Living the American Dream

Richard Miller started Fineline 28 years ago and today operates out of a 56,000-square-foot facility in Indianapolis, generating more than $12 million a year in sales.

Two Kodak Digimaster 9110s, a Ricoh Pro C900 color digital press and a Fuji Acuity UV flatbed printer round out the firm’s digital printing capabilities. Bindery and direct mail equipment consist of a Halm envelope printing press, various Polar cutters and Stahl folders, two Böwe Bell + Howell inserters and a six-pocket Muller Martini saddlestitcher. A new arrival is an Esko Kongsberg I-cut router for sign and display finishing.

Part of the company’s claim to fame is its distinction as the first lithographic printer in Indiana to be certified by the Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership—and the fourth printer in the nation to be certified by the SGP. Fineline began investigating its green habits around the time the SGP launch was announced in mid-2008, and it became a Beta site printer, providing feedback to the organization and assisting in future development of the program.

The printer has implemented numerous green initiatives, as part of the SGP program and of its own accord. For example, Fineline recycles all of its paper and cardboard waste, printing plates, used shop towels and “nearly everything that can be recycled,” says Miller.

“We reuse, recycle and/or neutralize almost everything used in the printing/manufacturing process. In 2008 alone, we saved about $83,000 via our recycling efforts.”

In addition to its affiliation with the SGP and its extensive recycling efforts, Fineline is also a certified EPA Green Power Partner that purchases and utilizes green energy. It also uses EcoSmart inks from Braden Sutphin. “Green printing is one of our strengths,” says Miller. “The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have also become niches, as we produce Medicaid/Medicare literature and fulfillment, as well as packaging inserts.”

Fineline’s growth over the last few years “has been averaging about 10 percent per year,” Miller reports. “However, over the past two years—with the purchase of the most recent Speedmaster, implementation of an online ordering system, creation of a marketing department, green printing promotions and expansion into promotional products—sales growth in 2007 spiked 20 percent over the previous year. And, in 2008, despite the recession woes and our clients’ printing budgets being frequently cut, sales were 15 percent over 2007,” he asserts.

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