Minors Printing -- Staying Ahead of the Game
"It's definitely a digital world, and we see definite advantages to putting this technology to work for us," states Moretz. "Excellent service helps us keep the customers we've had for years, but it's new technology that will open doors to new business and new markets."
Minors Printing has clearly committed itself to new technology, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of a four-color, 20.5x29˝ KBA 74 Karat digital press. Soon to be the only 29˝ digital waterless offset printing system in the Carolinas or Tennessee, it provides direct imaging on-press, making it especially well suited for the short-run, quick-turnaround jobs that Minor says is a trend that shows no signs of letting up.
"We're also looking at packaging as a potential growth area," says Minor. "Digital printing will enable us to respond to packaging customers that demand high levels of quality, but who also insist on the flexibility necessary to handle small quantities with faster turnaround."
Essential to its growth plans, particularly in terms of increasing trade business, Minors Printing also installed a Vijuk 321-T saddlestitcher in December 2003. According to Minor, the need to enhance this aspect of their finishing operations came to light the previous summer. "I can recall one job of about 60,000 books where finished quality surfaced as a real issue," says Minor. "That's when we started thinking seriously about a saddlestitching system. After looking at what was available, we came to the conclusion that—in terms of cost and performance—the Vijuk machine was the best value for us."
Jon Shelton, production manager, credits the 321-T for substantially streamlining Minors' overall postpress operations. "In the past we were making books at speeds in the neighborhood of 1,200 an hour, which raised quality concerns and often caused bottlenecks in production, especially on longer run jobs." Shelton reports that the new stitcher allows them to run at cycle speeds approaching 8,000 books an hour, while maintaining quality levels he defines as "right on the money."