Volume 4 No. 2 – Where in the World is Rob? (Part II)


By David Callif, President of BCM INKS and Rob’s father

 This e-newsletter is a continuation of last quarter’s newsletter (Volume 4, Number 1).  Our purpose is to provide you a first hand account of global print trends as we track BCM’s VP of Operations, Rob Callif’s travels. 

 A summary is in order for those of you who don’t remember the newsletter, didn’t receive the newsletter, or Gasp! deleted/didn’t read the newsletter. 

The last newsletter found Rob in the homeland of the Guttenberg press-Germany.  Rob learned that Germany’s printers face similar issues to North America’s post print graphic printers.  However, despite price pressures, Germany’s printers are overcoming their print challenges through a 4 step approach.  This approach consists of :

1)   An emphasis on quality

2)  Innovative products and print procedures

3)  An investment in the latest equipment

4)  Continuous training of all personnel

By the way, Les Pickering of P2 was the first person to correctly guess Rob’s whereabouts. Congratulations to Les for knowing that dark to light refers to great German beers as well as proper direct print technique.

Rob is now in a different part of the world. Take away something useful from his experience, then try to guess the country.  Email me your answer. 

Let the journey for direct print education continue!


David Callif

Ph: 513-469-0400

E-mail: Dave@bcminks.com

Corrugated Taoism

By Robert Callif, VP of Operations at BCM INKS

Although Germany was a fascinating experience and one that I will always remember (as well as apply), this trip was my most unique. 

 As background, I flew over 21 hours to reach my destination so I could visit corrugated plants, ink makers, and press manufacturers.  As soon as I went through customs, I noticed the culture within this democratic country was completely different.  Elders, owners, and supervisors were universally well respected.  This produced a top down decision making process.  This meant the headquarters or large corrugated plants within this country made the decisions for their sister plants located within the much larger neighboring country.

Most importantly, I learned this country’s print quality is behind the U.S. but is improving rapidly!  They have the drive, capital, and inexpensive labor to be a force within the global print industry.  Therefore, it is critical for U.S. plants to continue to innovate and drive our corrugated print industry forward. 

 Three philosophies (Tao) were evident throughout the country:

1.     Produce good print and manufacturing equipment inexpensively

2.     Overcome obstacles

3.     Strive for no waste

Copies abound in this country.  As an example, the printing presses I saw were excellent copies of American and European models.  They sold for much less than the originals.  They are able to provide a lower cost by spending very little on R&D, using inexpensive labor, and positioning themselves within close proximity to their parts suppliers. 

Most of the corrugated plants I visited were clean, organized, and had modern equipment.  However, as a contrast to their modern equipment, they also had a lot of people manually stitching and gluing because it’s cheaper than having a machine do it.  Most of the presses ran extremely fast and produced excellent 1-2 color work on kraft and mottled.

At this time, barely any facility in this country prints on high hold-out paper but they will have to learn quickly as a very large beverage company within this market is starting to demand direct print on a coated sheet.  Even though they are not equipped properly to print and die-cut on high hold-out sheets by conventional wisdom, I will not be surprised if they overcome this obstacle.

The other noticeable difference within this country is the ingrained philosophy of no waste.  Their goal is to print perfectly from the very first board that comes out (this includes registration, color, etc.).  This is demanded of the press operators and of the suppliers. 

If you want to find out more about my trip and how BCM can help you improve your quality, operator training, or products, please email me at rcallif@bcminks.com or call before I take off on my next print adventure. 


Rob Callif