Frederic Printing: The Value of Human Capital

Shown is one of Frederic Printing's two InfoPrint 5000 digital inkjet web presses. This one incorporates Ricoh’s newest dryer technology, which Frederic helped to beta test.

An operator and support staff work at one of Frederic’s two Xerox iGen4 digital presses.

Frederic Printing's Brett Birky (left), vice president, and Chris Greene, president.

The offset and digital technologies exist harmoniously at Frederic, and Greene notes that there is still plenty of volume churning through his offset presses. That it serves a wide range of needs only augments the multi-pronged offering.

Frederic services, among others, the needs of the transactional/compliance, publishing/book manufacturing, direct marketing and multi-unit/franchise verticals. Digitally, its product arsenal features direct mail, documents, photo books and an increasing volume of data-driven personalized financial documents, while providing brochures, booklets, maps, posters and pocket folders on the offset end.

Speaking of digital, Frederic recently reaffirmed its commitment to growth with the acquisition of a second Ricoh InfoPrint 5000 inkjet web press equipped with the extended media dryer option. Its first InfoPrint 5000 was installed four years ago, and joins an HP T300 color inkjet web press and two Xerox iGen4s in a digital department that produces, on average, 100 million images per month.

According to Greene, the InfoPrint 5000 (of which Frederic was a beta site for Ricoh’s new dryer technology) found its genesis through an opportunity to do short-run, high-end textbooks in the custom publishing space. The dryer provided an additional edge in being able to turn quickly on coated stocks; without the dryer, matte and gloss stocks couldn’t be run through the InfoPrint.

With the dryer, Frederic is able to run a good deal of 45-lb. matte coated inkjet work for the textbook segment. It also provides an outlet to do not just 50- and 60-lb. stock destined for #10 envelopes, but 70-lb. matte and gloss stocks for four-color, variable direct mail.

The sweet spot for the InfoPrint is handling large chunks of data and transitioning from substrate to substrate. “It’s been a big benefit on the four-color, variable direct mail side more than on the custom publishing side because we try to keep the publishing textbook work on the HP,” Greene says. “The InfoPrint is super flexible and adaptable. We can go from running uncoated documents to four-color variable PMPs on 70-lb. matte or 70-lb. gloss to 45-lb. matte textbook.”

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