EPG Helps Western Web Thrive on a Healthy Dose of Short Runs

CENTERBROOK, CT—March 6, 2012—EPG’s KeyColor ink key control system and AutoSet presetting have helped Samoa, CA-based Western Web, a coldset web printer, beat the odds and thrive during the economic downturn.

According to Steve Jackson, industry veteran and co-owner and president of Western Web, EPG systems have enabled the company to grow new business, especially among short-run customers, produce a high-quality finished product, and slash makeready time by 80 percent in comparison with the amount of time that manual adjustment of ink keys takes.

In addition, the EPG systems allow the company to cut paper waste by half. “People today are extremely cost-conscious, but they still want quality,” says Jackson. “The solution is found at the point where the customer’s desire to save money and improved web-printing quality intersect. Our EPG KeyColor equipment allows us to do short-run work and focus our attention on helping the traditional sheetfed customer migrate to high-quality web printing.”

Western Web, founded in 2010, has its roots in a local-newspaper publishing business that was started in 2005. When that business closed in 2008 under the strain of the economic downturn, Jackson took the helm and refocused the company on increasing the number of short runs, which ultimately had a significant impact on its bottom line.

Today, the company operates five days a week on two shifts, employs 20 people, and prints between 100,000 and 200,000 impressions a day on its four Tensor four-high towers equipped with 32 fountains. Newspapers, including the award-winning San Francisco Bay Guardian, remain an important part of its product mix, as are local and national city- and event-guides, calendars, maps, marketing materials, brochures and annual reports.

Jack Davis, co-owner and vice president, who oversees production, is especially appreciative of the KeyColor AutoSet presetting capabilities. “It’s always fun for me during the start-up of a job to see the second operator take a paper off the delivery, go over to the color console, open to a spread, look at it to adjust the color, and then do nothing, because the ink presets have done their job. The ability of the program to preset for different substrates has really made the difference in the small-run market,” he says.

Jackson concurs. “Reducing start-up waste at any time is important, but it’s absolutely essential for short runs. Otherwise, waste is a much larger portion of your total costs. EPG systems are always good, but for us they really shine with short runs.”