Racing to Success in the Pressroom


Printing seems like a world apart from the competitive world of NASCAR racing, but a recent conversation with a friend convinced me that the two have something very surprising in common.

My friend works in the quality control department of a well known NASCAR team, making sure that every component in the car has been thoroughly tested and has passed a rigorous battery of inspections. So when I asked him the most common cause of failure on the race course, I thought he would point to an especially failure-prone engine component. But he didn’t.

“The most common reason for losing on the track”, he said, “is poor communication between the driver and his pit crew.” I was absolutely shocked. I’d been comparing press and prep departments to racing teams for months. It always struck me that the pressman is like the driver and the prepress department is like his pit crew, but I never imagined that NASCAR teams suffered from the same problems that limit the success of many printers.

NASCAR teams depend on real-time communications between the driver and pit crew. By knowing exactly what the conditions are on the track and in the car, the pit crew can be prepared to offer appropriate assistance to the driver throughout the race.

It’s no different in a print operation. Press operators are the drivers in our world. They are the last ones to get the job and the pressure is on them to get to the finish line with a winning sheet as quickly as possible. Like racecar drivers, they depend on support from their pit crew-the prepress department-but too frequently, we lack that most important ingredient for success: instant communication from pressroom to prepress.

Just as a pit crew needs to know about track conditions, fuel consumption, tire wear and more, the prepress department needs to have real-time reporting on ink performance, TVI, gray balance and more to be part of a winning team. PressSIGN delivers all this and more, seamlessly and in real time.

If your team doesn’t have winning communication system in place, they are at a serious competitive disadvantage. Spectral scanning on the press is a start, but until that information is communicated directly to the prep department, the chances of a winning run are slim.


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