Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Press release from the issuing company
Company triples sheetfed capacity, expands customer offer, cuts job turnaround time in half—all for half the cost of 40-inch press with conventional dryers
Apex Color is $8.5 million-revenue trade printer with 55 employees
JACKSONVILLE, Florida - When Richard Ghelerter decided it was time to expand Apex Color, his long-established trade printing business, he looked at both new and used 40-inch offset presses.
The used equipment didn’t have the latest technology and was quickly disqualified. New 40-inch presses were very expensive—yet still lacked the most advanced drying technology.
Then he heard about a press from RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology that intrigued him. The five-color RYOBI MHI 925 LED-UV press delivers full-bleed, 16-page signature printing and built-in instant curing. This press had the potential to give him the big boost in print quality, capacity and throughput he sought.
So he headed to RYOBI MHI’s Southeast U.S. distributor, Paper Handling Solutions, to check out the fully equipped 36-inch press as it produced instantly cured print at more than 16,000 sph. RYOBI MHI is one of the world’s largest offset pressmakers. In Florida, RYOBI MHI offset presses are represented by Graphics IV in Orlando, FL.
Ghelerter, a veteran third-generation printer, was impressed. The print quality was perfect and makereadies were wrapped up in minutes. The machine was robust, including a heavy-duty feeder, double-diameter cylinders and transfer drums. The LED-UV curing system eliminated all problems of conventional hot dryers, sipped energy, and ensured print jobs could be routed immediately to the bindery and customer.
Ghelerter talked to the owner of Imprimerie Reflet, a trade printer in Montreal, Canada, who bought the RYOBI MHI 925 LED-UV press in early 2014. He reported it performed well under rigorous production conditions—and was the crown jewel of his fast-growing company.
Tony Rice, Ghelerter’s commercial print production manager, went to have a look for himself. “I’ve been in print production for more than 40 years and had experience with Ryobi’s smaller presses,” Rice explained. “But once I put that big press through all the paces, I was confident it would be a great fit for our company.”
Then there was the price: nearly half what other German and Japanese manufacturers were quoting for their 16-page signature presses—equipment that did not feature built-in LED-UV instant cure.
Ghelerter thought carefully, crunched all the numbers, then made the decision to invest in the RYOBI MHI. “Looking at every aspect, the 925 LED-UV press is real bang for the buck.” It was delivered in late December, was at full production within a week, and its outsized impact was felt immediately.
“Just the other day, we had a job for 3,000 32-page books with cover that we had to print, fold, stitch and deliver in under 24 hours,” he said. “The press allowed us to handle the job with ease and we were able to please a very demanding, discerning customer.”
Apex Color has deep history as a Southeast U.S. print industry leader
In addition to its commercial printing business, 100% exclusively to the trade, Apex Color is one of the largest business forms printers in the Southeast U.S. Equipment includes five rotary forms presses and four collators. The company’s distributors sell to customers ranging from small retailers to some of the world’s largest health and financial services companies.
Ghelerter is a third-generation Jacksonville printer. His grandfather started as a printer’s apprentice at Mendelson Printing in Jacksonville in 1915, shortly after emigrating from Romania. He rose up the ranks, and 20 years later, purchased Mendelson, which he and his children ran for decades.
“With six members of my family in commercial printing, the likelihood of my not going into the printing business was pretty slim,” Richard Ghelerter recalls. “But I did want to strike out on my own.”
In 1974, his father Irvin and uncle Clarence invested $10,000 apiece to help Richard start a printing company focused exclusively on business forms. Richard bought a used Didde Press with a Didde Snap Collator—low-cost versions of the heavy-duty forms-making equipment—and immediately established Apex Business Forms in Jacksonville.
“It was a little tough getting started,” he recalls. “An employee and I were out in the morning contacting customers, then headed back to the shop in the afternoon, printing and collating often late into the evenings. Eventually, I began serving forms distributors who needed an independent producer to support them, so we grew together.”
Though he had expanded his operation in the 1980s and the early 1990s, technology began eroding demand for printed forms. “The big players were expanding into services and the overall pie was getting smaller. But because of our reputation for quality and service, our slice kept growing,” Ghelerter said.
By 1998, he decided to expand into commercial printing. Two operations were consolidated into a new 30,000-square foot production center in downtown Jacksonville. Two 20x26-inch Shinohara presses were added. In 2011, an expansion into digital printing helped build the business further.
By 2014, Ghelerter knew that to continue to grow in the future, he would need to modernize his offset footprint with a new, high-tech 16-page signature press. Today, the RYOBI MHI 925 LED-UV press cost-efficiently delivers a range of print products that impress his customers for their quality and turnaround speed. “No question—this press is a winning investment.” More information about Apex Color is at www.apexcolor.net.
CLEVELAND—March 2, 2015—Toledo, OH-based Metzgers Printing + Mailing has announced its investment in a new RYOBI MHI 9210P 5/5 long perfector with in-line coater. The new press features the latest G3 LED-UV curing technology, Smart Insta.Color make-ready automation and the smallest carbon footprint of any press in its class. “We are thrilled to offer the highest print quality, special effects printing, and faster turnaround to our customers throughout the Midwest,” offered Tom Metzger, chairman and CEO of Metzgers. “This strategic move fits directly into our plans for continued growth. Adding single-pass printing to our pressroom has been under evaluation for several years and the RYOBI MHI 9210P is the perfect fit.”
Strong organic growth through the first half of the decade has set Metzgers apart. Its consistent investment in staff development and aggressive sales promotion, as well as the right major capital investments, have been the formula for success since the company’s foundation in 1976. “Staying ahead of the technology curve keeps us valuable and relevant in the educational, health care, and building products segment, and with our Fortune 500 customers as well,” said Tom Metzger. “Our decision-making process is 100 percent customer-focused and this move will open many doors in the high quality label, packaging, and plastics markets throughout the Midwest.” This customer-centric approach led Metzgers to develop some of the industry’s earliest web-to-print storefronts, as well as a major move into wide-format and display printing, so investing in proven technology like LED-UV curing and a fully-automated RYOBI MHI long perfector fits Metzgers’ innovation model perfectly.
Metzgers Printing + Mailing constantly evaluates the latest technology, and following a visit to the RYOBI MHI Commit to Print booth at GRAPH EXPO, its management team worked closely with Allison Foerster, Graphco territory Manager, to determine if the RYOBI MHI 920 series long perfector offered the added capacity and specialty print capabilities to support Metzgers’ growth projections. “Using a comprehensive set of business analytics Graphco has developed, we were able to drill down into their own production data to look for trends and synergy in the pressroom. The five over five with coater configuration became the clear direction,” Foerster explained. This collaborative approach was natural since Metzgers and Graphco have a nearly twenty-year business relationship and the RYOBI MHI presses on Metzgers’ floor have been excellent producers since they were introduced.
The Metzgers Green Printing Initiative recognizes that good stewardship of planet Earth takes more than reducing, reusing and recycling. In 2010, Metzgers installed over 10,000 square feet of solar panels to its rooftop and the company now generates over 13 percent of its annual electricity itself, with no carbon emissions. The RYOBI MHI G3 LED-UV curing technology continues that environmental move since Metzgers will reduce its electrical usage by nearly 60 percent and LED-UV inks don’t emit VOCs. “While productivity and print quality were the most decisive factors in our decision, staying with our Green Printing Initiative was extremely important as well. You can’t beat LED-UV for low emissions printing,” said Tom Metzger.
About Metzgers Printing + Mailing
Metzgers Printing + Mailing continues to lead the Midwest print industry with best-in-class digital and offset printing, wide-format and display printing, highly specialized fulfillment services and customer-oriented Web-to-print storefronts from its 140,000-square-foot complex in Toledo, OH. With the third generation of the Metzgers family joining the company, the original Mission Statement stays the same: “We ensure the vitality and growth of our business by consistently exceeding the expectations of our customers and ourselves. We must treat customers and fellow workers as we would like to be treated — with fairness, honesty, and a high standard of ethics. Working and living within this mission will assure our company of continued success.”
About RYOBI MHI
RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology is among the world’s largest manufacturers of sheet-fed offset printing presses and the world leader in LED-UV technology with over 165 placements worldwide. Our high-speed, fully-automated presses are respected worldwide for unsurpassed print quality, low total cost of ownership, extreme ease of operation, and unmatched reliability. In partnership with Panasonic, RYOBI MHI released LED-UV Curing for Print at DRUPA 2008 and we now offer the only G3 LED-UV technology on the market. Headquartered outside of Hiroshima Japan, RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology is a joint venture company bringing together the best technology and manufacturing expertise of Ryobi Limited and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The enhanced product lineup and strengthened manufacturing prowess makes RYOBI MHI an indispensable brand for the printing industry.