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New Color Production Area

5 Dec

Over the past couple months, we have been making a large transformation inside the building to make room for our new Color Production area.

First the black and white production was moved out of the area and the carpet was removed.

Twister Carpet Remover

Then a couple of days of smoothing out the floor to make sure it is level.

Floor Grinding

 

Then it was time to put the new floor down.  A special paint and sealant were installed.

Moving In!

 

And then it was time to start bring the equipment in.  That included our new Fuji Acuity Flatbed.

Fuji Acuity

 

To see a full set of picture, please goto our Flickr site at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjN6q2hh

There will be more forthcoming announcements on the entire project in future postings.

KIP 70 Series

10 Sep

Kip70SeriesBPI Inc is a proud Blue Ribbon Dealer for KIP America products.  We are excited to announce the new KIP 70 Series of printers.

Some of the features from the 7170 / 7770 / 7970 include:

Smart, Multi-Touch Controls

All system functions of the KIP 70 Series are performed through its large, 12″ display with vivid multi-touch color controls that instantly respond to your touch.

New Super-View Image Control

The high resolution multi-touch screen provides copy, scan and print previews, allowing you to instantly view b&w and color images. Multi-touch controls allow you to zoom, rotate and pan the image preview.

Smart, Multi-Touch Controls

Tap, Swipe, Rotate, Spread and Pinch to get a large, full color look at image files before you print, make changes and see your results immediately.

New KIP Cloud Connect

The KIP 70 Series provides walk up users with the ability to print from or scan to the cloud of their choice right from the multi-touch control display. This cloud enabled function allows individuals or groups to create a link to a cloud destination for storage & collaboration.

You’ve got access to everything in your cloud wherever you are: Your photos, documents, and other important files are available on your phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. In short, your files and info aren’t stuck on any single PC or device.

New KIP Color Plus

KIP Color Plus is a versatile color copy, scan and print application supported by the multi-touch control display. KIP Color Plus features integrated collated sets printing and advanced color print management for up to three connected printers.

New Space Saving Top Stacking Design

The KIP 70 Series features an innovative top stacking design that fits where you need it – in tight spaces  or against a wall, delivering easy access to all system features and enhancing workflow productivity.

BPI Inc will have the KIP 7170 on display at both Open Houses next week.

Print Dead at 1,803

27 Aug

It seems funny when actually thought about, as there are more books being printed now than ever before (750,000 +/-every year).  Self publishing has opened the doors for many would-be authors and crowd-funding has made it easier than ever to get backing for a novel.  Underground magazines seem to crop up on any topic one can imagine, many either crowd-funded or sometimes even just copied on an office copier and stapled in the corner.  How does this have anything at all to do with the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry?

blueprints2We have been in the AEC industry for a little over 50 years.  In the last 20 years we have been hearing rumors that “print is going away”.  Not too long ago we were running set after set after set of ammonia-developed diazo blueline prints.  Then there was shift to the “cleaner” electrostatic black and white prints.  While the images themselves may have been cleaner, toner and paper dust posed their own unique challenges.  Technology has come a long way with the filtering of ozone and toner, up to and including 100% toner efficient, and even full color print capable electrostatic machines.

About 5 years ago, we created a Digital Services portion of the company.  This was a fairly new part of the company, just making its first steps with CD’s and later DVD’s.  We graduated to Flash Drives and FTP sites.  Now we’re using high volume file sharing and transfer sites to move information that would have previously taken hours in minutes (and sometimes even that seems too long).  Again, how does this have anything at all to do with the AEC industry?

In the last approximately two years, we’ve been watching the amount of hard copy prints we print decline as we’ve watched the number of digital sets we distribute increase.  Five to six years ago, when we would receive a request for the digital files from someone for a plan set, we thought to ourselves, “These guys are crazy!” As it turns out, they most certainly were not crazy, they were visionaries, moving in a path the rest of us would catch up to years later.

The Onion wrote an article entitled “Print Dead at 1,803”.  While it was a satirical piece, the message that The Onion was tongue-in-cheek conveying may indeed have a slight ring of truth to it.  In the last 2 years, we have watched as at first there were only a few companies interested in the digital files of a plan set, usually as an “archive set”.  Then it was about a quarter of the companies obtaining sets were digital orders for sets.  Now, fully half, sometimes even up to 2/3 of the number of ordered sets are digital sets.

Does this mean we think print is going away?  No!  We firmly believe that there will ALWAYS be a place in our world for printed media, plans especially.  We think the days of having all field construction on a project done using fully digital plan sets (touch screens & tablets) IS in our future, but we’re not quite there yet.  Who knows, there may be some companies out there who are already there, 100% paper free.  If that’s the case, give the rest of us a few years to catch up.  We may think you’re crazy now, but we’ll think you visionaries then.

Scanning for Reproduction

16 Apr

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before; a client with a couple of 5×7 photos walks into a print shop…

It’s a rather common situation.  And one we’ve had to handle for a more than a few clients.  So, how do we get a 60″ wide x 48″h print from a lowly 8×10?  Well, we cheat.

Recently, we had a head’s up concerning a client with numerous vintage photos in the 8×10 neighborhood.  This client wanted to produce several photographic quality prints in the 48 to 60″ inch wide range.  Now that’s a challenge for the scanning equipment.  Luckily, we had a warehouse of old discontinued equipment to rummage through.

Now, why did we resort to a scavenger hunt when we have several large format scanners on our floor?  There’s a dirty little secret involved.  A lot of scanners have been dumbed down in the name of efficiency.  And because 99% of the work in this market can be done with 8-bit scanning, manufacturers have confined the on-board software to 8-bit values.  But, when scanning for enlargement you need to squeeze maximum data from your scan and that takes more than 8 bits.  In this particular case, we located an old photo scanner that scanned in 32 bit color depth.

Of course there’s a couple of catches to working this way.  A high definition, 8-bit scan at 1200 dpi would only take about 3 1/2 minutes.  A 32-bit scan of the same image can take up to 25 minutes.  In addition, 32-bit files are much larger than there 8-bit little sisters.  An 8 1/2 x 11 photo at 32-bit, 1200 dpi can be around 600 megs.  That same file at 8-bit, 1200 dpi will be around 170 megs.  Luckily for us, this client understood the investments required for image quality.  So it was, damn the file size and full-speed ahead!!

Now don’t get me wrong concerning our usual collection of scanners.  They can perform a 300 dpi scan of 90 percent of our client documents in less than a minute.  And that’s fine when you’re printing same size or just twice size.  But if you’re going for a 400%-plus enlargement, you need to squeeze every pixel until it screams.

Two days later, the rest was Photoshop and history.

Here’s a few before-&-afters involving vintage photos.

Before

BPI_Retouch_scan0015_B4

After

BPI_Retouch_scan0015_After

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