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On-Demand Finishing -- One-stop Shops

April 2003
By Erik Cagle


How important is turnaround time in an on-demand, digital printing environment? Moreover, how critical is it to accommodate short-run finishing needs without outsourcing?

Just ask Tom O'Brien, president of Greenville, NC-based AccuCopy, a digital printing operation with annual sales in the $10 million range.

"We are in a fairly remote area, geographically," O'Brien says. "We couldn't afford the time it would take to send jobs out for finishing, given that they would have to travel several hundred miles to make it to the nearest trade bindery."

AccuCopy, which is slated to move into a new 70,000-square-foot facility this spring, utilizes three Xerox DocuTech 6155s and two Heidelberg Digimaster 9110s to complement five Heidelberg Printmaster sheetfed presses, a half-web, a two-color perfector and an envelope press.

AccuCopy also operates a thermography business and a Web-based, online ordering system for its business card clients nationwide.

In-house Philosophy

"We primarily serve printing brokers, although we do have several large in-plant customers," O'Brien states. "We are solutions- and product-oriented, and try to produce jobs entirely in-house. We do quite a bit of looseleaf work, such as documentation, technical catalogs and manuals that include index tab dividers. Our quicktabs division is one of the largest index tab manufacturers in the Southeast."

Headlining the finishing department are a Standard BQ-240 perfect binder for short-run jobs, a Muller Martini perfect binder and Wohlenberg three-knife trimmer. High-speed punches from James Burn and Sickinger allow for Wire-O, plastic coil and GBC binding.

One-, two- and three-tower Standard Horizon MC-8 collators—one with stitching, folding and trimming and another with offset stacking—augment a two-tower Standard Horizon VAC 100 collator with ST-40 stacker, SPF-20 stitcher/folder and FC-20 trimmer.

A Polar 115-EM highlights the company's three paper cutters, along with six drills and rotary scoring equipment. It also boasts foil stamping, diecutting, embossing and laminating capabilities.

"We don't use any in-line bindery equipment. We prefer near-line finishing so that we can take jobs off the presses or laser printers and finish them as a separate step," O'Brien states. "That gives us scheduling flexibility, and higher quality and productivity. We do market ourselves as being able to 'turnkey' entire projects in-house. This gives us a great edge, both cost- and time-wise."

Fast Turnaround

Recently, AccuCopy produced 4,000 copies of a book for one customer. The files arrived on a Thursday morning, and the job required seven tabs, as well as printing, punching, collating and coil binding. The order was filled the same day, with the balance delivered the next day.
 

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