Graphic Arts Alliance (GAA), and Image Test LabsTM (ITL), a division of Technology Watch, LLC announce that the Image Test Labs Image GraderTM press grading service will be available to members of the buying association at a reduced cost.
“By working with ITL, we offer the opportunity for our members to receive independent feedback about the quality of their presses, and to compare them with comparable as well as the full range of available presses. Our members believe strongly in process control and ITL’s Image GraderTM is an important new tool that verifies how well the press delivers the printed image to the customer and how they are doing across their entire printing process,” says John G. Braceland, Managing Director for Graphic Arts Alliance.
Purchasing cooperative to offer innovative service to all its members
GAA is a purchasing cooperative of printers and packaging companies whose mission is offer a wide variety of quality products at pre-negotiated quantity discounts. GAA enjoys national account status with its vendors and works to maintain excellent relationships. As its membership grows, it is able to renegotiate contracts to provide even better savings. They are constantly working on new contract areas, expanding existing contracts and looking for other opportunities that will add to the bottom line of each member company. In 2013 GAA distributed an average of over $14,000 in rebates per member, not including up-front savings.
The seven-member Board of Managers makes recommendations on contract areas and final decisions on vendor selection. Unlike many other purchasing groups, there is no obligation to buy from any group contract. This allows members to maintain control over their own purchases by selecting whichever contracts benefit them.
“GAA has a standard process that we undergo in terms of deciding which vendors to work with. ITL contacted us about their product and I discussed the opportunity with our manager group about it. Two managers conducted some testing with it, and wholeheartedly decided that ITL services would benefit our group,” explains Braceland.
Industry leading innovation
The ITL Image Grader is an innovative, patent-pending technology that grades all types of conventional and digital printing presses, wide format printing systems, photographic printing systems and government and scientific print imaging systems. The ITL Image Grader report is an objective, repeatable evaluation of the press output quality and shows exactly where a particular press stands compared to similar and also other types of presses.
Print providers and major equipment manufacturers use this service to make educated decisions and operating procedures about their equipment. Customers have used the reports in a variety of ways, including for fine-tuning the press, press maintenance and repair, and evaluating the quality of a potential purchase.
Testing is a simple process. Users load the PDF target provided by ITL onto the press and print three sets, returning two to ITL and keeping the third. ITL does the rest.
Service to members
“I have known Henry Freedman for a long time. He and his team are like Thomas Edison and the Menlo Park research group. They are on the bleeding—or cutting—edge of new technology that helps many companies in the printing industry,” adds Braceland. “While he has a strong scientific, technical mind, it is rare that Henry is also a printer. ITL applies science to printing to make printing better.”
“GAA members represent the best in the US. Because John Braceland operated a number of successful printing companies, he himself is in the unique position to understand production and press technology,” remarks Henry Freedman, one of ITL’s principal developers. “GAA provides ITL with a well qualified collection of businesses that are operating their facilities profitably and running champion printing plants.”
Members are encouraged to visit the ITL website (www.imagetestlabs.com) to order ITL services. Once a product has been purchased, the member should directly notify GAA, who will apply the appropriate discount.