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Changes Aplenty at Sandy Alexander

November 1999
CLIFTON, NJ—A $20 million expansion is under way at Sandy Alexander, based here.

The core of the expansion is the installation of two new eight-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CD sheetfed presses with interdeck drying and a double coater capable of combining UV and aqueous coating, running at 15,000 iph.

In addition, the company is installing a new off-line double coating/finishing unit, also manufactured by Heidelberg, and similarly rated at 15,000 iph. (Heidelberg plans to debut this coater at Drupa next May, however, Sandy Alexander will be up and running with it before the end of the year.)

This new coater offers several competitive advantages, including:

  • Ability to coat faster, since it is not necessary to reduce press speeds;

  • Triple coating capability (in combination with new presses);

  • 30 percent or greater gloss levels than conventional in-line coating;

  • Spot coating; and

  • The ability to lay down dispersion metallics.

In the prepress area, Sandy Alexander has expanded its pre-press capabilities in three key areas:

* Computer-to-Plate has been up and running since early last year, and the company has now doubled CTP capacity. By the end of the year, officials expect to be processing up to 80 percent of all prepress work in the CTP environment.

* Sandy Alexander is supporting its CTP workflow by digital proofing. It has used Kodak Approval since last year, and has added the first of five Imation Digital Laser Matchprint systems. This will give a capacity of six all-digital proofing systems.

* Scitex RenderView is a new on-line proofing system that provides for remote content viewing, via the Internet, of various stages of the production process. Specifically, officials say RenderView will allow the company to provide clients the opportunity to immediately view soft proofs directly on their computers. This is an interactive connection that permits the client to make notations, and allows all links in the prepress chain to quickly examine files over the Internet. Sandy Alexander officials believe this will result in reduced production cycle times and afford pre-press cost savings.

The company has also developed and installed a proprietary management information system called SAMS (Sandy Alexander Management System), which electronically links all of its operations—from estimating to invoicing. When fully operational, this system will also allow clients to track the status of any production element for a given job.

In order to facilitate a planned increase in finishing capabilities, the company is proceeding with a 20,000-square-foot addition to its building. The current bindery facility allows Sandy Alexander to service approximately one third of the finishing required for jobs the company prints. With the expansion, it will be able to handle virtually all finishing requirements, short of perfect binding and diecutting.


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