Watkins Printing Enters Commercial Print Market with 8-Color RMGT 9 Series Press Equipped with LED-UV
As a third-generation family owner, recently appointed CEO, Tamara Watkins Green, has embarked on major technology and automation improvements that include moving Watkins Printing into the commercial print market. This paradigm shift is best illustrated by their investment in a state-of-the-art RMGT 9 Series offset press that is loaded with technology including RMGT’s Insta.Color makeready technology, LED-UV curing and most importantly a one and done 4 over 4 configuration.
“Moving into the commercial print market made strategic sense for our company,” states Tamara Watkins Green. “There are many factors that come to bear in keeping a business alive and thriving for 98 years. Recently, Watkins Printing was proud to become a WBE and a certified partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). From automation improvements in our web-to-print MIS system to major enhancements in the pressroom and bindery, it’s an exciting moment in our company’s history.”
“As we approach our 100th anniversary, we are determined to build on our legacy by pursuing new market opportunities and expand our service offerings,” states William Green, President of Watkins Printing. “The 8-color RMGT 9 Series Long Perfector with LED-UV curing instantly puts us in a leadership position in the commercial print market. One-pass printing coupled with instant curing lets us go right to bindery and then on to mailing. It’s a huge game changer.”
Watkins’ new press is the tenth RMGT 9 Series Long Perfector installed throughout the United States
Due to the RMGT’s very compact footprint, incredibly user-friendly automation, low maintenance requirements and single pass printing 85% of these presses are running with a single pressman. This factor alone reduces an RMGT Printer’s annual overhead cost per shift while still maintaining an extremely high level of productivity.
“One advantage to working with The Watkins Printing Company is that we are large enough to provide full service and small enough to provide individual attention,” concludes William Green. “My wife and I deal directly with the majority of our clients. That's not something you necessarily get from a company with the breadth of our services. We know our customers personally. We enjoy that interaction and because of that, we have a lot of loyal customers. When we decided to make this next step in our evolution, we were determined to bring in the latest technology that provided the highest quality for our extremely particular client base, so working with Graphco and RMGT made us feel very comfortable.”
Saving energy & time with LED-UV
Watkins decision to install LED-UV modules at the perfecting device and in the delivery enables instant curing of both sides of the sheet, eliminating wait time before the job can be sent off for finishing. Another advantage of LED-UV curing is greatly reduced power consumption. LED-UV on an RMGT Long Perfector uses 75% less energy than single-side presses that use aqueous coating, and ink costs are comparable by eliminating the coating supplies. LED-UV curing also eliminates the need for powder which ensures a cleaner work environment and less problems moving stock through bindery equipment. From a worker safety standpoint, no VOC printing, bi-monthly ink wash-ups and a smaller footprint makes the RMGT an extremely safe investment for pressmen and owners alike.
“As a legacy publishing printer, Watkins Printing is ideally suited to leverage their extremely strong and long-term relationships and their mailing capabilities in the commercial print space,” comments Chris Manley, President of Graphco, Midwest and Southeast distributor for RMGT. “Additionally, as a union shop, their strategic location in Columbus, Ohio not only makes them an ideal partner for a variety of direct mail and political mailers, but they are poised to enter the short-run world of commercial print with a great company culture and a high-quality sheet-fed offset press that will deliver. As a fellow Ohio based family business, it’s been a great pleasure to work with Tamara and Bill as they move Watkins into its second century serving their clients.”
About The Watkins Printing Company
Founded in 1923, The Watkins Printing Company is a publication, magazine, and specialty project printer and mailer for clients nationwide. Watkins and Columbus, OH are truly at the “Heart of it All” located within a 500 mile radius of 80 percent of U.S. Corporations, making it a perfect central mail drop. See www.watkinsprinting.com
St. Louis based Advertisers Printing upgrades their shop with new built to suit 10-Color Perfecting RMGT Press
With the purchase of a new RMGT 9 Series 10-Color Long Perfector, Advertisers Printing Company is investing in themselves to be Ready to Rebound now and in the future .
Advertisers Printing, based in St. Louis, has installed their new fully automated RMGT 10-Color Long Perfector equipped with LED-UV curing and is already reaping the benefits from its state of the art technology.
This three part video series has taken us from the RMGT Factory to Advertisers’ pressroom floor. In this episode we will share the versatility and efficiency of our LED-UV curing process and then you will learn directly from our friends at Advertisers Printing why they invested in a fully automated 9 Series press from RMGT and Graphco.
Part 3 shows the end of the installation, with the press up and running and jobs getting ready to go out the door!
View Part 1: The journey from the manufacturing plant in Fukuyama, Japan all the way to St. Louis.
View Part 2: The RMGT press assembly on site
PLYMOUTH, MI – November 13, 2020 — Hatteras, Inc. is a member of the WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a full-service communication delivery company founded in 1977. Based in greater Detroit, MI, they are celebrating their 43rd year anniversary serving corporate communication clients in the automotive, creative, financial and education sectors of the national economy. To maintain their leadership role in offset print, they have recently replaced legacy presses with a fully automated six-color RMGT 940 Series press that is equipped with LED-UV curing, in-line coating and RMGT’s Insta.Color make-ready automation.
“Over the years, my sister Becky and I have grown Hatteras in a conservatively aggressive fashion,” states James Nesbitt, CEO, Hatteras, Inc. “We bought seven different companies along the way allowing us to grow into services that would have been difficult to build from scratch. About eight years ago we got into the full size 40” print market with a used six color Heidelberg. While that greatly expanded our service offerings, the press was costly to maintain and slow to set up and run. So, a couple of years ago we started looking at the RMGT and what it could offer us. This investment coincided with a move to our new 90,000 square foot headquarters and production facility in Plymouth MI. We are proud to occupy the historic Burroughs complex where adding machines, calculators and early mainframe computers were manufactured for many decades.”
Hatteras, Inc. has a target market of high-end print and distribution for ad agencies, managing outsourced print for large companies, financial and healthcare statement printing, and book manufacturing. “With an aging 40” Heidelberg, we realized we were spending half of the cost of the payment on a new press just in repairs,” states Nesbitt. “We needed a press to produce high end color, and the legacy press was just getting too expensive to maintain. We had to decide if we wanted to stay in the high-quality color market… we either needed to get in or get out. We decided to get in and purchased the six color RMGT 9 Series with LED-UV curing and had it installed in our new facility.”
Offset vs. Digital
Hatteras uses a hybrid print production approach that leverages both offset and digital. “Each printing technology obviously has its own strengths and weaknesses,” observes Nesbitt. “With the incredibly fast makeready and running speed of the RMGT 9 Series, the run length has to either be really small or variable to justify running it digitally. We do a fair amount of both very, very short run jobs or fully variable jobs in our shop, so digital has a role in our workflow. We are also printing LED cured shells that are personalized on our fleet of digital machines. Interestingly, jobs that we initially considered for digital print, such as covers on short run books, have been produced faster and have better lamination adhesion with offset print that comes off the new RMGT 9 Series.”
“The short run book manufacturing market is new for us,” states Nesbitt. “The RMGT 9 Series is a perfect complement to the HP T240 that we installed. We print the covers on the RMGT and the HP prints the text pages of the books. We have two really cutting-edge pieces of equipment to produce short run books for publishers around the country and their response has been incredible.”
“Another part of our regular business is printing on low tac adhesive window clings. This was frequently a disaster before the RMGT. Jobs would lay spread out around the shop for days to dry. Sometimes they’d never dry regardless of the different ink mixes we tried. Successfully producing these window clings and printing plastic license plates on styrene are now a complete non-factor. They run through our press just like any other job.”
“We are consistently running jobs at run speeds that are 50% faster than the legacy press,” comments Nesbitt. “We typically ran it at 8,000 sheets per hour. Many of our jobs now run at 12-15,000 sheets per hour with no loss of quality or register. We’re driving our set-up times and make-ready sheets lower and lower. Both factors have allowed us to charge a much higher hourly rate and still hit the estimated production targets for the job.”
“We are inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of family-owned businesses like Hatteras. Becky and James’ parents started Hatteras in 1977 and my Dad started Graphco in 1976 so both companies have thrived over many years in business.” states Chris Manley, President of Graphco, Midwest and Southeast Distributor for RMGT. “Their determination to not only survive but to succeed during the challenging times since their press came on-line testifies to the wisdom of strategic investment in offset.” Offset still drives the vast majority of revenue for commercial printers, and dramatically improving the profitability of their largest revenue source provides the greatest impact on the bottom line. As our industry rebounds we believe companies like Hatteras who have the right platform for their offset print will continue to enjoy an Unfair Advantage.”
About RMGT North America
RMGT (RYOBI HMI Graphic Technology Ltd.), a global leader in LED-UV sheetfed offset presses, is represented by a group of four authorized sales and service centers that serve commercial printers, offset packaging converters and in-plant printers in the United States and Canada. Covering the Northeast US is G.E. Richards, Midwest and Southeast US is serviced by Graphco, the Western US is serviced by Print & Finishing Solutions and covering Canada along with the RMGT 10 Series distribution in the US for legacy Mitsubishi customers is RM Machinery. This network constitutes the single largest offset press sales and service team in North America. As innovators of the first LED-UV printing system for sheet-fed offset printing in 2008. RMGT continues to apply their technological expertise and creativity for constant innovation, providing the printing industry with meaningful products and services while building bonds of trust and respecting diverse values. Learn more about RMGT North America at www.ryobimhi.com
PLACENTIA, CA – September 24, 2020 — RMGT, manufacturer of the leading 8-up sheetfed offset press in North America, officially launched their latest member to the 9 Series family, the RMGT 970 offset press, at an Open House in Fukuyama, Japan. The Open House event, celebrated on August 25-28, 2020 introduced three new models of presses: the RMGT 970 Perfecting press (up to 10 colors), the RMGT 970 straight press (up to 8 colors), and the RMGT 1050 Perfecting press (up to 10 colors). This was the first opportunity to safely roll out all three presses in the COVID-19 era. Open House events featuring the RMGT 970 running live will be presented at demonstration facilities in North America in the early part of 2021.
“We developed the new RMGT 970, incorporating our strengths and technologies for release at drupa 2020,” states Katsushi Hirokawa, President, RMGT. “The RMGT 970 can accommodate a 25 x 38-inch sheet, is excellent in cost performance, automation, and environmental friendliness.” The 970 is the newest member to the RMGT 9 Series family of presses that boasts over 80 new installations in North America since 2014. A review of the new features of the RMGT 970 is available as a trailer video and can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/RMGT970
“While widely recognized as having a great advantage in longer press runs, a key feature of the Open House was to demonstrate the advantage of offset printing over digital in short-run print jobs,” observes Chris Manley, President of Graphco, Distributor for RMGT in the Midwest and Southeast. Using a series of unique, consecutive print jobs, the RMGT 970 perfecting press demonstrated a complete makeready, printing 500 color accurate 8-up sheets completely dried and ready to move to bindery, using just one press operator, in under 6 minutes. This economy in offset print manufacturing is enabled by recent technologies brought to market by RMGT.