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Business slowed a bit for product manufacturers in the specialty printing industry during the third quarter of 2007, according to a recent study released by the North American Specialty Printing Manufacturers Association (NASMA). About half of NASMA’s members surveyed for the quarterly Manufacturers Business Outlook Barometer (MBOB) report indicated that gross sales were down compared to the second quarter of 2007, and nearly two-thirds indicated that their gross margins had dipped.

The MBOB reports are designed to give members a quick read on the financial health of equipment and supply manufacturers, also providing a rough proxy to the state of the industry as a whole. Among the majority of members who reported a drop in margin, increases in the cost of raw materials were the most commonly cited factor in the change. Encouragingly, most who reported falloffs indicated they were minor, with gross sales down 9% or less and margins down no more than 4%.

In other NASMA news, three new directors and a fresh slate of officers were elected at the association’s fall meeting, held last October in Chicago. Parnell Thill of Ikonics Corp. assumed the duties of chairman, succeeding Richard Bowles of Nazdar who will remain on the board of directors as ex-officio. Steve Kahane of International Coatings Co. took over as deputy chairman, while Dave Koebcke of Sefar Americas became secretary/treasurer. Also elected to the board of directors during the meeting were Dave Browske of Avery Dennison, Steve Sheridan of Saati Americas, and Bruce Butler of HP ColorSpan.

NASMA’s spring meeting has been scheduled for May 7-8, 2008, at the Westin San Francisco Market Street. For more information about NASMA, visit

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