Special Editions Adds High Value-Add Special Effects with 9 Series Press from RMGT
"LED-UV, High Cure UV & Aqueous are opening new doors," says owner Brandon Esser, "and solidifying short-run commercial print makes the 9 Series the perfect fit."
SOLON, OHIO — November 30, 2016 — Graphic Systems North America (GSNA), the Authorized Distributor for RMGT sheet-fed offset presses in North America, announces that Special Editions has successfully installed a new, five-color RMGT 9 Series offset press, with coater and a full suite of the leading drying and curing technology. Special Editions was established in 1993 and is a full-service commercial printer who has expanded into high value-added print to further expand its reach and scope. The company, which employs 15 full-time workers, and features a full bindery, including die-cutting capabilities, takes pride in producing the highest quality for their very demanding client base. Like many commercial printers roughly 25% of the company’s turnover comes from digital print while the balance is produced using the offset process.
“We were in need of more offset print capacity, as we were up to our elbows in work,” notes Brandon Esser, President of Special Editions. However, adding 1,500 to 2,000 square feet to accommodate a 40-inch press proved cost-prohibitive. Instead, Esser and his management team opted for the 8-up press that had a much smaller footprint. “We were intrigued by the size of the RMGT 9 Series press. Getting an 8-up sheet without having to go with a full 40-inch press was appealing,” Esser says. The more affordable price of the 9 Series made adding the “big three” of curing and drying technology to the press possible. “We are saving time and labor,” he explains, because RMGT automation and 9’s compact footprint allows single pressman operation with incredible productivity.
Economics is a major factor in why such a high percentage of Special Editions work is still printed offset. “We consider our RMGT 9 Series to be a 36-inch ‘digital press’ -- that’s how efficient it is with short runs. Most of our [press] runs are between 2,500 and 10,000 sheets.” Over the past seven months since adding the RMGT 9 Series press, Special Editions states that 80% of their work is now running on the press. The new machine replaced an older, five-color, 23x29-inch RYOBI 750 model and another five-color, 28-inch sheetfed press from another manufacturer. Overall volume in the shop is up while labor and waste have been cut significantly as both LED-UV instant curing and RMGT Insta.Color technology are paying off for Special Editions.
“We haven’t had an in-house sales representative for five years,” says Esser, whose firm works with brokers as well as directly with other printers. “We are bidding on and picking up jobs we wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. We do Hi Cure UV for specialty finishes and coating now.” Projects including Chemical Embossing and High Gloss UV are now offered by Special Editions. “One of the very first jobs we completed was a Chemically Embossed booklet cover that gave the 3D effect of leaf veins for a seed catalog. Our customer loved the job.” With LED-UV ink curing and Hi Cure UV coating curing special effects printing is quick and easy on the RMGT 9.
“What Special Editions has done is amazing,” said Derek Gordon, Midwest Regional Manager for Graphco, the Midwest distributor for RMGT. “They have joined a growing number of commercial printers who are leveraging LED UV inks to create production efficiencies and producing high-quality products.” This 9 Series press provides the triple threat of RMGT’s G3 LED-UV curing after the last printing station and then either aqueous or UV coatings with almost instant changeover. It handles eight-up printing with the same footprint and manning of the six-up offset press that Special Editions replaced and features a maximum printing speed of 16,200 sheets per hour, producing offset quality at digital quantities. Gordon continues, “We are thrilled to see how well our friends at Special Edition are doing with their new press.”
About Graphic Systems North America (GSNA)
GSNA delivers exclusive access to the RMGT line of offset presses for commercial, packaging and in-plant printers in the U.S. and Canada. They also provide immediate technical support and parts fulfillment. Formed in July 2013 with co-headquarters in four U.S. states and in Canada, the GSNA group has more than $60 million in revenue and constitutes the single largest offset press sales and service team in North America. Learn more about GSNA at www.ryobimhi.com
DAVENPORT, IA — November 10, 2016 — One Step Inc., based in Davenport, IA, recently purchased and installed an RMGT 9 Series Offset Press, replacing two older RYOBI presses the shop had been running. One Step also invested in the LED-UV technology upgrade, making it a powerful addition to their operation. One Step is in the midst of an amazing 2016, growing 60% this year alone, and purchasing three other companies to increase the range of services and products they can offer. To maintain that kind of growth, a shop must have the right business model, and the right employees to execute it — but just as important is having a cornerstone press that is robust enough to keep up with the demands for more speed and better quality.
“We choose this press because of its LED-UV curing technology,” said Doug May, President at One Step. “It has a faster speed to market, with no dry time and no coatings needed on 95% of the jobs we run. And then you add in the ability to run shorter runs cost effectively — it’s application based, but we have run as few as 2,000 8.5x11-inch sheets — and it was a great investment.”
Founded in 1995, One Step didn’t take the path most print shops follow. They began as a digital-only shop, and didn’t install their first offset press until 2002. “We were reluctant to get out of digital and into offset,” May noted, “but hybrid printing drove us into combining the offset and digital production lines.”
In fact, May was quoted early on in his print career as saying he would never own an offset press, but those are words he is happy to take back now that he has seen what his RMGT press can do. “When you look at digital, and where it’s at, we found the offset cost per impression and the throughput speeds just made more sense than going after digital,” he pointed out. He also noted that while high speed digital presses are now starting to hit the mainstream print market, they still aren’t as reliable and consistent as his RMGT press.
“Reliability and cost per copy come into play when comparing digital and offset,” May said. “With the big press, we always know exactly what the cost and throughput will be, every time. Not to mention, if a technician comes in to service a digital press during a shift, you’re down; offset requires less maintenance so the shop has more up time.”
May joked that one of the biggest changes they have seen since installing the new RMGT 9 Series — which has been up and running at full speed since the beginning of August this year — has been an increase in their paper costs, because they can produce so much more in the same amount of time. But getting serious, he noted, “the biggest thing we’re noticing is the amount of product throughput and speed to market.” Just one example: One Step produces political postcards for some customers, and could produce and ship 100,000 of them in just two hours. “That’s insane for us,” May said.
In fact, One Step, which has traditionally only run one shift per day, is considering looking at adding another shift, or a half-shift. “We are looking at enhanced press shifts to move more product through,” May said. “This press has the ability to push out more product, so we want to consider taking better advantage of that.”
Another fringe benefit that May wasn’t expecting using LED-UV curing on the RMGT 9 Series press was how clean his shop is now. Because the LED-UV technology doesn’t require powder to dry the inks, there is no dust “gunking up” the rest of the equipment in the shop. “We can run the job right through a folder without running into issues,” he said. “We can pull a job off the offset press and put it on the digital press to address it without any jams at all. No powder, no problem.”
Speed is another benefit the shop is enjoying with the LED-UV inks. May pointed out that because the inks dry so fast, they are processing the jobs 15-20 minutes after they get off the press, allowing them to move jobs through the shop at speeds they could never dream of before. They can have a job come in at 8am, he noted, and it’s going back out the door by 11am that same day. “We’re able to hit the speed, and it is really thrilling our clients,” he said.
The RMGT 9 Series press has allowed One Step to better serve its current customer base, May said. But long term, the shop is anticipating increasingly better labor management as they take advantage of the productivity enhancements the press offers. In fact, May noted that now they have so much coming off the press at such speeds, they are looking at other technology in other parts of the shop that will need to be upgraded to keep up. “We are excited to have been a part of One Step’s evolution through the years, and we are happy to now support them through their next phase of growth with their new RMGT 9 Series offset press,” said Chris Manley, President, Graphco, the Midwest distributor for RMGT. “With its combination of speed, flexibility and quality, we know this press will be a reliable platform One Step can use to continue its incredible story.”
About Graphic Systems North America (GSNA)
GSNA delivers exclusive access to the entire line of RMGT offset and digital presses for commercial, packaging and in-plant printers in the U.S. and Canada. They also provide immediate technical support and parts fulfillment. Formed in July 2013 with regional offices across the United States and in Canada, the GSNA group has more than $60 million in revenue and constitutes the single largest offset press sales and service team in North America.