Building a Graphic Village

Press operator Dave Alfaro inspects a press sheet with pressroom manager John Taylor on work that’s being produced by the printer’s six-color Speedmaster 74 perfector.

Standing with their six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 perfector is the Bramkamp management team of (from the left) Larry Kuhlman, president, and Kevin Murray, vice president and CFO.

In the past year, Bramkamp has made investments throughout its operation, including a Xerox DocuColor 5000 digital press, an upgrade to its Agfa ApogeeX workflow platform and a new Agfa Accento thermal platesetter. The printer also installed Heidelberg’s Prepress Interface for better color control and faster makereadies on its Speedmaster 74.

On the digital end, the company operates the DocuColor 5000, a DocuColor 240, a DocuColor 12, a DocuTech 6100 with interposer, DocuTech 6180, DocuPrint 115MX, as well as an HP 2000CP and two HP 3000CP wide-format printers.

Finishing gear consists of various Polar cutters and Stahl folders, a Baum folder, a six-pocket Muller Martini stitcher with cover feeder, and a range of Kluge diecutters and hot stamping presses. Its mailing operation houses a six-station Bell & Howell inserter and a Kodak Versamark ink-jet system.

“The expansion into digital printing and mailing sparked 15 percent growth from 2008 to 2009,” explains Kuhlman. “Currently, we are experiencing growth through cross-media campaigns that incorporate variable data, personalized URLs and e-mail followup. We have been a two-shift operation for many years.”

The company also produces a wide range of printed products, including sell sheets, brochures, newsletters, annual reports, window decals, static cling and storefront signage, billboard wraps, vinyl banners and outdoor signage.

Last year, Bramkamp posted close to $7 million in sales. With a staff of 44 employees, it boasts more than 200 customers both locally and nationally. Jobs can be submitted by e-mail or through Bramkamp’s Web-to-print system.

Some of the biggest challenges Kuhlman and Murray feel the industry faces today are the Internet’s impact on print media and an overabundance of equipment in the hands of printers that compromise their margins below profitable returns. “Printers are ignoring the variable expenses and complexity of a project and putting customer expectations aside when pricing work,” stresses Murray.

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