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By Judd Plattenburg, CEO, Oregon Printing Communications

Wow, how far we have come as an industry—if you told me 15 years ago that we would be doing & producing what we are doing & producing now, I’d have said you were crazy! My point? I just got back from the DSCOOP Printing and Technology Conference in Indianapolis, and the industry just continues to evolve.

DSCOOP is a conference put on by HP, so it’s mainly focused on HP digital print technology, but I always come back from these conferences a little awestruck (especially this one), just because the technology associated with the printing industry is off the charts.

The “need for speed” in the pressroom, the automation in everything, especially order entry and bindery, the robots loading presses, the way AI will affect what we do, all this information turns into a blur after the first day or so. But it’s also very, very real, and we (at Oregon), like everybody else, need to keep our eye on where new technology is going while still continuing to invest in it. All of tha said, I still came away feeling good, like our team has a good handle on the technology side.

High Speed Labels, Press Demo’s and Robots loading Presses. Its all there in the new, automated world of print.

I think what crystallized this feeling was when I did an interview with a print and tech magazine and found myself talking about the human side of what we do. I know a lot of these “big” shops need to automate everything, but as I think about Oregon, even though we are very automated, we are also very much a “boutique” type shop where we partner closely with our customers to create cool custom products and campaigns.

Speed, automation and especially high-quality print are important to all of us today. But I walked away from DSCOOP relishing the fact that while technology allows some printers to run more impressions and deliver more jobs every day, it also allows shops like Oregon to slow down just a bit, listen to our customers and what they want (and maybe even experiment a little), but we still get to keep the craftmanship in what we do.