how do we as an industry think the next-generation workforce will be secured? It is on us to take the helm of this process of informing students and career-seekers that print as an industry is more than they know. The printing industry is an $898-billion-a-year global industry that drives about $3.8 trillion in related industries and is one of the world’s top advanced manufacturing sectors. There are some 42,000-plus printing companies and print-related establishments in the United States; that’s more establishments than Subway and McDonald’s (US) restaurants combined. These companies employ 847,000-plus employees in the US. While some printed products like newspapers are in decline, packaging and other print services are growing and print service companies are growing with them. We have a responsibility as an industry to do a better job telling the story of print.

What specific programs have you started to advance the mission of the PIM? Which ones do you see the most promise in? The skyrocketing cost of health insurance is a huge burden

Do you see a connection between lack of workforce and engagement with print? Any decreased appreciation of print is directly tied to our industry’s inability to tell our story well. When the sales conversion for an embellished digitally printed mail piece is compared to a digital banner ad, the results are laughable…print blows it out of the water. Our PRINT IS EVERYWHERE campaign is designed by Gen Z for Gen Z, because we need to do a better job reaching a younger audience with the powerful story of print.

What are your predictions for the industry in the next five years?

>> Steve Bonoff, president of the Printing Industry Midwest (PIM), is on a mission to engage the next generation of skilled workers for the printing industry. facing small businesses today, and Printing Industry Midwest is addressing this challenge. Through a partnership with insurance company Holmes Murphy, all PIM members now have access to an online insurance platform that solves small business health insurance challenges and more. Through a partnership with UnitedHealthcare, we’re offering access to a unique plan specifically designed for small and medium-sized print service providers with Minnesota-based locations. The UHC program is a print-community rated program designed to reduce the costs of insurance for members of PIM.

In your opinion, what will help attract more skilled workers to the industry? PIM is leading an industry-wide effort to tell the story of print to prospective students and career-seekers – that our industry is more than they know. From the floors we walk on and the clothes we wear to the signs that guide us, the mail we receive, the magazines we read and the food we eat, print plays a vital role – and is virtually everywhere we live and work. This new campaign is designed to help anyone tell this story effectively in their world.

Growth will continue to be found in two distinct ways: As technology advances, capacity grows. To feed that capacity, printers will continue to merge their businesses to find efficiencies and feed their presses. Those with a close eye on their clients will follow the data and take their companies in new and exciting places where they not only serve their clients with quality work, they also prove the value and effectiveness of that work through exceptional data analysis skills.

Finally, what are some printed pieces (magazines, journals, calendars, books, etc.), that you couldn’t live without? I couldn’t live (well) without the printed work of our members. So my eye is on their print!

Bonoff is an active part of the new Graphic Communications Workforce Coalition. The coalition consists of associations (including the FSEA), educators and industry representatives who have joined together to coordinate the efforts of organizations to create awareness, recruit new people into the industry, provide a framework for apprenticeship and training programs, and retain the existing workforce. The Coalition currently is drafting bylaws, soliciting members from various sectors within the graphic communications industry and surveying those on the front lines to gather information on how best to accomplish the group’s goals.

The PRINT IS EVERYWHERE campaign includes digital and printed brochures and presentation materials designed to share the positive stories and impact of the print industry. The campaign graphically conveys how print impacts everyday life in ways not always recognized as being borne by one industry.

November/December 2019 | PostPress



Holography on the Front Line of ID Security and Protection Submitted by Andy Bruce, on behalf of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association In the face of continued reports about fake identity documents and the ‘skills’ of counterfeiters to reproduce passports, driving licenses and other official papers that look like the real thing to the untrained eye, Dr. Paul Dunn, chairman of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), considers the latest developments in security and authentication holography.

a million fake identity documents seized, followed by dozens of people arrested by Chinese police after an investigation into a counterfeit gang operating across 20 provinces. Elsewhere, millions of people are falling victim to identity theft – in the last few years, identity thieves have stolen over $107 billion in the US, according to a 2017 Identity Fraud Study.

here can be little doubt that the illicit production of counterfeit and fake ID documents is big business. Around the world, the combined cost of fraudulent passports, drivers’ licenses and pass cards adds up to billions of dollars a year in lost revenues. It also impacts on corporate reputations, share values and issues around product efficacy and safety. Meanwhile, the cost of paying for anti-counterfeiting measures and teams tasked with bringing the criminals to justice can run into the millions of dollars.

In the UK, a national newspaper report highlighted a disturbing case involving criminals providing illegal immigrants with fake passports and documents to land jobs caring for the vulnerable. Australia is so awash with fake drivers licenses, passports and other IDs that the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has introduced a document verification service (DVS) to check that various government-issued documents, which also include visas and birth certificates, are indeed legitimate.


We continue to see the impact of identity theft on a truly global scale. There have been recent reports from China about more than 8

PostPress | November/December 2019

Also, modern reprographic technologies make it possible to copy many things, but the real issue is just how accurately can holograms be copied? The answer is that their intrinsic features

ensure that the techniques and visual effects make it extremely difficult, perhaps almost impossible, to copy a well-designed security hologram 100%. But in the fight against fake IDs, holography continues on the front line, where its value in securing data and protecting against criminal interference, tampering, alteration, forgery or imitation is priceless – new technology, innovation and advanced processes ensure protection against the forgery of variable information (photographs and personal data). Holographic technology offers a means of protection and authentication, and a warning about the dangers of counterfeiting. Therefore, they are not solely to prevent counterfeits but perform the role of an effective detection device, making it easier for the trained eye to distinguish the genuine item from the fake. Manufacturers are responding to the technical challenges this imposes, and in recent times, we have seen significant growth in the number of passports and other documents issued which feature OVDs (Optically Variable Devices) to stay at the forefront of overt asset and brand protection programs. The OVD can be used as a standalone feature or combined with printed security features to create devices that are extremely difficult to replicate using conventional photocopy or scanning technologies. Indeed, data from a leading manufacturer of products for ID and secure document production, personalization, verification and protection – ITW – says that when it comes to passports and ID cards, 81% of them feature holograms, according to an estimate that spans the 2010 to 2016 period. That compares to 69% for the period from 2000 through 2009. By the end of 2016, 89% of passports had holograms (compared to 60% in 2006). New generation There’s a new generation of high-security innovative holograms emerging, which is driving improvements in ID document security and protection, helping those with responsibility for law enforcement stay ahead of the criminals. These include Surys’ Spectreod, which scooped the Innovation in Holographic Technology category at the Excellence in Holography

The OVD can be used as a standalone feature or combined with printed security features to create devices that are extremely difficult to replicate using conventional photocopy or scanning technologies.

Awards 2018 for its advanced utilization of phase-shifting microoptic authentication elements. These enable the viewer to pick out and identify information using a smartphone light source. When observed at a direct angle, Spectreod is recognizable to the naked eye, but when it comes under a light source, pre-selected floating colored information appears that follows the movement of the light. This can help to confirm the authenticity of a document at a glance. The company also has continued to further expand its diffractive identity device (DID) technology platform with a portfolio of products for identity applications, including its latest DID Wave and DID Virtual products. Another pushing the boundaries is the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which has developed a new holographic


November/December 2019 | PostPress


technology <<

security device that shows as a color image when viewed in white light but reveals up to three different hidden holographic projections under red, green and blue laser illumination. It’s believed to be the first time that holograms have been encrypted into a color print for enhanced optical security applications across a wide spectrum of ID document security applications. Offering a high level of counterfeit resistance, a new generation of optical features – which incorporate holographic effects and offer overt, covert and forensic features – will herald a step-change in the secure document industry over the next few years. OpSec Security is in the vanguard with proprietary Advanced Colour Control (ACC) technology that can be changed by wavelengths/ intensities of light, altering the liquid crystal molecules and the color they reflect.

Companies at the forefront of these developments include OVD Kinegram with digital seal. The technology integrates digital ID with the physical document in a secure manner in an innovative way, which takes the biographical data found in the optical character recognition (OCR) line from an identity document and encodes the information into a quick response (QR) code that can be easily and quickly read using a smartphone. The QR code can be encrypted if required and is protected against counterfeiting or manipulation using a Kinegram optical structure. The information


Zhongchao Special Security Technology’s ColorSpace is a new micro-optic feature that utilizes holographic micro-nanostructures to provide colorful 3D dynamic graphic features with full parallax. The colors are fixed and can be precisely controlled at the nanometer level and also are easy to observe and describe. ColorSpace is ultra-thin (less than 30 microns), enabling it to be easily integrated into security threads, foil stripes, labels and ID applications. Promoted as a significant step forward in moving further than the current state-of-the-art in light transmission, optically variable colored effects are visible through Surys’ metallic foil Plasmogram: a new-generation, high-security DOVID that combines reflective and see-through effects on a nano-structured film incorporating physical properties. It’s one of several “break through” technologies that now are available for the high-security ID sector. For instance, we are seeing optical security features coming through that can be integrated with almost any substrates – plastic cards, polycarbonate material, composite and paper – to deliver “smart” ID solutions, which combine optical and digital technologies to offer both visual and automatic authentication based around the interactions of the user and smart devices. 10

PostPress | November/December 2019

>> The IHMA’s Paul Dunn says a new report highlights opportunity for packaging holograms.



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is read using an intelligent smartphone app that does not require any special add on. Surys also has developed its Optical Smart technologies that combine a digital data matrix code with a highdefinition micro image, which is part of the holographic security design. Using a dedicated app, specific images and properties can be authenticated without the need for an Internet connection. Future challenges Looking to the future, while holography undoubtedly faces challenges as ID technology and associated criminal behavior continue to evolve, if it remains focused on its role as an effective, flexible and reliable anti-counterfeiting measure, then its position among governments and those responsible for law enforcement will be assured. It will continue to play an important part in moving ID documents to the next stage of development, ensuring quality and checking the trade in fake IDs while those documents not displaying security holograms are seized and destroyed. Those involved in law enforcement, border protection and ID security will benefit from the presence of holography technologies and devices on passports and other documents, clearly seeing and benefiting from the advantages they provide.

The technology may have been around for decades, but holograms for secure authentication still are standing strong as an effective document security feature. Moreover, the use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO 12931 standard, enables those with ID protection responsibilities to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from counterfeits. Even those that carry a “fake” authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution. And, it would appear that the advantages holography offers will continue even as digital and mobile ID technologies gain increasing traction. The IHMA is made up of almost 100 of the world’s leading hologram companies. Members include the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications around the world, and actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards. To learn more, visit

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application Foil Innovation Catches the Eye for Added Value Brand Packaging By Lara Copeland, contributing editor, PostPress


he visual appearance of a package is critically important to a product’s success and lasting shelf appeal. The packaging itself offers the brand owner the last opportunity to convey important messaging to discerning consumers and influence their purchase. Through the use of special effects beyond printing, the look of the package can be elevated to a new level to engage, stimulate and tempt the consumer, producing a premium brand experience. It also provides a measure of deterrence against piracy. Fresnels Inc., Stamford, Connecticut, manufacturer of optical variable foils, hot stamping foils and laminates, called upon Glory Innovations, Inc., New Taipei City, Taiwan, to help create a special wine box to showcase the company’s foil capabilities. Glory Innovations is a printing company and luxury rigid box manufacturer with locations in Taiwan and China.

The Tenute Glory wine box, entitled Spumante Brut – Rosé, was first 4-color printed with a vibrant flower design on white carton stock from Iggesund. Fresnel’s optically variable clear Peacock foil then was applied to spell out the word “ROSE” with a separate letter on each side of the wine box. This was foil stamped on the white surface to see the shifting of color utilizing an etched die from Carlo Gasperini that created a “chiseled” effect within each letter. The Peacock foil also was used with a combination (foil and embossing) die from Carlo Gasperini embossing the 4-color printed flowers in perfect register. “The idea was to showcase our clear optically variable foil on both a flat white background and also on a colorful embossed image for viewers to see it used in both types of applications,” explained Fresnel’s COO Dr. Glenn Wood. “It was amazing the perfect registration that was achieved with foiling and multi-level embossing the flower image.” The other important embellishment that Fresnel wanted to showcase on the box was its Cellini technology. It is a nanotechnology-based imaging technology that creates colorful, 3D holographic images. A special image with the Fresnel and Cellini name was created and applied to each wine box utilizing a hologram registration system to read each hologram as it enters in position. Custom-made using proprietary technology designed for high-security application, each Cellini image contains three levels of security. Level one is overt and intended for consumers. Level two requires a handheld device, such as a magnifier, which can reveal features such as microtext. Level three is the forensic level, which is discussed only with the brand owner who can feel reassured that this decorative feature is doing double duty as an eye-catching print enhancement feature and an anti-counterfeit device.


PostPress | November/December 2019

Lastly, a soft copper metallic foil was applied to display a Tenute Glory logo on three sides of the wine box and a circular pattern of dots around the word “Rose” on the front side of the box. The Spumante Brut – Rosé promotional wine box has been recognized by FSEA, receiving the Gold Leaf Award for technical difficulty in the Best Use of Foil Embossing on Folding Carton category. As relative newcomers to the stamping foil market, Wood was pleased to accept the award. “It’s encouraging to be recognized as serious players in the highly competitive market,” he commented. “We are bringing highly innovative, eye-catching features to luxury packaging, which incorporate advanced optical technology. This provides packaging designers with new graphic tools in response to the current trend for color-shifting effects and provides a measure of deterrence against piracy.”

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November/December 2019 | PostPress


application Magic in the Cards: Foil Graphics Celebrates the Holidays with Special Christmas Card By Brittany Willes, contributing editor, PostPress


ing Crosby may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but most designers and decorators would agree that Christmas is all about the bright, cheerful colors. It simply wouldn’t be the holiday season without a decadent array of red, gold, silver, blue and, yes, a little white. All of these traditional Christmas colors can be found in the very untraditional, stunningly unique card from Foil Graphics. The promotional “Merry Christmas Pop-Up Card” takes the classic Christmas card and gives it a bit of modern “pop.” “We were after a design that could be kept as a unique piece that illustrated the special abilities we have developed over the years,” said Foil Graphics President Guy Pepoy. “We always try to push the envelope when creating a project that will represent our unique blend of capabilities.” Naturally, pushing the envelope comes with certain challenges. For this particular piece, given the complexity of the design, finding the time to actually bring the final product to life was a challenge in and of itself. According to Pepoy, “Like all other self-promotional pieces, it was very difficult to get the press time to produce such a complicated item. Customers always come first, so with 12 press passes and the time required to hand assemble the piece, logistics became an issue to overcome.” Creating the card was not the only thing that required a great deal of time. Simply choosing the design was itself a labor-intensive task. “We were not originally looking to make a two-sided popup,” said Pepoy. “After hours of scanning the Adobe stock pages, these two designs really stood out. After several more hours of planning, we found a way that they could be used together.” Thus, the double-sided pop-up was born. Once the design was settled, the process didn’t necessarily speed up. The first of 12 press passes consisted of applying silver holographic foil to select snowflakes. Next, digital printing was registered to it. The next three passes consisted of foil being stamped on one side of the sheet, followed by eight passes of foil stamped on the other side. For the next pass, laser cutting technology was used to create the scores and cut the center Christmas tree and


PostPress | November/December 2019

the perimeter. For the final step, the bottom edge of the card was glued by hand. The card itself was digitally printed on 130# digital C2s cover stock. The brass dies used were supplied by Metal Magic and the card was stamped on a Kluge stamping press. The red, silver and gold foils were supplied by Great Western Foils. “We are used to hearing our customers say, ‘I don’t know how to do this, so I thought of you guys,’” remarked Pepoy. As a result, Foil Graphics has become skilled at coming up with unique products and designs. “We have found it to be challenging, but that’s what makes the work so exciting. This particular card has led to the creation of many other projects.” The challenge is certainly worth it when the final product receives such positive feedback. Pepoy noted, “The card has been very well received by printers, graphic designers, agencies and anyone who has seen it. We’ve had many discussions from people asking, ‘How did you do that?’ or ‘You put digital over the foil?’” Given the positive attention the card has been given, it’s little wonder why it recently received a gold award for technical difficulty during the 26th Annual FSEA Gold Leaf Awards in the Best Use of Foil/Embossing – Greeting Card Self-Promotion category. The award is sure to add a little extra Christmas cheer to a piece that is already merry and bright.

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application A Carton that Conveys a Message from Studio On Fire By Lara Copeland, contributing editor, PostPress


or thousands of years, humans across several civilizations have cultivated cannabis, and the controversy surrounding the plant is just as ancient. In the spring of 1909, along the central coast of California, William “Bull” Lowell started growing what he called Indian Hemp (since the term “marijuana” was relatively unknown by Anglo Californians) on his farm. Public concern about Indian Hemp was nonexistent, but that changed in 1913 when Henry J. Finger conspired to outlaw cannabis and helped pass the 1913 Poison Act. This, however, did not deter Lowell. Believing in a man’s right to smoke the dried plant and enjoy its benefits, he refused to stop growing it. When Finger caught wind of this act of rebellion, he shut down Lowell’s farm and eventually threw him in jail. Over 100 years later, Lowell Herb Co. still is in operation. Paying homage to Bull Lowell’s respect for the plant, the company’s standard is to only use “natural materials from seed to sale,” and this is evident even in its packaging. The organic cannabis farm turned to Twin-City-based Studio On Fire to help create packaging for its pre-rolled smokes. “When assessing the goals of the packaging early on, it was obvious that the organic process should be seamlessly conveyed to the consumer,” said Ben Levitz, Studio On Fire founder. “It also was important that the final product should feel like a piece of design ephemera from another time, nodding to the 100-plus-year history of the farm itself.” Studio On Fire offers letterpress and foil stamping/embossing – all of which use special letterpress and foil stamping equipment to create designs by means of pressure. As a result, Studio On Fire creates pieces that are eye-catching and tactile, much like the carton for Lowell Farms. Made out of Neenah Folding Board 26pt Grocer Kraft, the carton features original artwork of the farm’s logo. The logo – an emblem featuring a bull’s head on a human body encircled by the company name and other details – was created on scratchboard, which then was provided to Studio On Fire to translate to vector artwork. The packaging design was completed by Lowell’s team and translated into the final foil stamping of the emblem on the front of the carton. “We thrive when combining techniques, and several were used on this project,” Levitz said. In this case, Studio On Fire needed


PostPress | November/December 2019

“to produce an aesthetic that walks the line of raw/refined,” he added. To create this look, a flood of letterpress ink was used to naturally provide a textured area that supports the ephemeral quality of the piece. The carton was passed through a Heidelberg cylinder press for letterpress on the interior as well as the exterior, and the pass utilized photopolymer plates that Studio On Fire makes in-house to apply a soy-based ink. The carton then had two passes on a Kluge for foiling and embossing on the darkly printed tab that falls over the front of the carton. First, a pass of matte silver was applied and then overstamped with a metallic copper – both from Infinity Foils. The next pass, a heated blind impression was made with the combination of a heated metal die and pressure without using any foils or inks in a secondary logo with the bull’s head on the outside of the carton. The carton then was diecut on a Saroglia FUB and folded and glued on a Kluge Omnifold. A custom micro-etched pattern in

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TRADE BINDERIES the die was used on a rainbow holographic foil with an overprint of black for the final package seal. All engravings, including the UniFraxion® engraving, were supplied by Universal Engraving, Inc. Levitz said that a detailed piece, like the Lowell Smokes carton, that required many passes through a press or presses in Studio On Fire’s shop, is going to suffer from stretching.


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“All of the processes that happen under our roof are impressionbased, so if we’re not careful we’ll warp the sheet into a giant ruffled potato chip,” he added. “It takes a lot of skill to get the correct amount of tactility in the final product without ruining things along the way.” But, this is the challenge that propels the company to continue providing premier printed and embellished work with a distinctive look. “In general, a huge part of what Studio On Fire does is design via production planning: Selecting stocks, planning press sheets, designing dielines, figuring out what presses will work best, what foils will stick, what order things should happen, advising artwork revisions – all of those things are key to getting the high quality final products that we’re known for,” Levitz said. This high-quality and detailed work results in satisfied clients, like Lowell. “We’re happy to have been working with Lowell for several years now, and it’s clear that the level of consideration the company has given its packaging really stands out to consumers in an ever-growing market.”

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Finding the Perfect Recipe for Thick-Book Binding By Katy Ibsen, managing editor, PostPress


here is no shortage of thick books in this world that required a special binding; text books, novels, educational tools, training manuals, dictionaries and so forth. We’ve all had the opportunity to connect with a thick book.

When a client brings a thick book to your bindery, it’s important to understand what they are trying to achieve in order to determine the best or most efficient type of binding. Questions to ask include: How many pages? Is there a desire for a spine, and will the number of pages accommodate having a spine? What type of front and back covers will be used? Will there be inserts or tabs in the book? What type of substrate will be used for the body of book (type of material, weight and print coverage % of the pages)? To help understand this, we pay particular attention to these questions in the category of cookbooks. Cookbooks are taking on lives of their own, now going beyond just an anthology of recipes. Furthermore, cookbooks are used 20

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for fundraisers and other special projects for social organizations like Junior League, or special interest publications produced by city/regional magazine brands. The design, photography, editorial content, paper and binding all play an important role in the book’s brand. “Binding is such an important part of the printed piece and should be considered early on,” said Sabine Lenz, founder of PaperSpecs. “Not every binding technique is suitable for every purpose.” This growing trend creates new job opportunities for a bindery. Here, PostPress explores the options of binding thick books. Coil binding Coil or punch binding can be a popular option among smaller publishers or clients that have a project needing efficient binding that is not subject to style or branding. Examples include training materials, finance and legal documents, directories or regional cookbooks.

Books that will experience some wear and tear are good candidates for thread sewn binding because there is an assurance that there is never a glue failure. John Lugviel, vice president sales and marketing at Rhin-O-Tuff, shares more about punch and coil binding. “Our solutions focus on lay flat binding because of its durability, lay-flat qualities and ability to be taken apart for document revisions,” he said. Lugviel points to a study on binding by Interquest research, which revealed that coil binding is used for lay-flat documents more than half of the time. Of the binderies/facilities surveyed in the Interquest study, lay flat proved to be the popular binding option.

automated electric coil inserters available in the market. The costs for this type of equipment ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 until you get into the high-speed production category, which can go as high as $150,000,” he said. For wire-o (double loop wire) closing, Lugviel points out that there are a wide range of solutions from an automated standpoint, and they range from $30,000 to $150,000. For small jobs, Lugviel suggests tabletop punch and binding solutions. “We would recommend a punch with interchangeable die capability,” he said. “This would allow users to use the same punch for plastic coil, wire-o and comb punch patterns.”


The data states: • Training and education documents, marketing and sales materials, and finance/legal documents were the most common types of documents ordered with lay flat bindings, accounting for nearly 75% of those surveyed. • Top vertical markets ordering lay flat bindings included: Education (Higher Education and B2B), Finance & Legal, and Government & Nonprofit. At Rhino-Tuff, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing and Finance are the most common clientele. • 86% of those surveyed reported that lay flat binding was applied to letter size, 8.5"x11" documents. • The survey revealed that, on average, 58% of the cover material is uncoated card stock, 18% is coated card stock, 17% of the material is clear acetate, 6% is vinyl and only about 1% is laminated. Depending on a book’s content, design and layout, the punching will require some consideration. Lugviel says, “When choosing the best punch technology solution for your large book jobs, it comes down to volume and book structure, i.e. tabs, cover types and inserts. If you are binding many books with over 200 sheets (400 pages) per book, an automated punch may be the best solution. There are several high-speed punches in the market but only one that we are aware of that will insert tabs and difficult cover types, such as acetates, poly’s, UV-coated and laminated materials.” For large jobs, Lugviel recommends an automated coil inserter with a plastic coil, with a 4:1 oval die. “There are several of these

November/December 2019 | PostPress


binding <<

• The lap edge can be either on the back half or front half of the section but must be on a common edge throughout all sections of the book. • All inserts and wraps must be the same size as sections and have the same lap edge as the sections. • All folded sections must be the same size from head to tail, and a spine measurement is required. According to Lenz, books that show off the smyth sewing are on trend. She states that swiss binding is also popular, where the text block is glued to the inside back cover as opposed to the spine itself. “Binding is a very important part of the overall design, the look and feel of a book, and thus should reflect the branding,” she said.

For plastic spiral binding elements for larger books, Lugviel recommends a 4:1 oval die pattern and a tabletop electric coil inserter. This pattern gives users a larger hole to insert the coil. If wire-o is required, a 3:1 (three holes per inch) round or square punch pattern is recommended for larger books.

It’s also important to note that not all threads are created equal; thicker books have always been smyth sewn, to provide a lay flat quality and overall longevity to the book.

Larger than 120 sheets, a 2:1 (two holes per inch) round or square die pattern would need to be used due to margins needed to bind the book without tearing the sheets. 2:1 wire standard sizes go up to 1 ½" and 300 sheets (600 pages) of 20lb paper. There are larger sizes, but they generally are custom made.

Perfect binding Perfect bound cookbooks often are not as lengthy as their hardcover counterparts and will not lay flat; making it a less desirable option among publishers. The option is economical, however, and depending on the content of the book or trim size, may still have a purpose. It certainly is less costly, especially for large quantities.

Thread sewn Another popular option for lay flat and aesthetics is thread sewn binding. Also referred to as section sewn binding, pages are sewn together before covers are added, creating a visual effect that is also durable – ideal for cookbooks.

Perfect binding a thick book with a soft cover will call for adhesive, and binderies have options: polyurethane reactive (PUR) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA).

PaperSpecs, the online resource center for creatives working with paper, pointed to DISH cookbook, a special edition featuring recipes from famous chefs across Australia, as a beautiful example of Smyth sewn binding with bright blue thread that matches the book’s cover. The Bindery, based in Australia, provided the thread sewn binding for DISH, which PaperSpecs credits for enhancing DISH’s “homemade feel, suggesting that this is indeed a piece to be treasured.” Books that will experience some wear and tear are good candidates for thread sewn binding because there is an assurance that there is never a glue failure. The Bindery provides additional tips on best practice for thread sewn binding. • 16 page or 32-page sections are required for sewing. (If printing as four- or eight-page sections, then the job should be planned so as to insert one into another to make 16-page sections.) • Any odd 4pp or 8pp sections must be imposed to insert or wrap around a 16- or 32-page section. • All sections must have a minimum of a 7mm and a maximum of 12mm lap edge. 22

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As previously covered in PostPress (see PUR or EVA – What is the Best Adhesive Option, Nov/Dec 2018), each has different qualities that might make it the correct option for different types of books. PUR adhesive has many advantages. It can bind varnished, UVcoated, carton, mylar and other difficult stocks, where EVA adhesive may struggle with certain coatings or substrates. PUR also is compatible with digital printing because the kind of adhesive isn’t affected by ink migration. Perfect binding can accommodate up to 400 pages and can be bound faster than thread sewn. PUR also provides a substantial adhesive, especially on coated papers and difficult paper stock, which makes it a better choice for larger books. The challenge of getting perfect bound books to lay flat is a challenge and must be looked at carefully. Whatever the recipe, there are plenty of options for the perfect thick book binding.

product >>

Infinity Foils Announces New Foil Selection Guide Infinity Foils, Inc., Kansas City, Kansas, a member company of the UEI Group, unveiled its new Foil Selection Guide, the company’s largest guide to date with its expanded foil shade range and increased product offering. This shade guide includes foils for hot, cold or digital applications. Additionally, Infinity® Foils has added new shades and grades formulated to work on the broadest range of applications for precision and reliability. For more information, visit

Leary Introduces 2D Code Reader W.H. Leary, Tinley Park, Illinois, introduced the iCode™ 2D Code Reader. It uses state-of-the-art camera technology to scan 1D and 2D codes up to 150,000 cartons per hour. Some of the unique features include reading codes with variable data – identifying if a code is readable, yet unique to the individual product, which is ideal for track and trace cartons or gaming promotion; “click and drag” programming; and seamless new job set-up with Monet and displayed code on user interface. For more information, visit

form a central component in PACE system. For more information, visit

DERPROSA™ Supports Sustainability with Eco-Friendly Lamination Film Solutions The graphic brand from Taghleef Industries, Alcalá La Real, Spain, announced it offers not only a range of films manufactured exclusively with monomaterials but also with biodegradable and compostable films. First, the company offers monomaterial solutions made of 100% polypropylene (BOPP), which facilitate the separation process in recycling systems. Secondly, it offers films whose raw materials come from renewable resources such as polylactic acid (PLA) with the NATIVIA® range. For more information, visit or

K. International Press Inc. Presents New Line of Folder-Gluers K. International Press Inc., Santa Ana, California, introduced the automatic high-speed Smartfold 1100SL that comes with straight-line, autolock bottom, fourcorner and six-corner, bump and turn small box attachment plus other variety of attachments. The 1100SL folder-gluer is made by DGM Machinery and is suitable for printers, finishers and the packaging industry. For more information, visit

Colter & Peterson Unveils PRISM P80 Paper Cutter

POLAR-Mohr Features its Biggest Cutting Machine The high-speed cutter POLAR N 176 from POLAR-Mohr, Hofheim, Germany, is the biggest model in POLAR’s line of cutting machines. It is mainly employed for handling offset class 16x166 cm. Formats with diagonals up to 1,760 mm can be turned on the high-speed cutter. When dealing with larger sizes, the material being cut must be turned on the front table. By adding a gripper loading system, the high-speed cutter can be complemented to 24

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Colter & Peterson, Caldwell, New Jersey, introduced the 30" PRISM P80. With its penchant for high speed, accuracy within 1/64th of an inch, automatic knife setting and ability to cut a variety of substrates and thicknesses besides paper, PRISM customers are running more jobs while saving time and money. PRISM offers users durability and a compact footprint, in addition to high precision accuracy with steel knives that resist abrasion, stress, shock and impact. They also last up to three times longer between grinding than standard steel knives. For more information, visit

Martin Yale Announces Launch of its Versa-Cut Rotary Diecutting System

MBO Unveils DPS 60 Dynamic Perforating and Scoring Unit

Martin Yale, Wabash, Indiana, announced the launch of the VersaCut by Count, its new rotary diecutting system. The COUNT™ Versa-Cut produces a variety of digital print and packaging products such as stationary, customshaped brochures and direct mailers, invitations, retail packages, labels, greeting cards and folded boxes. Designed for use with flexible dies, the Versa-Cut by Count processes a wide variety of paper stocks up to 14x20" at speeds of 6,000 cycles per hour. For more information, visit

MBO America, Evesham Township, New Jersey, introduced its DPS 60 Dynamic perforating and scoring unit. It is a modular unit that applies dynamic or static perf or score patterns, inline or across a web. Along with common applications such as buck slip tear offs, return slips, coupons, hang tails and T-perfs, the DPS 60 can be used in conjunction with MBO buckle folders and plow tables for scoring, signature folding, direct mail and specialty applications. Because of its modular design and small footprint, it can be used in nearly any inline or near-line finishing system, or added to an existing web press. Tooling choices, together with either a hard anvil or a soft anvil on each cross-cassette position, create options for a wide range of applications. For more information, visit

D&K Group Introduces Endura Waterproof Overlams D&K Group, Inc., Elk Grove, Illinois, introduced new Endura Waterproof Overlams. Endura Overlams feature a polyester (PET) base film along with a heat-activated adhesive that resists water and moisture. Endura Overlams are available in a variety of thicknesses and finishes suitable for applications including cards, menus, durable labels, hanging passes and more. Endura Overlams are offered with thermal laminating adhesives designed for traditional offset and digitally printed output. Endura products provide a permanent adhesive bond that resists delamination, even in harsh environments where other films fail. For more information, visit

AMS Spectral UV Offers New XFlex™ Connectors AMS Spectral UV, River Falls, Wisconsin, a Baldwin technology company, unveiled a new power-and-water connection design called XFlex™, which simplifies the process when installing a UV LED curing system onto a new or existing press. The flexible connectors make it easier to fit modules into tight spaces, making the solution especially ideal for presses with little space to spare. The XFlex™ connector, available on XPi FLEX™ modules, is an easy-to-use, extremely flexible “pivot-style” water and electrical connection design which improves upon former designs, and was engineered for faster installations by OEMs, printers and converters. For more information, visit

Duplo USA Introduces DC-618 Slitter/ Cutter/Creaser Duplo USA Corporation, Santa Ana, California, has announced the launch of the DC-618 slitter/ cutter/creaser. The DC618 delivers output at a faster speed and on heavier stock than its predecessor, DC-616 Pro. Duplo also gave the PC Controller software and LCD control panel interfaces a facelift to make them more intuitive and user-friendly for in-plants and commercial printers looking to automate short-run finishing. With the ability to perform up to six slits, 30 cuts and 20 creases in a single pass, the DC-618 produces applications such as business cards, postcards, brochures and book covers with a full-bleed finish. Processing speed has been boosted from 10 to 23 sheets per minute, and paper weight specifications have increased from 350 to 400 gsm. For more information, visit


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product >> <<

appliance and plastic card applications. For more information, visit

Nobelus Unveils Digitally Printable OPP Gloss Laminate Film BOBST Launches Hybrid Press MASTER DM5 BOBST, Mex, Switzerland, announced the world premiere of its latest innovation – a hybrid label press, which combines digital and DigiFlexo printing in a single press. The MASTER DM5 – which has Mouvent™ ink-jet digital technology inside – is associated with total flexibility for high added value labels, with short job set-up and fast return on investment. For more information, visit

Nobelus, Knoxville, Tennessee, unveiled a new high-gloss OPP thermal printable laminate film. PlatinumPOLY Gloss Printable Laminate enables brand enhancement with its durable high gloss finish, which is ideal for surface printing and embellishments. This thermal laminate film is scratch-resistant, and its surface is receptive to UV, offset and digital HP indigo inks. This 1.2mil OPP also is designed for gluing, foil stamping, UV coating, embossing and Sleeking™. PlatinumPOLY Gloss Printable Laminate Film is suitable for direct mail pieces, magazines, book covers, presentation folders, invitation or folding cartons. For more information, visit

Kurz Introduces Cold Foil for Narrow-Web Printing

SEI Laser Reveals Latest Version on the Labelmaster Matik, West Hartford, Connecticut, announced SEI Laser’s enhanced version of the Labelmaster in two models with widths of 350 and 600 mm. With full digitalization, from order receipt to shipment, converters using the Labelmaster can reach a new level of speed and productivity. It is the perfect solution to produce selfadhesive labels in all sectors: industrial, wine, food and beverage, beauty, textiles, flexible packaging, promotional, converting and many others. For more information, visit or

Sakurai Introduces Screen Foil™ LQM 105 Hot Foil Stamper Sakurai, Schaumburg, Illinois, introduced the LQM 105 inline hot foil stamper. The costeffective foil stamper adds a level of flexibility, quality and performance when combined with any size or vintage Sakurai screen press. It is suitable for PSP, folders, leaflets, business cards, loyalty cards, magazines, book covers, packaging, promotional items, labels, roll-to-roll, greeting card, automotive, 26

PostPress | November/December 2019

Leonhard Kurz, Fürth, Germany, introduced the new KPW XU cold foil for narrow-web printing. It aims to provide label printing companies with a cold foil that combines good processing characteristics and overprintability as well as excellent finishing results. KPW XU is characterized as a versatile grade that offers a high covering power and edge definition, high-gloss finish and good adhesion when applied, as well as good overprintability with UV inks. For more information, visit

Sappi North America Introduces Sappi Spectro Sappi North America, Boston, Massachusetts, unveiled the Sappi Spectro, a single-ply SBS board suitable for when a bit of heft is needed for premium creations. Spectro features lower basis weights in higher calipers for a substantial feel while reducing paper and distribution costs, with paperboards that range from 8 to 24 pt. A proprietary coating ensures brilliant color reproduction, sharper details and better ink holdout. It works well with techniques like hot foil stamping, embossing/debossing, varnishes, UV and specialty coatings. It is suitable for premium food and beverage packaging, book and magazine covers, consumer electronics and beauty packaging, direct mail, POS displays, calendars, greeting cards, menus and more. For more information, visit


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New Glue -Tech model Auto -1420 sheet-to-sheet gluer. The Glue -Tech is designed to efficiently, and cost effectively, produce thick business cards and other printed products using eco-friendly water- soluble glue. The Glue -Tech is an alternative to expensive cohesive papers, and offers paper type and size flexibility.




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<< tech watch

AIM and EyeC-America’s SIG-CHECK Print Inspection System by Lara Copeland, contributing editor, PostPress


merican International Machinery/Signature Folder Gluers (AIM), a family-owned business based in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, offers a wide-range of products and services for the paperboard and corrugated converting industry. The AIM team provides customizable equipment options specific to the needs of its customers, including a total solution for the new and used equipment needs of the folding carton industry. The company also established the Signature Folder-Gluers brand as a converting option focusing on versatility and affordability for packaging companies. Recently AIM and EyeC-America, St. Charles, Illinois, partnered to develop the SIG-CHECK print inspection system. “Designed for most makes and models of folder-gluers,” AIM Managing Director Kevin Koplin said, “the system inspects for all relevant print defects anywhere on the carton.” The SIG-CHECK can be paired with a converter’s existing folder-gluer, offering a flexible design to roll up to the front of the machine. Additionally, an inline module is offered and installed directly on a Signature Folder-Gluer. Scanning starts with the very first carton. The gluer’s ejection device removes any flawed carton that is identified. “This eliminates defective product prior to being shipped out to customers,” Koplin continued. “All without slowing down production.” With superior quality control, businesses can increase their service offerings to current customers and target new markets, especially those that require stricter standards for their cartons. “The ability to easily add an elevated level of quality control to existing equipment allows users to work with customers like those in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries,” he noted. Furthermore, the operator will find the system “extremely easy to use, requiring only an approved PDF proof that is loaded into the system.” After the PDF file has been loaded into the system, all future runs can be loaded automatically by scanning the barcode that is printed on the cartons, eliminating the chance for an incorrect or out-of-date file to be used. The PDF can include information layers to automatically set up the inspection area, as well as highand low-priority regions; automatic cropping to the die lines; automatically masking printing that is outside the diecut pattern

or on the flaps; areas where color checking is critical or other priority areas. Unveiled at the Odyssey Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, last May, the SIG-CHECK generated much interest because of the high demand for accurate and quality cartons. The SIG-CHECK is appealing to customers for many reasons. “With its versatility and affordability, more packaging printers are able to offer this service to their customers,” Koplin said. More customers are investing in print inspection units because they offer advances, like scanners running at high speeds and the associated price reductions. Available options include color monitoring and 1D or 2D code reading. The SIG-CHECK print inspection system is available globally, with sales provided by AIM in Canada, the US and Mexico. Both AIM and EyeC can perform needed services depending on the issue. Technical details: The roll up module length is 7.8' (2,400 mm). The inspection width varies from 16.53" (420 mm) with a resolution of 244 dpi to 25.98" (660 mm) with a resolution of 158 dpi. The smallest detectable defect is 0.008" (0.21 mm) at 16.53" width to 0.013" (0.31 mm) at 25.98" width. Operating speeds up to 1,312 ft/m (400 m/m).

November/December 2019 | PostPress


event review

Finishing and Binding Make a Strong Premiere at PRINTING United By Lara Copeland, contributing editor, PostPress


n October, nearly 30,000 visitors converged in Dallas, Texas, for PRINTING United. The event was hosted by Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and replaced the former SGIA Expo. With more than 700,000 square feet and 600-plus exhibitors, the tradeshow built on SGIA Expo’s foundation of apparel, graphics/wide-format and industrial printing application technologies and added the commercial and package printing segments. Scattered throughout the event floor, three amphitheaters provided educational sessions for attendees without requiring that they leave the exhibit hall. Additional classroom sessions – more than 100 in total – took place within educational tracks for the graphics, apparel, functional/industrial, in-plant, commercial and packaging communities. In particular, there were several sessions relating to binding and finishing, including a session entitled Trends in Finishing for Commercial Printing. The panel, made up of some of the larger suppliers of binding and finishing equipment in the market today, discussed how the climate for binding and finishing is changing and will continue to evolve in the future. Areas such as the importance


PostPress | November/December 2019

of cross training, replacing or upgrading older equipment, and taking advantage of training by the equipment manufacturer were all subjects covered during the session. From the design side, Sabine Lenz with PaperSpecs conducted a seminar on The Five Hottest Print Design Trends of 2019. The session looked at the print and embellishment trends that have transformed the way creatives present their work and spread their message. With the addition of many companies involved in bindery, foil and embossing, and digital coatings and foils, PostPress wanted to share what was on display and new at the show as it relates to print finishing, embellishments and binding. Binding There were several exhibitors highlighting new technologies for the bindery. Much of what was on display was targeted to decrease downtime and increase workflow efficiencies. Mueller Martini showcased its Presto II Digital saddlestitcher that accommodates digital, offset or hybrid-printed products and can process products of variable thicknesses, as well as highly personalized content. MBM released its VRCut Ready Triumph

guillotine cutter line that integrates prepress PDF creation software with the cutter that is connected to a visual guidance system, allowing operators of any experience level to efficiently run the cutter with minimal training. MBO featured its CoBo-Stack, where a collaborative robot is used to transport product from the delivery onto the table of the CoBo-Stack, which picks them up and deposits them on the pallets. The PB16 automated programmable paper drilling system was highlighted at the show by Rollem. It is a heavy-duty modular drilling machine with up to 13 drilling heads. The computerized programmable sliding table handles longer runs, larger paper formats and multiple complex stroke patterns. Duplo debuted its DC-618 pro slitter/cutter/creaser that offers removable modules and can perform up to six slits, 30 cuts and 20 creases in a single pass, and can produce applications with a full-bleed finish. Rhin-O-Tuff showcased its Tornado Autopunch EX® that automatically interposes pages, covers, index tabs and inserts in one sequence, delivering complete, fully punched and collated book stacks ready for binding. Because so much of digital press output needs to be punch/bound, the EX helps eliminate manual steps and postpress bottlenecks.

Spiral Binding

Spiral Binding displayed its CB40PB punch and bind system for plastic coil binding. It will punch, form coil from filament, bind, cut and crimp documents automatically, running up to 1,000 documents per hour. Finally, Absolute Printing Equipment highlighted its equipment from Baumann, manufacturer of joggers, loaders, unloaders, pile turners – all built to help automate the handling of material for printing and binding applications. Foil/Coating/Diecutting Sakurai USA featured the ScreenFoil LQM 105, which can be combined with any size of existing Sakurai presses, providing dieless foil applications for all types of products. It allows the image to be screen printed onto the sheet and the heated foil is applied in registration to any size or image configuration. MGI and Konica Minolta debuted the new JETvarnish 3D One digital embellishment press. Aimed at market entry for printers, finishers, and in-plant printers, the system offers 2D/3D spot coating and dimensional textures. Heidelberg USA introduced its Digimatrix 60 FC diecutter and hot-foiler. Ideal for digital run lengths, the Digimatrix runs up to 5,500 sheets per hour and processes sheets up to 23.6 x 17.7". The foil version allows hot foiling on a wide range of substrates and can be equipped with Masterset, which

registers each sheet individually via print marks for excellent print-to-cut registration. Duplo showcased its UD-310 diecutter, which includes a new feed system for challenging stocks, a separator section to allow operators to swap pre-setup separators for faster changeovers and an updated registration system to ensure sheet-to-sheet registration. Scodix presented live demonstrations of its Scodix Ultra 202 digital enhancement press, showing variable data using Scodix Foil, Scodix VDE, Scodix Cast & Cure and Scodix Sense. It provides the ability to add print enhancements to a variety of substrates. My Press Needs featured its newly patented Crest Widemouth technology for its Crest Clamshell press. This provides converters the ability to eliminate core cascading and edge crush when diecutting difficult substrates. Lastly, THERM-O-TYPE displayed its NSF Elite, Excel and Ultra foil stamping, embossing and diecutting presses. Its NSF models provide exceptional high-speed productivity, advance operator controls and proven reliability, with the ability to do flat foil stamping, embossing as well as high-speed Foil Fusing (dieless). Laminating Nobelus featured its LuxeFilms Karess SmudgeProof thermal laminating films, a tactile overlaminate that offers the ideal solution to smudging, scuffing and fingerprinting. D&K Group also introduced a new line of waterproof thermal laminating films called Endura Overlams. The new film was demonstrated on D&K Group D&K’s System 2760, a fully automated lamination system that includes a sheet feeder, onesided lamination station and automatic cutting system. Folding/Gluing Baumer hhs featured its aerto hot Baumer hhs melt applicator that includes superior cut-off performance to help eliminate tailing. The powerful pneumatic valve ensures a high closing force that delivers superior line or dot performance across a wide range of adhesives. Heidelberg USA also showcased its new Diana Go 85, a cost-effective, flexible and productive folder-gluer that can produce cartons at speeds up to 820 feet per minute in a width up to 33.4". It handles a variety of carton styles, such as straightline and lock-bottom cartons. The digi-mollPAK System inline foldergluer was on display in the B&R Moll booth. This folder-gluer can be used by digital and commercial printers and is designed to offer fast, flexible performance in a compact machine. It is ideal November/December 2019 | PostPress



event review >>

for short-run straight-line boxes, table tents, sleeves, software cartons and presentation folders. Conclusion For certain, bindery and finishing made a strong contribution to the first ever PRINTING United event. And, it seems as if the mixing of all segments of the industry was successful. “It forced attendees to look at companies and products they may have never even thought of before, and we found that a large number of visitors to our booth were completely new to Duplo,” stated Vice President of Marketing, Rick Salinas.

>> The Trends in Finishing panel – moderated by Mark Michelson, editor in chief of Printing Impressions – featured Andy Fetherman, VP of sales and technology, Muller Martini; James Tressler, VP of sales, CP Bourg; Joerg Daehnhardt, vice president, Heidelberg USA; Josh Rombers, national sales director, MBO America; Rick Salinas, VP of marketing, Duplo USA.

Ford Bowers, president and CEO of SGIA, summarized the 2019 experience: “Many commented on how revitalizing it was to see such a full and comprehensive event. We were most thrilled about all the buying taking place on the show floor. This is the best testament that our industry, indeed, is thriving. We just needed the right model, and we are confident that we have produced that with PRINTING United.”

PRINTING United 2020 will be held October 21 to 23 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event will expand into a total of one million sq. ft., and more than two-thirds of the 2020 show floor already has been reserved. For more information, visit

Video Vault

With the growing demand for and trend of online streaming video, PostPress has created a medium on its Website to allow our advertisers to display their most current videos featuring equipment and/or products.

Visit the PostPress Video Vault at Click on the Video Vault link at the top of the Home Page


PostPress | November/December 2019

Your strong partner.




Muller Martini’s ultra-efficient Finishing 4.0 solutions remove the complexity of digital print manufacturing. Today’s shorter and shorter runs, variable formats and sizes, plus customized content often complicate the production process, resulting in costly bottlenecks, undue waste and all-to-frequent operator intervention. Not so with Muller Martini’s Finishing 4.0 portfolio. These game-changing solutions feature zero makeready, touchless workflow, and variable thickness, size, and content adaptability, so your organization can achieve amazing productivity despite today’s highly complex digital manufacturing workflows. To learn how you can put Finishing 4.0 to work in your facility, contact your Regional Sales Manager to schedule a consultation or demonstration. 1.888.2MULLER

equipmenthighlight Saddlestitching is one of the most effective methods when it comes to binding smaller publications. As digital printing and faster turnaround times are in higher demand, printers must be competitive with short-run applications. Best Graphics 800.236.7603

Duplo USA Corporation 949.752.8222

Best Graphics Group, Waukesha, Wisconsin, has been the exclusive Osako importer and distributor of Osako saddlestitchers for over 35 years. Manufactured in Japan – with over 3,000 installations to date – Osako has a 50-year legacy of saddlestitching and three-knife trimming manufacturing. Known for their durability, expanded functionality and overall performance, all Osako models feature proven automation platforms that minimize set-up and maximize higher production speed. The Osako Micro runs at 9,000 sheets per hour with 15" spine length. The Osako Estar Alpha runs at 10,000 sheets per hour with 17" spine length. The Osako Tener Alpha runs at 12,000 sheets per hour with 19" spine length. The “Alpha” automation embedded within all platforms synchronizes the feeder-to-chain and rail timing and stitcher-totrimmer transfer timing in less than 60 seconds. All machines include dual registration cover feeder and an industry-leading three-year warranty. Upgrade to Osako’s OT-329 “Duo” dual three-knife trimmer to seamlessly jump from 1-up to 2-up work.

The iSaddle system from Duplo, Santa Ana, California, is a heavy-duty, high volume collator and saddlestitcher and the first in its class to deliver the letter landscape booklet. Designed to handle both traditional offset work as well as shorter-run digital jobs with equal ease and efficiency, the fully automated iSaddle combines PC-based programming and intelligent feeding with scoring and folding technology of high quality to produce thicker, flatter booklets up to 4,500 booklets an hour. Its modular design enables users to add three-knife trimming capabilities with the optional DKT-200 two-knife trimmer and gutter cutter, which also can process 2-up applications.

Muller Martini Corporation 631.582.4343 The Presto II digital saddlestitcher from Muller Martini, Hauppauge, New York, represents a distinct finishing solution that brings everything together on a single machine. Featuring processing speeds up to 9,000 c/h, the Presto II Digital accommodates digital-, offset- or hybrid-printed products and can process products of variable thicknesses, as well as highly personalized content. Its touchless workflow and barcode-driven selective binding enable fully automatic control of the finishing process, resulting in considerable production, labor and workflow efficiencies.


PostPress | November/December 2019

Spiral Binding 800.631.3572 The M27 multi-head stitcher, from Spiral Binding, Totowa, New Jersey, is designed to accommodate both light and heavy-duty work, in thickness of stock from two sheets to 3/4". It has a moveable clincher for both flat and saddlestitching and will accommodate wire sizes from 20 to 28 round or 19x21-1/2, 20x24 and 21x25 flat. The M27 is operated by foot pedal and belt driven by a 3/4 HP motor, making possible operating speeds up to 150 stitches per minute.

Standard Finishing Systems 877.404.4460 The Standard Horizon StitchLiner Mark III saddlestitcher from Standard Finishing Systems, Andover, Massachusetts, combines collating, scoring, folding, saddlestitching and trimming into a single, automated, performance-driven machine, delivers highquality booklets with high efficiency. The system can deliver up to 6,000 saddlestitched booklets per hour. When combined with the new Horizon VAC-L600H air-suction collator, which builds upon the successes of past models by improving air flow and expanding size capacity, the system is capable of producing 4.725x3" small-format booklets, 9x12" landscape booklets, largeformat calendars and more.


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November/December 2019 | PostPress


equipmenthighlight Metallic foil decorating equipment has expanded into many forms – from conventional clamshell and platen foil stamping equipment to new digital inkjet, digital toner and cold foil equipment – all having their own niche in the graphic arts marketplace. Below are some of the industry’s latest developments. Bobst North America Inc. 973.226.8000

Brausse Group 888.853.4760

The MASTERFOIL 106 PR from Bobst North America Inc., Roseland, New Jersey, is designed to deliver high foiling quality and productivity. Designed for longer impressions and higher foiling quality at the highest production speeds, BOBST MASTERFOIL 106 PR has a new foil unwind system to change foils easily. It also features Power Register II for perfect foil-toprint register and smart feeder for consistent feeding of virtually any material.

The 29x41" 1050SEF automatic foil stamping machine from Brausse Group, with operations headquartered in North America in Richmond, British Colombia, received several upgrades with Group R&D help. Now featuring a re-engineered machine frame with a flat platen surface to reduce makeready time, it also has a rapid-heating electric heater (temperature can rise to 100°F in less than 30 minutes). The machine also has a new group computerized foil control system and improved insulation for quick heat recovery so the machine can run at a higher speed.

Brandtjen & Kluge, LLC 866.501.7780

Breit Technologies 913.492.8081

The ApexFoil automatic platen press for foil stamping/embossing and diecutting from Brandtjen & Kluge, LLC, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, features Kluge’s Compass™ Control System, which includes patented features to give operators control of the three Ts: time, temperature and tonnage. With a PLC touchscreen interface for easier operation, Compass allows operators to greatly reduce, and in some cases eliminate, makeready on every job. TRU-TEMP™ dualsurface heat control provides an increased capability to run dies that have high tonnage ratings and significantly expands the number of substrates that can be processed, such as plastic and heavy board stock.

Breit Technologies, Overland Park, Kansas, has been adding Cast & Cure™ to various types of printing equipment – from flexo to digital to gravure – for over 14 years and counting. Breit will start offering new retrofit equipment options for the wide web flexible packaging market. These retrofits will allow underutilized assets to be able to perform cuttingedge decorative technologies, including but not limited to, Cast & Cure™ and cold foil.


PostPress | November/December 2019

Compact Foilers 610.518.1056

Eagle Systems 732.226.2111

Compact Foilers Ltd., with offices in the US and UK, offers print enhancement modules for both digital and offset applications. They are suitable for both the application of cold foil and the creation of 3D effects, such as Cast & Cure™ using UV varnish as the adhesive, on all makes of new or existing UV presses. The units are designed to run in harmony with the printing press with very simple integration and total control of the process, leaving the press operator free to focus on the printing operation. Cold foiling and Cast & Cure™ finishing techniques are becoming more desirable as customers strive to provide new, dynamic, costeffective concepts to stay in front of their competition. In addition to its line of cold foil modules for the offset printing market, Compact Foilers partners with Scodix to supply its digital foil enhancement modules for digital foiling applications.

The Cold Foil module from Eagle Systems, Ocean, New Jersey, is a cost-effective and fully automatic system. It is well-suited for packaging /commercial printers to enhance their capabilities. It is compatible with new or existing offset printing presses – including KBA, Heidelberg, Manroland, Komori, Ryobi, Mitsubishi and others – for widths from 28 to 80" and capable of running a single cold foil web or multiple combinations from 2" to full width of press. There are no operator adjustments needed and no computers to program. Installation usually lasts two days, with training and running live jobs on day three.

Duplo USA Corporation 949.752.8222 The DFL-500 from Duplo USA Corporation, Santa Ana, California, delivers a multi-purpose solution for print embellishment with the capability to dry coat, foil and laminate in a single machine. Compact and easy to use, the DFL-500 utilizes a ceramic thermal roller and a heat control system to precisely apply the desired film on top of the sheet. Without the need of investing in individual foil stamp dies, the DFL-500 uses a unique adhesive foil that sticks onto the toner used in most presses. The DFL-500 also comes standard with an automatic side-to-side flying knife separator system for precise flush cutting of laminated sheets.

Gietz +41 71 388 22 22 The FSA 1060 Foil Commander from Gietz, Gossau, Switzerland, is equipped with Gietz’s patented VACUFOIL high-performance film transport system, with the ability to process foil rolls with large diameter and the longest foil pulls at highest machine speeds, leading to foil saving capabilities and great net production output. The Gietz Powerfeed, with a solid construction at a high automation level combined with maximum operating comfort, allows dynamic sheet transportation. Nonstop rack-of-swordssystem for normed pallets also can be direct-connected to pallet logistic systems. The patented electronic SMART Register sheet registration system compensates for inaccurate sheet cut and infeed errors, as well as sheet distortion, through the alignment and registration of the sheet by reading of print marks or the sheet edge. Additional features are the O-arrangement of toggles and two adjustable dwell time modes. An easy access to foil unwinding station and high operating comfort are included, as well as the time-saving disposal of used foils. As a popular machine for the security industry, registered holograms as patches and/or strips also can be applied.


November/December 2019 | PostPress


equipmenthighlight >> Heidelberg USA 770.419.6600

MGI/Konica Minolta 201.825.4000

The new Digimatrix 60 FC, from Heidelberg USA, Kennesaw, Georgia, is a flexible small-format diecutter and foil stamper. It is the ideal machine to replace heritage equipment or even start in foil stamping. Two foil shafts allow for advanced foiling applications. Masterset, a Heidelberg-designed optical infeed system, ensures excellent print-to-cut register by individually positioning each sheet relative to print marks – effectively eliminating variances introduced by digital print engines or by cutting down larger sheets. With a footprint of less than 66 sq. ft., the compact Digimatrix can produce up to 5,500 sheets per hour and handles sheets up to 23.6x17.7".

The JETvarnish 3D Series of sheet- and roll-fed digital enhancement presses from MGI/Konica Minolta, Ramsey, New Jersey, provide 2D/3D UV dimensional, tactile textures and personalized, embossed Variable Data Foiling (VDF). These eye-catching decorative special effects are available without the traditionally expensive use of dies or screens. Every JETvarnish 3D press also analyzes each piece with the AIS Smartscanner intelligent and adaptive registration system to optimize accuracy and quality.

KURZ Transfer Products 704.927.3700

Nobelus 800.895.2747

The DIGITAL METAL® ® JETLINER printing technology from KURZ, Charlotte, North Carolina, is a digital concept for metallic decoration. KURZ’s transfer products are available for digital printing – no set-up times, no tools, just completely new design options with proven technologies. Its solutions create individual motifs and/or variable data, creating the perfect metallic finish with digital processing. DIGITAL METAL® foils provide the highest gloss and sharpedged motifs in the industry. Foil transfer is 100% digital and can be overprinted digitally or conventionally, with machine solutions for inline, offline, sheet-fed and roll-to-roll applications. KURZ offers the full package, including foils, machines and software, making it easy to implement and efficient to print.

The Amiga 52 from Nobelus, Knoxville, Tennessee, is a production laminating system. Fully automatic, it is available in a short-run bottom-feeder version, as well as a longerrun production unit, featuring a specially designed Komfi® feed head and deep pile feeder. The Amiga line features a wide range of options, including an inline slitter, inline perforator, a flying-knife separator and the Sleeking™ feature. Similar to foils, but easier and lower cost, Sleeking™ allows the application of metallic foils, holographic, matte and gloss finishes in spot application or full coverage on digital prints. The Amiga 52 production laminating system is a perfect solution for many ondemand and digital printing shops, photo book and specialty publishers.

Sakurai 847.490.9400 The ScreenFoil™ LQM 105 from Sakurai, Schaumburg, Illinois, is an economical, in-house solution for hot foil finishing. It is suitable for PSP, folders, leaflets, business cards, loyalty cards, magazines, book covers, packaging, promotional items, labels, roll-to-toll, greeting card, automotive, appliance, plastic card and greeting cards. The LQM 105 hot foil stamper brings a new level of flexibility, quality and performance when combined with any size or vintage Sakurai screen press. 38

PostPress | November/December 2019



Visit for more information. Luxfer Graphic Arts - North America 1001 College Street, PO Box 258 Madison, IL 62060, USA Tel: +1 618 452 5190

Luxfer Graphic Arts - Europe Elektron Technology Centre, Lumns Lane Manchester, M27 8BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 161 911 1000



Luxfer Graphic Arts -India Jayem Trade Pvt Ltd. Logitech Park, Plot no 7, Road no 10 )4-4 ;LMXI½IPH &ERKEPSVI ¯ Karnataka, India Tel: +91 (080) 41353530 Fax: +91 (080) 41353556 Email:

GLO BAL C O MPANY WITH LO C AL SUPPORT Luxfer Graphic Arts - Latin America Zonamerica Local 703, 704 Ruta 8 Km. 17.500, CP 91600 Montevideo, Uruguay Tel: +1 618 452 5190 Email:

Copyright © Luxfer Graphic Arts 2019

equipmenthighlight >> Scodix +972-3-9033371

THERM-O-TYPE 941.488.0123

The Scodix Ultra 202 press from Scodix, Rosh Haayin, Israel, provides users the freedom to print enhancements on paper, lamination, a variety of water-based coatings, PVC and cartons. Today, there are over 100 qualified substrates – including offset, digital, plastics, laminated/non-laminated, coated and uncoated – with no need for additional, complex set-up. Scodix brings numerous benefits to a range of industries, including commercial print, direct mail, folding cartons, point of display, web2print, security markings and many more, with a focus on fine details and surface finishing. Products produced with Scodix enhancements include business/greeting cards, folders, book covers, brochures, labels, packaging and more.

THERM-O-TYPE, Nokomis, Florida, manufactures the NSF Elite, Excel and Ultra foil stamping/embossing and diecutting presses, and the Foil-Tech line of foil fusing machines. THERM-O-TYPE has been manufacturing foil presses for over 30 years, and current NSF models provide high-speed productivity, advance operator controls and proven reliability. In addition to flat foil stamping/embossing, with metal dies, NSF presses also can apply foil using the High-Speed Foil Fusing (HSFF) process without dies. THERM-O-TYPE stocks a wide selection of fusing and HSFF foils and films converted on ½", 1" and 3" cores.

Your Membership = Direct "ENEÚ TS Join the Foil and Specialty Effects Association. Since its inception in 1992, the FSEA has worked toward industry awareness and growth. Our organization continues to strengthen the industry as a whole through education, seminars, statistical surveys, reference tools, conventions and technical conferences, tradeshow exhibition and direct mail. • Full Company Listing in the FSEA Sourcebook – a Membership Directory • Access to Statistical Surveys • Reduced Registration Fees for FSEA Conference and Odyssey Expo


• Complimentary PostPress Magazine • Access to FSEA HelpLinks – an Email-Driven Technical Resource • Full Company Listing on

PostPress | November/December 2019

• Reduced Entry Fees to FSEA Gold Leaf Awards Competition • Service and Product Discounts, including Grainger and PartnerShip

JOIN or RENEW now at

Screen print, dry, screen foil and stack in a single pass.

Introducing the LQM 105 in-line hot foil stamper from Sakurai. Sakurai, the global leader in sheet-fed screen printing technology, now offers ScreenFoil TM, a cost-effective in-house solution for hot foil finishing.

The ScreenFoil LQM 105 is perfect for PSP, folders, leaflets, business cards, loyalty cards, magazines, book covers, packaging, promotional items, labels, roll-to-roll, automotive, appliance, plastic cards and greeting cards.

The LQM 105 foil stamper brings a new level of flexibility, quality and performance when combined with any size or vintage Sakurai screen press. Sakurai experts can custom design a screen printing, drying and curing system including LED-UV and now hot foil finishing for your specific requirements. For more information or to schedule a demo, call Sakurai Sales at 1-847-490-9400 or email Brian Johnson,

Š2019 Sakurai USA Inc.

association FSEA has Busy Fall for Tradeshows This fall was busier than ever with FSEA exhibiting at three major industry events: PRINT 19, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and PRINTING United. At all three shows, FSEA provided details on the benefits of joining and being involved with FSEA, FSEA Sourcebooks for those looking for finishers and suppliers, the PostPress magazine and the new Foil Cheat Sheet. “It was a very busy September and October,” commented FSEA Executive Director Jeff Peterson. “We were able to reach audiences filled with printers, packaging companies and designers by providing them with a large number of FSEA Sourcebooks, PostPress magazines and the newly released second edition of the Foil Cheat Sheet.” The fall tradeshows provide FSEA with a chance to visit with many FSEA active and supplier members. During PRINT 19, FSEA hosted its annual FSEA reception at the Hotel Chicago. It was well attended and provided a great opportunity for networking. Next year, APTech will partner with Label Expo for its Brand Print event, which replaces the PRINT show. FSEA will be involved with both Label Expo and Brand Print – and will provide more details on this later in 2020. In addition, FSEA plans to continue to grow its relationship with SGIA and the new PRINTING United event, which will take place next fall in Atlanta, Georgia. Again, look for more details on this as we move into the new year.

FSEA to Launch New Finisher Finder Website is an FSEAsponsored resource for printers and designers looking for a finishing or binding partner. The website also features industry suppliers. Whether looking for foil stamping/ embossing, diecutting, folding/ gluing, cold foiling, cast and cure, laser cutting or other specialty suppliers, FinisherFinder will help connect the print industry to the right source for their finishing

and binding jobs. The website has been completely revamped for 2020. FSEA members now can add photos of finished work to their listing on the site, and upgrades are available for videos and logos. Live links to the members’ websites also will be standard. To view the new site, visit To update or enhance a company listing, contact

FSEA Offers Discounted Tickets to drupa With 1,800 exhibitors from more than 50 nations, drupa 2020 will bring the global print industry to Dusseldorf, Germany from June 16 to 20. FSEA members can receive discounted tickets through the online ticketshop at Members should use the following codes: 1-day ticket: 000009g5w2zi 3-day ticket: 000009g5w8zi 5-day ticket: 000009g5w6zi

FSEA Announces Plant Tour Locations During Joint Conference The Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) and the International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) will hold their 2020 Joint Conference at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The event will run from April 27 to April 29. The conference offers a supplier trade fair, educational programming to address new technology and trends in the industry, and an awards reception where the recipients of the FSEA Gold Leaf Awards and FSEA Lifetime Achievement Award will be honored. New to the event will be plant tours. Attendees will tour two Indianapolis binding and finishing companies on the morning of Wednesday, April 29: Baugh Graphic Finishing House and Eckhart & Co. Baugh is a family-owned graphic finishing house, providing services that include diecutting, foil stamping, embossing, UV and other specialty coatings, and folding/gluing. Eckhart and Company in Indianapolis is a trade bindery providing quality book binding and custom information packaging to the printing industry. For more information, visit Detailed programming information and registration will be available over the next few months.

Entries Open Soon for Gold Leaf Awards The FSEA will be posting the entry form for its 27th annual Gold Leaf Awards on December 15, 2019. FSEA urges its members and others in the industry to start collecting their best work from the past year. The Gold Leaf Awards are a great way for companies to gain recognition for creative work in categories that include foil stamping, embossing, cold foil, digital foil and coatings, specialty UV coatings, special diecuts and more. Gold Leaf Award winners will be announced during the FSEA•IADD Joint Conference, April 27-29, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Winners also are highlighted in industry magazines and are displayed at a variety of shows, including PACK EXPO and the new Brand Print event next fall. To download an entry form and for additional details, visit and click on the Awards link.


PostPress | November/December 2019

Production Choosing the Right Folder-Gluer By Jeff Wilcox, PPC Technologies & Solutions, LLC


he search for a new folder-gluer can be very daunting. There are many folder-gluer OEMs out there and each have different models, features and sizes designed for a variety of applications. When a finisher or folding carton manufacturer is in the market for an upgraded or new folder-gluer, there are several questions to ask in order to find the best fit for the market they are involved in or attempting to enter.


Do you run paperboard or corrugated?

The paperboard market includes folding paper cartons – sometimes referred to as just folding cartons. The corrugated market produces folding boxes that often are referred to as cardboard boxes. The folding/gluing machines for these two distinctive markets may look similar, but the design and structure of the machines are quite different. There are folder-gluers that will produce products using both of these substrates, but on a limited basis. In other words, if you wish to produce corrugated C flute boxes, don’t expect the same folder-gluer machine to produce 12-point folding paper cartons – at least not efficiently. In addition, the paperboard folding carton market typically will have more variety to the carton styles (more folded panels) than the corrugated box market. Taking this into consideration, the folder-gluer for paperboard typically has to be more versatile in its design in order to produce a wider range of carton styles. However, a “specialty folder-gluer” for corrugated can be equipped to run some of the same styles as well and may need to run special folds for applications such as POP displays.


What size and style of products are you running now or considering running in the future? Let’s take bottle carriers, for example. There are some OEMs that have designed a special section of the machine that will turn the product 90 degrees


PostPress | November/December 2019

inline to the running direction. These sections are amazing to watch and can run at very high speeds. However, they are available at a considerable cost and add permanent length to the foldergluer. If your product line has only a couple of designs that require turning, this additional section will need to be set-up to allow other products to pass through it when not turning. If you have large -volume products that need turning, this section may work very well for you. If not, you may want to consider looking at a machine that offers tooling instead of a turning section. Tooling can be placed on the folder-gluer to turn the product, will not increase the length of the machine and can be removed from the machine when not in use. Cost savings are great. Running speed can be an issue here as the tooling will not allow the machine to run some products as fast as the turning section will. Some OEMs offer a “Right-Angle” machine for those companies that have a lot of products or long runs that require 90-degree turning. A right-angle machine offers a simpler set-up and an increased running speed when compared to the tooling option. Other items to think about are the features and age of your current folder-gluer. Obviously, you wouldn’t be considering another folder-gluer if you haven’t examined the abilities and features of what you already have on your floor. Age can equate to repairs, and upgrade installations (if available) can lead to downtime and added cost. If you need a machine that can run 4-/6-corner products and your current folder-gluer is not equipped to run them, your options are limited. On a side note, one also must consider the folder-gluer operator. Good operators are getting hard to find these days. Having one who can understand (or has experience) on the new mechanical and electronic systems is a real plus. Having an operator who has confidence in his ability to make the transition from the old methods to the newer ones also is a plus. Either way, the operator should be included in this process in order to give an opinion and feedback. The operator can get some questions answered from the OEM during the demonstration as well. Even operators who have many years of experience can feel challenged if the company they work for decides to enter into a different market. Now the operator must learn how to run the different carton styles that the new market presents and a new folder-gluer as well.


What does your budget allow? What can you afford?

The price range for a new folder-gluer can run from around $200,000 for a small, simple machine designed to do simple-

style products to well over a million dollars for a machine that can do large, complex styles. The price should be reflective of the technology that went into the design. However, this is not always the case. It is important to analyze all the different folder-gluers on the market, the features available and how those features meet the type of cartons you will be running. Look for extended-length parts warranties that are included in the base price. Extra operator training also can be included, in many cases, as incentive for purchase. When comparing different folder-gluers and looking at the technology included, you have options. Option 1. Option 1 is a model that is automated with a system that can record and store the job names, carrier locations and all systems settings, with the ability to recall them, accurately place the carriers and energize the different systems for future repeated runs. These types of folder-gluers find a good home in companies that have a lot of repeat jobs or small runs that can come up during another run. That means the operator must pull the current job off of the machine and set-up the new order. That can lead to excessive waste. An automated folder-gluer that can set itself up on repeat jobs can reduce these potential inefficiencies and can save money in the process. Of course, folder-gluers with the automation option will be at the higher end of the price tag, but can offer cost savings in the form of reduced waste, quicker set-up times, increased accuracy for setups and, in turn, a higher quality product that may eventually pay for itself. Another benefit of the automated folder-gluer is that your jobs are stored in the memory program of the machine. In the situation where an operator is out for vacation or sick, a job that is stored in the memory program can be recalled by another operator. Look for automated set-up processes that not only set-up the entire foldergluer but also will include automation for adjusting individual carriers and individual sections of the machine.


November/December 2019 | PostPress


production >>

Option 2. This is a model without automation, but with motorized carriers. This option can save on the initial cost outlay for a new folder-gluer. Even though there isn’t a memory bank of jobs to recall from when repeating jobs, motorized carriers still can save a lot of time during the set-up. Motorized carriers often will allow the operator to look over a specific area of the machine while moving the carrier(s). Folder-gluer machines that offer a numerical carrier position indicator also will help the operator place the carrier. Although these indicators are not usually very accurate compared to the automated method, the operator still can write down the numerical position of each carrier and refer to this for future set-ups. Option 3. Option 3 is a model without automation or motorized carriers. The operator uses a hand crank to move and adjust each carrier position. This is even less costly and is old school for sure. But, it can fit into the overall budget better and the set-up methods of the seasoned operator. Numerical carrier position indicators should be a must have for repeat jobs; however, most seasoned operators won’t use them. This is okay as long as the job is set-up in good time and the waste is low. Experienced operators generally know what they are doing on a folder-gluer but would be wellserved using the new technology to increase their knowledge and productivity.

Age can equate to repairs, and upgrade installations (if available) can lead to downtime and added cost. A final consideration is the method of packing the cases with cartons or banding the bundles of boxes. You may have made improvements to your finishing department to make it more efficient with an upgrade to your folder-gluer, but how you handle the product as it exits the folder-gluer also should be considered. This will be discussed in a future article on automating the feeding, exiting and packing of the cartons. PPCTS is a supplier/designer/distributor and manufacturer’s representative of quality products and equipment for the packaging, printing and converting industries. This includes the PPCTS-DGM Smartfold series of folding carton folder-gluers and IMPACK folder-gluer packing systems. For further details, visit

My accountant found a way to get tax credits for research and experimentation. That’s more than accounting.

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R & E tax credits aren’t just for the Silicon Valley set anymore. If your business has developed or improved products, processes, techniques, formulas, inventions or software, you may be able to claim a federal tax credit. In some cases, you may be eligible to recapture taxes paid up to four years ago. You already know there’s great value in improving your business - now we can tell you what it’s truly worth.


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PostPress | November/December 2019

Economic Outlook Four Issues Likely to Define 2020 By Chris Kuehl, managing director, Armada Corporate Intelligence


ust like seeing Santa setting up at the local mall in August, it is never too soon for an economist to start looking at the coming year – as if the changing of a calendar has any real bearing on economic performance. The truth is that most of the issues that will vex and concern next year are the issues that are vexing and concerning now. The challenge is determining which of these are likely to fade from view and which will continue to build in significance. The four concerns that seem destined to shape the majority of the economic conversations in the coming year include 1) the ongoing trade and tariff war between the US and China, as well as other nations; 2) the potential for a recession in the US; 3) the ongoing crisis in terms of workforce development; and 4) the influence of politics on the overall mood of the consumer and how that affects the economy.

Factor 1: Trade and tariffs The trade and tariff war between the US and China has transcended its origins and metamorphosed into a much more comprehensive confrontation that will determine how the US and China will coexist in the future. What started as a relatively simple demand that China reduce the trade deficit the US runs by buying more from the US has become a battle of economic systems. The US now demands that China stop subsidizing its business community, cease attempting to steal US technology, end its currency policy, stop oppressing the Uighur and Tibetan communities, accede to the demands of the Hong Kong protestors, leave Taiwan alone, withdraw from the South China Sea, etc. The list goes on and on. From the 1950s to the ’80s, the US considered China an enemy, but in the ’90s, that started to change, and China became a trade partner – as well as an economic rival. That shift has not worked out as well for the US as hoped, and there now is a move to return to more of a Cold War relationship. It is significant that none of the Democratic candidates are assailing Trump for his hostility toward China – they only object to his methods. The trade war will continue throughout the next year, with ups and downs as both sides experiment with agreements and truces. It is not just the US contest with China that will affect trade. The US is rethinking its entire role in the global trading system, as much of that policy has been rooted in reaction to previous wars. The US granted extraordinary access to its market to help Europe recover at the end of the World War II, and this access remains 48

PostPress | November/December 2019

in place. During the Cold War, nations received trade access to the US in return for supporting the US position against the Soviet Union. Even though the USSR ceased to exist in 1989, these trade agreements remain in place. The US now is examining all of these deals through a much more nationalistic lens, and the goal clearly is to shift more activity back to the US. With this come the threats of slower global growth and more expensive consumer goods. The trade-offs will come under intense scrutiny in the years to come.

Factor 2: Recession potential The second major issue to play out will be the potential for a recession in the next 12 to 24 months. There are arguments to be made for an imminent recession and arguments suggesting that the worst-case scenario will be a slowdown that takes annual growth to between 1.5% and 2.0%. The current data show a developing weakness in the manufacturing sector with contraction readings from the Purchasing Managers’ Index, reductions in capacity utilization, slowing demand for durable goods and consistent reports suggesting manufacturers have become cautious. It has been pointed out that the yield curve has been inverted for an extended period of time and, in the past, this has pointed to a recession in the next 12 to 24 months. The global economy has not been this slow in decades, and estimates of its health continue to weaken every month. Germany already is in recession, and much of Europe is not far behind. It is indeed worrisome. At the same time, encouraging signs have suggested the expansion still has some life left in it. Recovery from the recession in 2008 has been very slow, but that has been a bit of an advantage as it often is the rapid rebound from a downturn that sets up the next downturn. The fast recovery usually brings inflation and provokes the Federal Reserve to intervene with higher rates. Inflation also slows bank lending. This time around, there has been little inflation to contend with – as a matter of fact, there has been more concern regarding deflation. There will be three crucial indicators to watch as far as an impending recession is concerned. The first would be any sign of a deteriorating employment situation. If there are mass layoffs and the jobless rate starts to climb, there will be an immediate impact on the consumer’s attitude – even if the overall rate stays traditionally low. A rate of 6.0% unemployment still is considered


economic outlook The second major issue to play out will be the potential for a recession in the next 12 to 24 months. There are arguments to be made for an imminent recession and arguments suggesting that the worst-case scenario will be a slowdown. normal, but if the jobless numbers go from 3.5% to 6.0% there will be real panic. The second thing to watch is consumer confidence and its impact on retail sales. Consumers can shift attitude very quickly if they feel spooked by something and, if that translates into a sharp reduction in retail activity, the economy will feel it. The third area will be inflation. Thus far, the Federal Reserve has not had to worry about inflation and instead has been able to focus exclusively on stimulus. A sharp hike in commodity prices (such as oil or food) will make the Fed nervous, and there always exists the possibility that wages will start to rise. The Phillips curve holds that this should have happened by now, but for a variety of reasons this reaction has been delayed.

Factor 3: Workforce Crisis number three is workforce related, and it is not a new problem. There simply are not enough people with the appropriate skills to fill the jobs available. In manufacturing alone there is a need for 3.7 million new workers in the next three to five years, and the estimate is that the sector will be short by more than 2 million. There is a shortage of truck drivers – 80,000 are needed right now, and it is estimated that future need will top 180,000. Too few construction workers and healthcare workers also are a problem, and now the professional positions are not being filled. Part of the issue is that Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day, and part of the issue is that too few are being trained and educated appropriately. In the short term, not many options present themselves as far as acquiring the needed workforce. Option one is extending people’s working lives, and that has been taking place as fewer people retire when they would be expected to. The problem is that staying on the job in one’s 60s and 70s is hard, given everything from retirement rules to age discrimination. There are efforts to retrain, but this is expensive, and there has been little help from the federal government. Instead, states and cities have shouldered this responsibility. Immigration has long been the most common option, but the people that are coming to the US now (legally and illegally) are not generally skilled, and it is the skilled worker the US needs. 50

PostPress | November/December 2019

Factor 4: Politics Finally, there is the impact of a political year. Elections tend to depress voters/ consumers for a variety of reasons. The first issue is that campaigns invariably focus on problems. The litany of woes is relentless, and the candidate implores the voter to pick them, as only they can rescue the country from certain destruction. The voter hears nothing but gloom and doom and begins to believe that nothing can be done. In the end, there will be many disappointed voters, as they will not be on the winning side. This year promises to be more contentious and intense than in previous years, as emotions will run very high. People are very deeply invested in either liking or disliking the candidates on offer, and this will affect mood profoundly. To make matters a little worse, the fact is that politics will take over the attention of the politicians, leaving them little time to address any of the issues outlined above – resulting in lackluster policy activity on trade, infrastructure, workforce or anything else. It will be political infighting every day of the week. These are not the only issues that will affect the 2020 economy. As always, there will be unexpected developments involving wars and natural disasters in addition to ongoing issues, such as health care, education, climate change, technology and so on. Any one of these can (and will) suddenly lurch into prominence, but the four outlined above can be counted upon to be factors all year – just as they have been factors in past years. Chris Kuehl is managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. Founded by Keith Prather and Chris Kuehl in January 2001, Armada began as a competitive intelligence firm, grounded in the discipline of gathering, analyzing and disseminating intelligence. Today, Armada executives function as trusted strategic advisers to business executives, merging fundamental roots in corporate intelligence gathering, economic forecasting and strategy development. Armada focuses on the market forces bearing down on organizations. For more information, visit

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Duplo USA Announces Winners of Shima Awards at PRINTING United 1

Duplo USA Corporation, Santa Ana, California, announced the winners of its first annual print embellishment competition, the Shima Awards. Created for users of the DDC-810 Raised Spot UV Coater, the Shima Awards recognize innovative companies that are leveraging the power of spot coating, texture and tactile effects to deliver print products that are eye-catching and highly profitable. The awards – named after Juko Shima, the founder of Duplo – were presented to three successful customers, and all entries were showcased inside the Duplo booth during PRINTING United. Slate Group, Lubbock, Texas, won the gold award. JP Graphics, Santa Clara, California, won the silver award. Print Connection, Santa Ana, California, won the bronze award. For more information, visit

American International Machinery Launches New Interactive Website American International Machinery, Inc. (AIM), Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the exclusive supplier for the Signature brand of converting equipment for the paperboard and corrugated 52

PostPress | November/December 2019

industries, announced the launch of its redesigned website. Along with a fresh new look, the site offers easy navigation, in-depth information on new and used converting equipment, improved functionality and supporting documents to enhance productivity. For more information, visit

Brand Print Americas 2020 Officially Launches 2

The official lead-in to Brand Print Americas 2020 was announced during PRINT 19. This event is a collaboration between Tarsus Group, the organizer of Labelexpo Americas, and the Association for PRINT Technologies, and will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, from September 15-17. Co-located with the 2020 edition of Labelexpo Americas, Brand Print Americas will bring together the commercial print and the label converter communities for an opportunity to explore business-expanding solutions. Brand Print Americas is focused on the growth areas of print and how printers themselves are growing their businesses. Exhibitors will include manufacturers of technology that exists to facilitate putting ink on paper and materials that have not yet been printed on. For more information, visit


Exhibitor Registration Underway for drupa 2020 The drupa trade fair will set key trends in the global printing industry from June 16-26, 2020 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany. Some 1,800 exhibitors from 50 countries are expected to showcase their products at the event. The top five exhibitor nations to date are Germany, Japan, Italy, China and Great Britain. Exhibitors range from global industry players to ambitious small companies and promising start-ups, all representing the entire value chain. A total of 30% are new exhibitors. For the current exhibitor list, visit

RED HOT Technology Recognizes Postpress Finishing Solutions Attendees at PRINT 19 in Chicago, Illinois, Oct. 3-5, discovered a wide variety of new technologies and solutions presented by this year’s exhibitors on the show floor. The RED HOT TECHNOLOGY RECOGNITION PROGRAM features technology that has come to market in the past 12 months, and this year’s recipients include 41 products and solutions from 22 exhibitors that stretch across 10 categories, including postpress, specialty and finishing. The following postpress, specialty and finishing companies were recognized: B&R Moll, Inc.; EFI/Duplo; Standard Finishing Systems; Streamfeeder – BW Integrated Systems and VITS International. For more information, visit

He’s not here to talk about your printing press He’s here to work on paper cutters, and only paper cutters. That’s why he works for Colter & Peterson. For 80 years, we’ve been the leading American service force for ALL makes and models of paper cutters. And our experienced sales staff brings you the same dedication and attention to detail as our technical staff. They would be happy to walk you through every feature on any new, used or rebuilt paper cutter. At Colter & Peterson, we make sure that the precision machine you buy is absolutely right for your business. In fact, you could say we live for it. When you’re ready to talk paper cutter sales, parts or service, call the cutter people: Colter & Peterson.

Call Us at 1.800.932.0780

Art Laminating and Finishing Launches Sample and Resource Center 3

Art Laminating and Finishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, has unveiled its new Sample and Resource Center, upgrading its 300-sq-ft. sample showroom to a state-of-the-art facility of more than 1,000 sq. ft. The experiential redesign will bridge the finishing knowledge gap between print providers and print buyers, uniting the ‘Create, Print, Finish’ processes for more efficient, cost-effective and higher quality finished print products. For more information, visit

>> November/December 2019 | PostPress


industry >> >>

Additionally, Two Sides’ Myths and Facts booklet with all files for co-branding and PowerPoint presentations designed for members are on the new site. For assistance in personalizing materials, send an EPS/Vector logo to For more information, visit

Scodix Launches W2P

5 >> Slawek Zawomi, CEO for Versor Engineering (left), and Chris Leary, director of sales for W. H. Leary (right), commemorate their partnership agreement.

Utah Paper Box Receives Eagle Cold Foil Certification 4

Utah Paper Box (UPB), Salt Lake City, Utah, received the comprehensive Eagle Cold Foil Certification (ECFC) to maximize its cold foil potential. Certification was done August 17, 2019, and was well received by the team at UPB. The program was done by Mike King, president and CEO of Eagle Systems. For more information, visit

W. H. Leary and Versor Engineering Confirm Partnership 5

W. H. Leary Company of Tinley Park, Illinois, recently met with Versor Engineering of Bydgoszcz, Poland, at the Leary headquarters to confirm their new partnership. This cooperation makes W. H. Leary the preferred supplier of gluing and inspection systems for Versor Engineering’s folder-gluers. The idea was set into motion following drupa 2016, and the success of Versor’s Open House in 2018. Versor Engineering focuses on modern carton folding solutions, while Leary provides glue application, quality assurance and data collection solutions. For more information, visit

Two Sides Announces Members-Only Website Section Two Sides, Chicago, Illinois, announced that the Members-Only section of its website now is fully operational with many new features. Personalized mini infographics for use on social media will show as an option to download if a company logo has been supplied. A series of three personalized larger infographics on “Why do so many people love print and paper” also are available. 54

PostPress | November/December 2019

Scodix, Rosh HaAyin, Israel, announced the launch of Scodix Studio W2P solutions, unlocking new profitable digital enhancement applications for web-to-print business and further value-added, customized products for consumers. The Scodix Studio W2P solutions integrate seamlessly into all major existing web-to-print workflows, making digital enhancement automatic for even the most demanding web-to-print jobs. Enhancement design files are sent to Scodix Studio W2P, which automatically processes the data and directs it to a Scodix Ultra press. By offloading and automating file pre-processing, the software service boosts the utilization and productivity of Scodix Ultra Digital Enhancement Presses and the entire workflow. MIS integration also is enabled to strengthen the automation process, further saving time, reducing human intervention and increasing efficiency. For more information, visit

SGP Announces Supplier Certification The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), Sayville, New York, announced a new certification for suppliers to the printing industry. The “SGP Supplier” certification is the next step in the organization’s mission to further sustainability throughout the printing supply chain. The criteria for SGP Supplier certification is similar to the criteria for SGP Printers in that they specify the requirements for management and production operations that define sustainable practices encompassing people, planet and profit – the three Ps of sustainability. The draft criteria document, based on SGP’s successful printer certification efforts, defines the core elements of the SGP certification program, including development and adoption of a sustainability management system (SMS) and best practices. The draft SGP Supplier certification criteria is open for public comment from Nov. 15, 2019 through Feb. 15, 2020. For more information, visit

Converting Technology Engraving Installs Laser Engraving Converting Technology Engraving, Inc. (CTE), Elk Grove, Illinois, has installed laser engraving equipment to allow the company to deliver additional value-added solutions to its customers. As one of the leading tooling suppliers in the US, CTE purchased bespoke equipment that has been tailored to its specific needs and will be the first of its type used in the US graphic industry. The investment will ensure high quality levels on complex and intricate images for logos, crests, small text, fine reversals and more. For more information, email or call 224.279.7830.

A Member of the BOBST Group


Proudly serving the industry for over 30 years


trends Greeting Card Popularity Still Shines The importance of a tangible message endures. By Hallie Forcinio, contributing writer, PostPress


mericans spend between $7 and $8 billion on approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, according to Facts & Stats 2019 from the Greeting Card Association. With prices from $0.50 to $10, there’s a price point for every consumer. Cards at the top of the scale typically employ special techniques, intricate designs and new technologies and innovations – such as the inclusion of sound chips and LED lights. As a result, the greeting card market is strong. According to the Greeting Card Association, seven out of 10 card buyers surveyed consider greeting cards “absolutely” or “almost” essential. Eight out of 10 of these buyers expect to continue to purchase at current levels going forward. Of the balance, twice as many card buyers plan to “increase” purchases than will “decrease” purchases in the coming year.

embracing technology to keep greeting cards relevant in today’s fast-paced society.” The Greeting Card Association’s Facts & Stats 2019 sheet explains the tradition of giving greeting cards as a meaningful expression of affection continues to be deeply ingrained in children and young people. As a result, the practice of sending or giving cards is likely to continue as they grow into adulthood and become responsible for managing their own important relationships. “Today’s younger shopper still is buying cards,” reports Rick Ruffner, president of Avanti Press. “They recognize the value


Online purchases appear to be capturing market share. The Facts & Stats 2019 sheet reports younger card buyers and those who are more technology savvy are most engaged in buying paper greeting cards online. “Some will argue that the sales of cards online have increased the unit numbers of cards purchased,” says David Hutchison, CEO/ managing member at BrightMARKS. So overall sales have not been affected, but the rise in online purchasing has impacted brick-and-mortar retailers. As a result, the amount of retail space devoted to greeting cards has shrunk. “This has pushed the move to higher-priced cards so that the value per square foot at retail remains acceptable,” explains Hutchison. Although it may seem counterintuitive, social media seems to be exerting a positive impact on greeting card sales. According to the Facts & Stats 2019 sheet, “Most people now acknowledge many more birthdays than ever before because of social media, but they aren’t necessarily sending fewer cards as a result.” A report from Sundale Research, State of the Industry: Greeting Cards in the U.S., agrees, noting, “Social media and other paperless communication technologies, once thought to be the demise of the greeting card industry, are keeping consumers more connected than ever before. This has been a positive trend as the industry is taking advantage of the increase in personal connections and is

>> Avanti Press picked black foil, multi-level emboss and glitter to embellish the sunbathing toast. November/December 2019 | PostPress


trends <<

of having something tangible, something that can be kept,” he explains, equating the difference between a card and a social media greeting to the difference between drive-through food and a homecooked meal. “It takes longer, but is more satisfying,” he says. “Technological advances are not only helping to provide more personalized greetings, they are creating a ‘wow factor’ that keeps greeting cards up-to-date,” according to the Sundale Research report. The report notes, “Advanced technology has led to improvements in greeting cards with sound, pictures and light. Not only is there a wide variety of songs and other sound clips to choose from, but recordable products have become very popular in the wake of the personalization trend.” Other popular embellishments include embossed images, glitter, flocking, lenticulars, contrasting spot finishes, and foiling and metallic finishes, especially in copper and rose tones, iridescent hues and multiple colors. “Lending itself to almost every design, style, occasion and event, there’s nothing that foiling can’t elevate,” comments Emma-Lee in “Your Definitive Guide to Greeting Card Trends for 2019,” a Nov. 12, 2018, blog post on printedblog.

Most Popular Occasion: Birthday Most Popular Seasonal: Christmas Card Purchases: 80% are bought by women Shopping Habits: Women spend more time choosing a card and are more likely to buy several cards at once. *From Facts & Stats 2019, Greeting Card Association

However, embellishments should add value and create a visually stronger card. “Embellishments should help tell the story,” says Ruffner. He explains, “People don’t buy cards because of embellishments, but embellishments support the overall impact. Embellishments done properly help tell the story with an exclamation point.” Hutchison agrees, noting, “It is fortunate that the finishing industries have a number of approaches to offer all of these effects. Every process method has a demand and every process method has a value to offer.” Sustainability also is important to today’s card purchasers. The Sundale Research report notes, “Consumers have a renewed interest in eco-friendly items and are very conscious of planetsaving strategies like recycling. Anything considered organic or ‘green’ is extremely popular.” Ruffner says, there is more interest today in “what goes into the product, how it’s made, what it’s made of and ultimately what happens to it after it’s sent.” Tomorrow’s cards will be more personalized than ever. Hutchison predicts, “The definition of ‘greeting card’ will broaden. Card givers will be looking for a greeting card with a perceived value to replace traditional gifts, gift cards will expand into the space of greeting cards and become more integrated into the culture of card giving. All of this will result in greater value for the printing and finishing industry.” For the full report on State of the Industry: Greeting Cards in the U.S. from Sundale Research, visit consumer-products/state-of-the-industry-greeting-cards-in-theu-s/. For the Facts & Stats 2019 sheet, contact the Greeting Card Association at


PostPress | November/December 2019

installations >> 6

1 7

4 E&M Bindery and Finishing, Clifton, New Jersey, installed a 54" Polar ED papercutting system from Colter & Peterson in late 2017, and the company recently added a second machine. With the two 54" Polars, the Transomat offloading system and Polar jogging units, the company is experiencing 20 to 25% greater throughput. 5 Alta Systems, Gainesville, Florida, invested in a 45" refurbished Polar cutter that Colter & Peterson had available and installed in mid-June. The refurbished Polar does most of the digital work at Alta, including direct mail with personalization.

2 8 1 El Paso, Texas-based Tovar Printing, installed a Kluge EHD press. It was remanufactured at Kluge’s St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, facility and updated with Kluge’s TRU-TON™ adjustable impression feature for faster and easier makereadies.


2 After completing a thorough analysis on its options to increase turnaround times while still maintaining its exacting cutting standards for high-quality decals, Tec Color Craft, LaVerne, California, chose the Insignia diecutter from Rollem to add to its finishing capabilities. The company is pleased with the high tolerances and accuracy of the kisscutting on its decal liners. Additionally, the Insignia’s sheet size of 30x24" allows the company to maximize its press sheet impositions.


3 Blue Prism Digital, located in San Fernando, California, added the Insignia6 model diecutter from Rollem, which offers the ability to feed sheets in either the landscape or portrait orientation to maximize the layout of the sheet. The 20x20" sheet capacity and ability to handle

5 60

stock weights up to 24pt thicknesses allows for a variety of packaging and promotional products to be produced for Blue Prism Digital’s customers, including prominent national and local entertainment companies.

PostPress | November/December 2019

6 Suttle-Straus, located in Waunakee, Wisconsin, now is able to offer more capabilities and expand into new markets through the installation of the Heidelberg Easymatrix 106 CS diecutter. The Easymatrix runs at speeds of up to 7,700 sheets per hour and gives Suttle-Straus even shorter makeready times thanks to the intuitive touchscreen interface, along with the motorized cutting pressure adjustment and quick-lock technology for dies and stripping tools. 7 Team Concept, based in Carol Stream, Illinois, invested in an MGI JETvarnish 3D digital print enrichment press from Konica Minolta last year. Now, the company has launched a new brand of decorative and dimensional print solutions called “LuxFX” to maximize the impact of brand messages by delivering sensory print communications on a national level. 8 PaperWorks, a leading North American integrated full-service packaging provider, installed a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 145 57" seven-color press along with two new Koenig & Bauer-Iberica 144K diecutters at its facility in Baldwinsville, New York. The Baldwinsville location

produces packaging solutions for some of the leaders in consumer products and employs approximately 240 full-time team members. Marrs Printing & Packaging of City of Industry, California, had a new Eco-Eagle CFM1006-16K with FoilCure, from Eagle

Systems, installed on its new KBA106 LED-UV press. In early 2020, TPC Printing & Packaging, East Ridge, Tennessee, will install a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO 10-color 41" press, which will join an existing 2015 Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 eight-

Koenig & Bauer Duran Installs its Omega Allpro 90 at Ellis Paper Box

Canadian packaging specialist Ellis Paper Box, a member of the Ellis Group, the country’s largest privately-held manufacturer of folding cartons, always has its elite customers at the forefront of its mind and central to its business philosophy. To better service its leading international pharmaceutical firms, Ellis added a new Koenig & Bauer Duran Omega Allpro 90 folder-gluer – the first in North America – to its postpress department at its 60,000-sq.ft. Mississauga, Ontario, facility this spring. “We’ve developed a successful reputation as one of the most valued manufacturers in the industry because we understand and respect the demanding standards required by the pharmaceutical market, which has assisted us in all other segments of the folding carton industry,” says Dave Ellis, the firm’s president. “Our customers are continually challenging us with unique valueadded features. We listen carefully to our clients to understand what drives their businesses. We recognized that to be truly different from our competitors, we needed to provide these services under our own roof that not only meet but actually anticipate and solve these challenges.” Ellis had been diligently researching the Omega Allpro line as an added benefit when Duran became part of the Koenig & Bauer family late last year. “We had already developed a great relationship with Koenig & Bauer through our purchase of their Iberica brand of diecutters last year,” recalls Ellis. “When Koenig & Bauer purchased Duran and its Omega products, it seemed to be an ideal situation for both parties. I believe Koenig & Bauer will continue to be a very important partner to the Ellis Group for many years.”

color press. Eagle Systems’ cold foil was selected for the company’s new press and will help TPC provide better inline coldfoil options for its customers, accentuate brand packaging, and provide faster and more efficient cold foil-enhanced jobs.

strength and reliability. Omega Allpro gluers have motorized or motorized with memory versions as well. “As we continue to grow our market share, we have added new business with new requirements,” says Ellis. “Our new foldergluer will have the ability to manufacture all styles of cartons, including straight line, auto bottom, four- and six-corner, as well as some of our own uniquely-designed styles. The machine is very quick to makeready and produces extremely high-quality results.” Ellis prides itself on its customer driven quality process and expertly trained employees. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, he says, are looking for well-organized, clean facilities with an emphasis on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product. “We’re successful due in part to our commitment to the industry, commitment to our employees and our relentless pursuit to remain the most progressive carton company in Canada,” says Dave Ellis. “We offer a total in-house capability to control all aspects of structural design, electronic proofing and diemaking. Our three-phase electronic verification is critical to our assurance of full responsibility for product quality and compliance to GMP. At other firms, folder-gluers often are undervalued and underutilized. But at Ellis Paper Box, they are an integral part of our quality system and value-added propositions.”

Ellis was attracted to the Omega Allpro because the foldergluers handle a wide range of substrates from cartonboard to corrugated, are extremely versatile and capable of producing the most complex range of carton styles, which minimizes makeready and maximizes productivity and profitability. Allpro folder-gluers produce straight line, double wall, crash lock and optional four- and six-corner with single finger servo fold for high-speed precision, as well as inner partition, Z-fold, conical crash lock and CD boxes at a maximum belt speed of 400 m/ min. All Omega gluers are equipped with touchscreen control panels and modems for diagnostic purposes that are designed for

November/December 2019 | PostPress



Year-end Tax Planning Opportunities By Michael J. Devereux II, CPA, CMP


he Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Reform) ushered in a host of new tax laws and incentives, and every finisher now has filed at least one tax return under the new tax regime. Many found new ways to defer or permanently reduce their tax bills, whether that be from enhanced expensing, larger tax credits or deferral of revenue to the 2019 tax year.

are reviewing tax-planning options, they should analyze two-year projections to ensure they understand what is being gained or missed.

The 2019 tax return filing season is right around the corner. As such, December is a time for year-end tax planning, whereby finishers will make significant decisions that impact the amount of tax they ultimately pay for the 2019 tax year.

Immediate expensing Tax Reform improved two popular deductions that allow for accelerated depreciation – §179 and bonus depreciation. The §179 deduction limit was increased to $1,000,000 for 2018, and after being indexed for inflation, is $1,020,000 for the 2019 tax year. Moreover, additional assets were added to the definition of §179 property, including HVAC and security systems; and the §179 phase-out threshold now begins at $2,550,000 of eligible assets placed in service for tax year 2019.

Tax planning can mean several things. Sometimes, companies can recognize permanent tax savings by utilizing tax incentives, such as the R&D tax credit, the IC-DISC or the work opportunity tax credit. Other times, tax planning is all about accelerating tax deductions and deferring the recognition of revenue. For many, it’s typically a combination of both. Moreover, tax planning is not done in a vacuum. Taxpayers must look at the current tax year, as well as future tax years, as some of the decisions a company considers are whether to accelerate or defer income from 2019 to 2020, or vice versa. So, when companies 62

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The following is meant to provide finishers with some ideas and tips as they embark on year-end tax planning.

Tax Reform also increased the bonus depreciation percentage to 100%, retro-actively, for property placed in service after September 27, 2017 through December 31, 2022. Beginning in 2023, the bonus depreciation percentage is phased down by 20% each year, with the accelerated “bonus” depreciation phased-out by 2027.


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These changes will, inevitably, make cost segregations more valuable. A cost segregation allows taxpayers to analyze their plant and equipment to segregate the cost of real property, which is, generally, depreciable over a 39-year life, from personal property, which is likely to have shorter depreciable lives and qualify for one of the immediate expensing provisions. Taxpayers can “catch up” missed depreciation deductions. R&D tax credit The R&D tax credit is the tax incentive likely to have the biggest impact in reducing a finisher’s tax liability. The R&D tax credit rewards innovation. Finishers that are constantly developing new products or improving their processes may be engaging in activities that are eligible for the R&D tax credit. While IRC §41 (the code section governing the R&D tax credit) was not changed, the R&D tax credit’s value increased by 21.5% when Tax Reform reduced the top corporate tax rate. For finishers making the proper §280C election on an originally filed return (including extensions), the value of the credit was increased significantly. The §280C election percentage is equal to 100% minus the top corporate tax rate. When tax reform lowered the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, the applicable percentage found in §280C went from 65% to 79%. As a result, finisher’s credits will be greater with the same level of research expenditures. Other credits and incentives In addition to the R&D tax credit, many other tax incentives are available to finishers. For instance, finishers that regularly export their products may find benefit with an Interest Charge – Domestic International Sales Corporation (IC-DISC), a way of reducing the federal tax liability related to the profits made on export sales. In addition, finishers hiring within specified targeted groups, such as food stamp recipients and qualified veterans, can qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).

Finishers that are constantly developing new products or improving their processes may be engaging in activities that are eligible for the R&D tax credit. 64

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Methods of accounting Tax Reform expanded upon the accounting methods available to small and medium-side taxpayers. Finishers with average annual gross receipts of less than $25 million over the prior three years may adopt a number of accounting methods that were not previously available to them. Those with less than $25 million of average gross receipts from the prior three years may change to the cash method of accounting, be exempt from the requirement to account for inventories, and exempt them from the UNICAP rules for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Each requires a separate accounting method change and some planning to ensure the change in method of accounting is done properly. IRC §199A flow-through deduction The Qualified Business Income Deduction in IRC §199A, which was enacted as part of Tax Reform, allows finishers a 20% deduction of Qualified Business Income to all non-corporate taxpayers (i.e., flow-through entities, such as S Corporations, Partnerships, and LLCs). Proper planning is important to be sure that finishers and their owners take full advantage of the new law. For instance, many finishers own their building in a separate entity and rent the plant to the operating business. Real estate entities may qualify for the deduction, but only if they are operating like a trade or business. That means no triple net leases, separate checking accounts, etc. Companies not operating like a trade or business may be considered an investment, and therefore, not eligible for the new deduction. While the aforementioned ideas are likely to be the most impactful for finishers, companies should evaluate what incentives, methods and structure are best for them, given their goals and fact patterns. Michael J. Devereux II, CPA, CMP, is a partner and director of Manufacturing, Distribution & Plastics Industry Services for Mueller Prost. Devereux’s primary focus is on tax incentives and succession planning for the manufacturing sector. He regularly speaks at manufacturing conferences around the country on tax issues facing the manufacturing sector. Devereux will be speaking at the FSEA•IADD Conference in April of 2020.

sustainability Sustainable Printing: The Why, The What and The How Reprinted with permission by the Great Lakes Graphics Association


ustainability has been in the forefront of business operations for more than a decade. Educated consumers understood that for their children to live in a better world, everyone needed to embrace sustainability. The power of the consumer drove Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, to make sustainability central to its business decisions. This, in turn, sent shock waves down its supply chain. Whether it’s packaging, apparel, labels or signage, printing is a link in that chain. As all print processes then were being asked about their sustainability programs, there became a need for an independent organization with a certification program to define and validate sustainable printing practices. The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) was developed through a transparent and credible process by a stakeholder group that included representatives from facilities of all print processes, their suppliers, customers, environmental groups, government agencies and the leading organizations representing the printing industry. The SGP program was created more than a decade ago, has evolved to better reflect the most current knowledge of sustainable business practices and continually offers even more benefits to the industry.

effective and responsible. SGP Printers decrease waste, increase recycling, reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and improve worker safety, thereby validating themselves as implementing sustainable business practices. Printers that meet SGP’s multi-faceted criteria are using best practices that provide their customers with a premium product that meets corporate responsibility standards and save money!

Defining sustainable printing practices was the first step. SGP’s certification criteria takes a holistic approach and is specific to printing. It lays out elements that were created “by the printing industry for the printing industry.” It is holistic in that it doesn’t address only single attributes like paper sourcing or ink chemistry; nor is it just for environmental issues. To address sustainability, it must encompass the three Ps – people, planet and profit. The SGP criteria encompasses the entire printing facility and includes environmental, health, safety and labor practices. Because the printing industry developed the criteria, it is specific to printing, yet includes all printing processes – flexography, lithography, screen, digital and gravure. The criteria are flexible and expansive so they can be adopted by any type of printing facility, whether it is large or small. SGP is the only certification program for the printing industry in North America, and it has the endorsement of all major print organizations. The list of SGP Printers continues to grow and includes multiple locations of the same corporation.

The SGP Impact Tracker is the newest addition to the SGP program. It is a cloud-based dashboard that tracks sustainability initiatives, operating expenses and other metrics. It displays data from a company’s sustainability program, illustrating the operational benefits and cost savings that result from a commitment to best practices. The software provides an easy way to benchmark data, track implementation, set goals and showcase success. Whether it’s carbon footprint, kilowatts of electricity, therms of natural gas or gallons of fuel, the Impact Tracker accepts the data and offers a user-friendly benefit of allowing everyone in the facility to enter information.

The SGP certification criteria are sustainable printing practices which are, in essence, good business practices. SGP certification helps printers optimize operations to be more efficient, cost

But, growing the adoption of sustainable business practices in the printing industry takes a community approach. In addition to the numerous SGP Printers, the SGP Community includes SGP


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SGP Printers differentiate themselves from their competitors, creating real cost and resource savings. By becoming certified, printers validate a place as a true link in a sustainable print supply chain. By being a sustainability leader, they are more preferred by print buyers.


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Patrons, SGP Brand Leaders and SGP Resource Partners. Every organization that values corporate responsibility and a sustainable future has a role to play in supporting sustainable printing. SGP Patrons are suppliers to the printing industry and recognize SGP’s continuing role in advancing the benefits of SGP certification to both the print and buying communities. They are commited to transforming the marketplace and leading inclusion of sustainable business practices in the industry. SGP Brand Leaders are consumer products companies and other print buyers that want to be assured a more sustainable print supply chain. By working with SGP Printers and encouraging their print vendors to become certified, SGP Brand Leaders are aligned with companies that help them achieve an overall lower environmental footprint and improved sustainability profile. SGP Resource Partners are organizations that encourage their members to become more sustainable and assist them on the journey to become part of the SGP Community. They include Flexographic Technical Association, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, TLMI, RadTech North American International, National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers, Printing Industries of America and Great Lakes Graphics Association.

Together, the SGP Community has made great strides in promoting sustainable printing practices. It brings together a community of printers, print buyers, suppliers and supporting organizations that work together to drive sustainable business practices that today’s customers demand and everyone should want. Another leap forward for SGP will be the introduction of a certification program for the suppliers to the printing industry. For more information on the certification program, access the Resources tab of the SGP website There is an extensive list of archived webinars, fact sheets, guidance documents and certification criteria, along with applications. The website also includes the list of current SGP Printers, SGP Patrons, SGP Brand Leaders and SGP Resource Partners. Also, feel free to email This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of Graphics Journal, the membership magazine of the Great Lakes Graphics Association.

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Cold Foil Equipment & Foils Compact Foilers Page 17 Eagle Systems Page 47 Infinity Foils, Incorporated a UEI Group Company Page 51 Kurz Transfer Products Inside Front Cover Univacco Technology, Inc. Page 23

Decorative Glitter Infinity Foils, Incorporated a UEI Group Company Page 51

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Hot Stamping & Embossing Dies Advance Corporation Page 32 h+m USA Page 65 Luxfer Graphic Arts Page 39 Metal Magic Page 28 Owosso Graphic Arts, Inc. Page 49 Universal Engraving, Inc. – a UEI Group Company Page 13

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Lock-Up Systems Universal Engraving, Inc. – a UEI Group Company Page 13

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PRINT UV, March 25-27, 2020, Encore by Wynn Las Vegas Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, Edge Orlando 2020 (Dscoop), March 29 – April 1, 2020 Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, Florida,


FSEA•IADD Joint Conference, April 27-29, 2020, Hyatt Regency, Indianapolis, Indiana,


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