Balancing Clicks Versus Plate Costs is Key to Profitability
SOLON, OH — December 6, 2018 — Printing Solutions, based in Lawrence, Kansas, joins a growing wave of commercial printers who are making major investments in the offset side of their hybrid print manufacturing operations. The first six months with their new LED-UV equipped RMGT 790PF Five-Color Perfector with In-Line Coater is already proving that this investment was a great move for both profitability and speed to market. “Bringing in the Perfector has cut our impressions in half on several big pieces of business and offering in-line UV Coating has opened lots of new doors since our original Ryobi didn't have a coater,” states Terry Jacobsen, who partners with John Hutton as co-owners of Printing Solutions.
“We were extremely happy with our first Ryobi 7 Series so when the time came to upgrade sticking with RMGT was an easy choice,” continues Jacobsen, “but what has really been fantastic is the LED-UV curing. The older press used powder, which gummed up the digital presses when we ran pre-printed sheets. RMGT had the perfect solution with LED-UV cured ink. The work is dry when it comes off the press, and we can now run shells in the morning off the RMGT and then take it right into digital production to print the variable pieces. We can ship the same day. That’s been a great feature.”
Since the new RMGT press was installed in May 2018, Jacobsen noted that there have been a number of other key benefits. They have been able to move from having three pressmen running three shifts to just one pressman working one shift — while producing the same volume of work. “We ran our original Ryobi at 15,000 just like we do today, so I attribute these improvements to instant curing with LED-UV and the perfector on the new press,” Jacobsen said. He also noted that the electric bill is much lower, since LED-UV curing uses much less electricity than the old IR dryer. The shop has been much cleaner without powder spray blowing around and the lower heat level keeps static down as well.
Lawrence is the home of the University of Kansas and it is ideally situated to serve the printing needs of both Kansas City and Topeka. Printing Solutions has made this area their home since their foundation in 2000. Jacobsen and Hutton worked together in a print shop as teenagers and, later as adults, started Printing Solutions in their garages. As their start-up business grew they learned that the printing company where they had first met was closing its doors. So they took a chance and purchased their former employer’s 6 color Akiyama Press and moved their new business into their previous employer’s building. Today Printing Solutions occupies a modern and spacious 36,000 square-foot building and they are now the only full-service commercial printer in the area.
“All the other print shops changed to total digital operations,” Jacobsen noted. The full service (offset & digital) model has been a great fit for the company, which does a tremendous amount of work for the healthcare, industrial manufacturing and educational segments, as well as taking on subcontracted work from fellow printers that require offset commercial printing.
Printing Solutions found that many of jobs they had coming in could be most efficiently manufactured using a hybrid printing process, with shells being printed offset and then variable overprints being run through their digital presses. The company used this approach for many years before LED-UV, but with instant cured shells that are powder-free their copiers are humming along with fewer break downs and of course their manufacturing costs are dramatically lower than using a purely digital process.
Jacobsen observes that the key factor in determining if a job is run offset or digital is plate cost versus click costs. “If the cost of the clicks is more than the cost of the plates, we run it offset,” he said. “With a full 23” X 29” sheet size we are effectively running 3 digital sheets at a time and the LED-UV curing means we can move the jobs to finishing immediately. If you think about it, our RMGT 7 is basically a 6-up digital press that runs at 15,000 sheets per hour. So even 500 sheet jobs are much more profitable on our press.”
The more environmentally-friendly press has also led to more work coming through the door, with Jacobsen noting that one of his current customers sought them out specifically because he explained LED-UV curing during a sales call. “This particular customer was getting her work printed somewhere else, but this was a very ‘green friendly’ company. She wanted to know how environmentally friendly we were, and now she is our customer,” Jacobsen said.
“Keeping Printing Solutions an all RMGT shop was a great honor for us and their success so far is gratifying,” said Derek Gordon, Midwest Regional Manager for Graphco, the RMGT Distributor in the Midwest. “This is another example of how RMGT technology and LED-UV curing is revolutionizing what offset printers can do. It’s great to see how easily they can compete with the all-digital printers, and do it for less than the cost of the clicks. This is a great success story, and we can’t wait to see where Terry and John go next — and we are looking forward to helping them get there.”
About Printing Solutions
Centrally located in Lawrence, KS, Printing Solutions is a full-service commercial printer offering a wide range of services and capabilities. Their customizable online ordering system can be setup quickly to allow end users and quick and easy ordering option. Once the order arrives, they have the dedicated staff and equipment needed to help with anything from eCommerce to program management and all the details that are essential to getting your job perfect the first time and every time. Being located in the Midwest, Printing Solutions is an ideal partner for your production and fulfillment needs, as transit times and shipping costs are lower than a facility located on one of the edges of the country. Learn more at www.printing-solutions.com
RMGT is represented in the US and Canada by a group of six authorized sales and service centers that serve commercial printers, offset packaging converters and in-plant printers in North America. This network constitutes the single largest offset press sales and service team in North America. In 2008, RMGT introduced the first LED-UV printing system for sheet-fed offset printing. Today, RMGT continues to apply their technological expertise and creativity for constant innovation, providing the printing industry with meaningful products and services. Learn more about RMGT at www.ryobimhi.com