PA Printer Pacemaker Press Invests in New Facility, Additional Employees

 In an effort to further expands its business, Pacemaker Press, a full-service commercial web printing company based here, has invested $2.5 million-plus in a new facility in Wharf Road Industrial Park in Washington Township, PA, reported The Record Herald.

“We anticipate a start-up time for the Wharf Road facility of mid to late December and are hoping the contractor can break ground for the new building by late August,” Matt Whitney, president of Pacemaker Press, told The Herald.

Along with the expansion into a new facility, Pacemaker will also be adding four to six jobs and up to 39 possible jobs over a period of three years.

According to the newspaper, Whitney noted that the expansion was possible due to the receipt of $78,000 through job creation tax credits and an additional $125,000 through the Pennsylvania First Program.

Xanté Introduces the Ilumina Heavyweight Champion Digital Print System with Ultra-Thick Capabilities

Xanté is excited to announce the release of its newest print system: The Ilumina Heavyweight Champion Digital Print System. The system features ultra-thick printing capabilities (up to 500gsm/24-pt.) so customers can go digital and expand their media options and print services. It can print heavy stock brochures, vinyl, synthetic paper, cards, magnetic media or textured stocks on sheet sizes from 3×5″(76mmx127mm) up to 13×52″ (330mmx1,321mm). This complete multi-media solution allows users to extend their printing services to include product packaging, POP displays, file folders, table tents, book covers, presentation folders, oversized banners and much more.

The Ilumina Heavyweight Champion Digital Print System features a color combination process that utilizes LED printheads, HD microfine toner, and Single Pass Color technology. This process yields sharp images and more saturated colors with an LED mechanism that provides greater performance and reliability for users.

The Ilumina Heavyweight Digital Print System is driven by the iQueue Prepress Workflow. iQueue users can enjoy a wide range of features such as Pantone spot color matching, independent CMYK control, full imposition, variable data, barcode generation, job cost estimating and more.

Xanté will be exhibiting the Ilumina Heavyweight Champion Digital Print System at GRAPH EXPO (Sept. 28- Oct. 1) in Chicago. Attendees are encouraged to join Xanté at Booth 431 to see the new Ilumina Heavyweight Champion Digital Print System and iQueue Prepress Workflow in action.

Will Adopting 3-D Printing Remedy the United States Postal Service’s Financial Troubles?

Earlier this week, Amazon announced that it would begin to sell and ship out customizable, 3-D-printed products—some of which are in truth just slightly customizable, and most of which are fairly costly. The appeal of what seems to be the initiative’s flagship product—a $30, made-to-order bobblehead that can take 10 days to reach your doorstep—stems primarily from the fact that it came from a 3-D printer. But that meager appeal seems spurious, as these products will be manufactured out of view of consumers.

But even if there are impractical aspects ($30? 10 days?) of Amazon’s new enterprise, they’re likely to be ironed out in time, and it’s clear that the retail behemoth’s adoption of the 3-D-printing model represents another step toward shorter shipping times: If companies can print products quickly at shipping centers, they don’t need much of an inventory, and they can ship them out to nearby consumers right away. Amazon is just the most recent in a long line of businesses to angle itself toward this predicted future of manufacturing—a line long enough to include, it turns out, even old-school institutions like the United States Postal Service.

Does the USPS stand to gain from 3-D printing? That’s the question the agency sought to answer in a report it commissioned, published earlier this month, that explored the effects of 3-D printing on the distribution of physical packages. The highly speculative report is peppered with coulds: 3-D printing “could have major implications for everyone along existing supply chains”; it “could lead to more single-item parcels being shipped to consumers over shorter distances.” But the report’s central could is this: “The Postal Service could benefit tremendously from the rise of 3-D printing.”

The logic makes sense, at least in the vacuum of the report. 3-D printing, the report predicts, will either be done mainly in people’s homes or at nearby printing centers. The plausibility of the first scenario is (wisely) ruled out, given the high fixed costs of buying a printer and stocking up on a variety of materials; the vision of people printing objects at home might be realized, but it probably won’t be as common as most people think. But the prediction that products will be printed close to where consumers live sounds reasonable.

So if all these custom-made products are being manufactured a couple of miles from consumers’ homes, how do they ultimately arrive on their doorsteps? The USPS, whose network currently includes 153 million addresses in the U.S., covers a ton of ground. It reasons that it could be the one to ferry all those bobbleheads from the printing center to people’s homes. The report projects that this increased package volume would produce about $500 million in new revenue each year—an amount of money that the ailing agency is in no position to sneeze at.

The report has some other ideas, too. Maybe 3-D printing companies seeking competitive delivery speeds will choose to set up shop near existing USPS shipping nodes. Maybe those companies would be interested in occupying some of the more than 60 million square feet of unused floor space the USPS has, much of it in its processing centers. The report labels these opportunities “win-win,” but since we’re talking about the USPS, the formulation is probably more like “win-not-lose-millions-of-dollars.”

It’s hard to say where exactly on the spectrum of “Wouldn’t it be awesome?” to “Let’s do this” this report falls. The French postal service La Poste partnered with the 3-D printing service Sculpteo last fall, and claims the partnership has increased foot traffic at its offices. That said, some of the USPS’s dreams—like creating a “trusted online marketplace for transmission of designs” that’s impervious to copyright infringement—sound too hopeful coming from the agency that got blindsided by email.

Matthew Hersch, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says that the USPS actually has a history of conforming to a changing nation. “Improvements like Rural Free Delivery and Parcel Post,” he said in an email, “enabled it to serve more disparate users and carry more diverse materials.”

But those adaptations, Hersch points out, played to the agency’s fortes. “When it comes to new electronic technologies, the Postal Service has struggled. Experiments with online bill-paying over a decade ago were unsuccessful, and the rise of email reduced the volume of personal and business mail,” he said. Given that, Hersch has a hard time seeing how the USPS could capitalize on a technology that’s changing so quickly.

Even if the USPS could act nimbly enough to take advantage of this technology, it’s probably the case that the additional revenue wouldn’t be a cure-all. A post from the Brookings Institution broke down the numbers, noting that the agency lost nearly $5 billion last year. Even the most generous revenue projections under the report’s most unlikely scenario, Brookings points out, would only cover about a third of its annual losses.

Near the end of the report’s introductory section, its authors muse, “Who will win from a 3-D printing revolution and who will lose? By embracing this groundbreaking technology, the Postal Service could put a compelling 21st century twist on its historical mission to serve citizens and facilitate commerce.” Could, yes, but probably won’t.

Modern Litho Ensures Continued Growth with High-Speed KH-82 Stahlfolder

Since installing a high-performance, pallet-fed Stahlfolder KH-82 combination folding system from Heidelberg earlier this year, Modern LithoOpens in a new window based in Jefferson City, MO, has enjoyed a folding department free of bottlenecks, together with substantially increased speeds in folding signature work. It is the second U.S. installation of Heidelberg’s ultra-fast, ultra-flexible signature-folding machine, as well as the second to be equipped with Heidelberg’s high-speed, PFX pallet feeder, recipient of a 2014 InterTechTM Technology Award from Printing Industries of America.

High-Speed Hand-Off
“The new KH folder is a good match for our eight- and five-color Speedmaster XL 105 presses, giving us the folding capacity to continue to grow,” said Darrell Moore, company president. “The PFX pallet feeder is easier on our employees working a 12-hour shift because it eliminates the need for the manual handling of printed pallets, significantly lowering the risk of repetitive strain injuries to the hands and back.”

Added Director of Production Todd Bone, “The new system takes pallets directly from the press so operators can focus on count accuracy and the quality of the fold. It also has greatly increased our folding capacity, providing more stability and predictability during the folding process.”

Thanks to the addition of an automated third cross-fold unit, the company has been able to re-introduce 32-page signature folding. This saves time folding large books, reduces the number of pockets needed on the perfect binder, and enables one-pass production, cutting overall folding time in half. An operator-friendly, TSH-70 Twinstacker two-level vertical stacking unit detects and removes defective sheets, while promoting mark-free delivery. Modern Litho’s folding speeds have increased from, 8500 to 11,000 sph on 16-page signatures, and from 6000-10,000 for 32-page work.

Fast, Stable, Cost-Effective
The Stahlfolder KH-82 is a signature-folding machine that dependably supports the user in meeting a huge range of production requirements, from signatures for saddle stitching to perfect bound books to commercial jobs of all sizes with top-quality results. Efficient automation accelerates makeready to boost output. Ergonomic control systems effectively support the user from start to finish. Complete integration in the production line and management workflow makes job handling more transparent. Once captured or defined, production data can be used throughout the process, tapping additional potential for savings while making production more reliable.

The PFX feeder can boost a folding machine’s output by at least 50 percent compared with conventional cross-fold production. Despite this much higher output, the entire unit still operates at the same machine speed, ensuring precise folding quality and stable production conditions. The new feeder works along the same lines as a press feeder. It separates sheets on the pallet and transports them onto the feed table in a shingled stream, where they are reliably aligned by the feeder’s vacuum feed table, a prerequisite for processing more sheets in the same amount of time. Such stable operation would not be possible with conventional feed tables.

“Our longtime partnership with Heidelberg and satisfaction with the customer service we receive gave us the confidence to move ahead with a purchase of this magnitude,” Moore said. “We value that relationship and are excited to see where it takes us in the future.”

Positioned for Growth
Within the past 12 months, Modern Litho also took delivery of a Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH-82, now housed in a recently completed, 23,000-square-foot expansion of the company’s Jefferson City facility, alongside a POLAR 137XT with jogger, Transomat stacker and lift—a duplicate of an existing system. Built in anticipation of continued growth, Moore said, the new space already boasts a separate workflow, and is equipped to support commercial printing projects that are neither stitched nor perfect bound. In anticipation of future press needs, Heidelberg assisted in the design of a press pad in the new addition to accommodate Modern Litho’s next press purchase.

Modern Litho is a Certified Women Business Enterprise holding FSC and SFI Chain-of-Custody Certifications and the G7 Master Printer Qualification. It is also a member of the EPA Green Power Partnership, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, National Association for Print Leadership, and Printing Industries of America. The Missouri-based Modern Litho Family of Companies includes Modern Litho and Brown Printing (Jefferson City), and Midtown (St. Louis), which together offer a complementary array commercial and digital print, mail and distribution capabilities.

KBA Announces Boost in Printing Press Sales in Midwest in Commercial, Trade, Packaging Segments

Standing next to Imagine! Print Solution’s six-color, 41″ KBA Rapida 105 press with UV are, from left: John Mack Jr., director of pressroom training and development; Mauro Gonzalez Pereguera, press feeder; Pat Freundschuh, pressroom supervisor; Paul Rulli, press operator; and Mike McLaughlin, vice president of manufacturing.

DALLAS—July 30, 2014—KBA North America is pleased to announce an explosion of printing press sales in the Midwest among some of the printers in the commercial, trade, and packaging industry. Many of these customers are long-time loyal devotees that are adding KBA presses for capacity reasons; others are new KBA customers that switched press manufacturers.

“We are pleased to partner with many outstanding printing firms located in the Midwest and provide them with KBA’s high-quality printing presses,” said Soren Larsen, senior vice president of sheetfed sales for KBA North America. “We pride ourselves on cementing strong partnerships with existing and new customers. These distinct firms all have the common theme of growth during challenging times. Each firm is successful due to its strong customer-orientated approach and overall commitment to excellence in the market segments they serve.

Larsen continued: “KBA has developed long-lasting relationships with each of them over many years, providing them with unique solutions of new highly automated equipment that has expanded their operational capabilities. I applaud our Midwest KBA sales team in this area for this outstanding achievement: Steve Korn, Doug Whitacre and Greg Schiefelbein, each truly partners with their customers to ensure they will have differentiating factors to make their companies stand out.”

These Midwestern KBA customers are an array of commercial and packaging firms displaying a competitive edge to produce jobs better, quicker, and more profitably. A few of them include The Garvey Group, Imagine! Print Solutions, Tempt In-Store Productions (a Quad/Graphics co.), CPI Card Group, BOPI (Bloomington Offset Process), Phillips Litho, Printco, and Multi-Packaging Solutions.
This summer, Tempt In-Store Productions, a Quad/Graphics company, will be installing a new KBA Rapida 205, the world’s largest sheetfed press, at its New Berlin, WI, facility. “At Tempt we are committed to using the highest level of technology in order to minimize cost and turnaround time for our customers,” said Mike Draver, president of Tempt. “We are serious about providing the broadest range of in-store marketing solutions that help retailers and marketers achieve their business goals.”

Recently, Imagine! Print Solutions, North America’s prominent independent commercial and packaging printing company, installed a new six-color, 41″ KBA Rapida 105 press with UV making it the firm’s seventh KBA press.

“We are continually taking the pulse of our customers and asking them how we are doing,” explained Bob Lothenbach, founder and president of Imagine! Print Solutions, headquartered in Minneapolis. “Our customers look to us to provide solutions and creative thinking to help sell their products. Ultimately that is what we do as a company. When we began to receive many new UV projects in packaging, we decided to invest in a new press. We wanted to add capacity for several customer requirements. Our print buyer customers, like everyone else, are looking for higher quality and faster throughput.”

He continued: “We can offer these things in combination, not one or the other, with the new KBA press. We have long been a KBA partner with the purchase of the first six-color, 81″ Rapida 205 press in North America. Since then we have added several additional KBA presses to maintain the quality level and provide us with the best possible performance from our litho department. KBA has been our press partner for several years. Their commitment to our market and sheet size requirements is what sets KBA apart from its competition.”

In March 2014, CPI Card Group, a global leader in financial, commercial and identification card production and related services, invested in a new eight-color, 41″ KBA Rapida 105 press—its second from KBA in a one year span. The new eight-color press, delivered in the spring of 2014, joins a one-year-old seven-color, 41″ KBA Rapida 105 UV-equipped sheetfed press with tower coater and plastics package, which was installed in May 2012 at CPI’s Roseville, MN, facility.

“Earlier this year, management at CPI Card Group began to reassess our press capacity,” noted Paul Boge, general manager of U.S. prepaid debit market for CPI Card Group. “After consulting with KBA, the decision was made to purchase a second press from KBA to match the extraordinary capabilities and production of our first seven-color press. Equipped with the same features, we believe this second press will provide us with 30 percent additional capacity, quicker makeready, and higher throughput. We’ve added an eighth unit on this press for two reasons: to produce our secure cards in one pass and provide flexibility to our customers who require more colors.”

In August 2014, BOPI, one of the Midwest’s most respected providers of print, mail, and E-commerce solutions located in Bloomington, IL, will see the arrival of its new eight-color, 41″ KBA Rapida 106 perfector press. “We did our due diligence and inspected all three press manufacturers,” said Tom Mercier, president of BOPI, “but KBA had it all.” He continued “We first saw the Rapida 106 in action at a printer in Des Moines then we went to Germany. What we saw in Germany at the KBA factory was quite impressive. With KBA, we were able to get the exact press that will not only fit our needs today but well into the future. KBA has the press speed and quick make-ready all tied together with UV capabilities to make it the best choice. This is the best investment for our company.”

The Garvey Group, a network of advertising, marketing, print production, and fulfillment services based in the Chicago suburb of Niles, IL, added its eighth KBA press in 2013—a new six-color, 64″ Rapida 162a press with UV curing—at its Niles, IL, facility.

“In response to continuing growth and demand for labels and top sheets, The Garvey Group invested in a new six-color, 64″ KBA 162a press with UV curing. We are seeing positive signs from our customer base,” said Ed Garvey, owner and president of The Garvey Group. He continued “and this acquisition reinforces our commitment to serving our clients with the best people and the best equipment. This acquisition also answered capacity needs due to a growing customer base and increasing sales volume. The demand for our product continues to grow and the technology advancements that KBA has made to its latest-generation 64″ UV press made this an easy decision. With two 81″ KBA Rapida 205 presses and a 56″ KBA Rapida 142 press already in our Niles facility, the addition of a KBA Rapida 162a 64″ UV press gives us the flexibility to have even greater speed to market and unprecedented redundancy and allows us to expand the capacity of large-format production at The Garvey Group.”

Philipp Lithographing Company, a leading ultra-high-quality large-format printer based in Grafton, WI, added its third large-format KBA press to its arsenal—a new six-color, 57″ Rapida 145 press—beside its existing 81″ KBA Rapida 205 and 64″ Rapida 162A on the pressroom floor.

“Having been in business for nearly 100 years, we have built an excellent reputation as a dependable, ultra-high-quality, fast-turnaround firm with superior value-added service,” said Peter Buening, president and CEO of Philipp Litho. “Our customers like to give us challenging jobs because they know we can handle them. To continue to maintain this level of service, we decided to invest in a new large-format KBA press to produce our existing work faster and more efficiently and to open up our capacity to allow for even more throughput.”

Printco Graphics, one of the Midwest’s premier sheetfed printers, strengthened its growth trajectory by adding a new five-color, 41″ KBA Rapida 105 press with coater and UV to its 78,000-square-foot facility in Omaha, NE. “We strive to offer services and products to improve our client’s experience,” noted Larry Reding, president of Printco. “Our goal is to be more unique and efficient to better serve our customers. Our new KBA Rapida 105 is two times faster than our current presses. Plus, we’ve added UV ink as a capability on the press. We have a great track record with our KBA presses. We used to use a competitor’s presses but ever since we switched to KBA, we’ve forged a strong partnership between our two companies that has been critical for our success. The communication and customer service that KBA provides are both huge positives in our relationship.”

Multi Packaging Solutions, a leader in the packaging industry serving the multi-media, cosmetics, healthcare, horticulture, and value added consumer markets, has installed a new specially-configured KBA Rapida press with full automation for its board packaging and plastic printing at its facility in Indianapolis. The new press, dubbed the makeready world champion for its fast speed, raises the bar in productivity, production flexibility and automation. The high production speed and ultra-short makeready times are expanding the company’s capabilities while helping to dramatically lower its overall costs.