LANDISVILLE, PA – November 9, 2023 – RMGT, manufacturer of the leading 8-up sheetfed offset press in North America, announces that G.E. Richards Graphic Supplies, a leading graphic arts dealer in the United States, in July installed a full-size RMGT 970ST (straight), five-color press at PDC Graphics. The award-winning general commercial print firm in suburban Philadelphia replaced an eight-year-old, half-size RMGT 756 six-color (with coater). The new 970 features an aqueous coater and two LED-UV lamps after the fourth and fifth units.
PDC Graphics’ 30,000-square-foot-plant in Southampton, PA, also added prepress and post-press equipment to keep up with the enhanced productivity of the new eight-up, sheetfed press. The 970 model’s 8-up format is capable of running sheet sizes up to 38 inches. PDC’s business rationale for investing in the new press centers on cost efficiencies. To stay competitive, the company needs the ability to print more of the book, booklet, brochure, catalog and direct-mail advertising work it reproduces -- in the same amount of time. “This full- size press basically makes us twice as fast,” stresses Jim Rosenthal, President and co-owner.
The new press technology allows PDC Graphics to grow business by doing more for its existing customer base. “Single sourcing is more and more in demand,” observes Rosenthal, “so this was the next logical step for us, making it easier for customers to do business with us.” Plus, it’s beginning to attract a different type of clientele. PDC now can be competitive on
larger quantity jobs of, say, 50,000 copies and more, Rosenthal notes. For high-end work, LED-UV ink printed on uncoated paper “looks brilliant . . . and excites our clients,” he adds. “The colors pop off the page. LED-UV is the future [of printing].”
Forty-four people are employed full-time inside PDC’s 26-year-old facility, generally working two shifts of eight hours each. During peak times, however, the crews ramp up to 10- or even 12-hour shifts, “sometimes seven days a week,” Rosenthal explains. “We get extremely busy during certain times of the year,” he notes, citing the fall benefits open-enrollment season as a prime example.
“Many of our customers are involved with benefits onboarding,” continues Rosenthal. “They need hundreds of thousands of employee packets printed for healthcare and insurance-related purposes.” The work adds up: PDC’s sales were up some 10% in 2022 – to approximately $8 million – the president reports.
After only three months of production, the PDC team already is seeing more productive results, according to VP and Co-owner Carl Piccari, whose operational focus is more on manufacturing. The new RMGT press’ automation has cut plate-loading times in half: to approximately 10 minutes from more than 20 minutes. “That equates to about 100 minutes daily and 500 minutes weekly,” Piccari points out, “which is almost an entire shift!”
In addition, makereadies are faster as RMGT’s console and scanner facilitate maintaining accurate color. “This press ‘learns’ how we want to print,” Piccari shares. As a result, PDC operators are wasting far less paper than the 300 to 500 sheets the older, half-size press consumed when getting up to color. “We have good people, and they’re gaining confidence, going faster and faster,” he notes. “Once maximum performance is achieved, they hope to be ready to go in 50 to 100 sheets.”
Prepress and bindery, too
Tony Dailey, Sales Manager for GE Richards, adds that a new Kodak ACHIEVE T400 Platesetter in prepress features full automation and internal punching. Complimenting both the pressroom and bindery is a new Toppy Kompressor skid/pile turner and pallet inverter helps PDC to stay more efficient loading paper in and flipping skids at the press, and downstream in the binding/finishing department. Instantly cured ink means printed sheets move quickly from the press into the bindery. “For a 32-page [workflow], we can process and plate two 16-page forms, then fold each,” Rosenthal illustrates, “which means we are setting up two stitcher pockets instead of four.”
Changing out cartridges is simplified thanks to a proprietary ink-management system from Sentinel/Pamarco. “The system automatically dispenses the ink from cartridges into the fountains - operators no longer have to climb on the units to scoop out or agitate the ink,” Rosenthal says. “It’s just physically easier.” He also likes the fact that, even though the 970’s footprint is a couple feet longer and 12 inches wider than its half-size predecessor, the full-size configuration still is a single-operator press. “Let’s face the reality,” he says: “Staffing, in general, is an issue, and hiring good people is difficult.” We are lucky – we have an incredible team. This investment is in them and in our future – we wanted to enable our team to be better, and feel better about the excellent job that they do for our customers every day.
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
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