Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Printing Impressions HERE
Follow us on

ROSS BINDERY--Cutting in California

March 2001

The threat of roving power outages throughout the state? Not a problem. Fears of an economic slowdown or even a recession? Not a worry for George Jackson, president, and Horst Doerzapf, CEO, of Santa Fe Springs, CA-based Ross Bindery. While many in the printing industry may shy away from making purchases during these trying economic times, Ross Bindery is forging ahead with some big moves.

That fact is verified by Jackson, as he announces Ross Bindery's recent purchase of four new Itoh paper cutting machines, supplied by LDR International. "The need for four new cutters came from our company's desire to keep up with the newest technology," Jackson explains. He felt that the new Itoh machines were desirable due to the computerized technology, speed of production and the paper handling abilities of the equipment. He and Doerzapf also wanted new machinery, not used or revamped equipment, for their trade finishing operation.

"Keeping new technology in the shop at all times keeps quality up for our customers," Jackson contends. The four new Itoh cutters allowed Ross Bindery to retire four older Schneider-Senator models.

The Itoh cutters' double arm knife bar pull, which pulls the knife through from both ends, was one of the selling points for Ross Bindery. Jackson notes this helps bolster the speed of the machine, and allows them to cut larger lifts accurately. All of the operators at Ross picked up on how to use the equipment quickly, he adds.

The fact that four cutters were being installed at one time was unique for LDR International, which reports that one or two cutters are more the norm. But LDR kept it to a three-day affair, prepping and installing the equipment and then spending one day training the operators. LDR personnel then stuck around for another day to make sure there were no problems.

Ross Bindery has had a variety of different cutters through the years, so it knew exactly what it was looking for. The decision was made by Doerzapf to go and talk to LDR, and he struck a deal to first put one cutter on the shop floor for a month-long trial. Operators got to work with the equipment and if the company was satisfied, more units were to come.

"It was a pretty cut-and-dry deal," recalls Jackson. "If we liked it, there were three to follow." Their main considerations were to ensure that the operators were happy with the cutters and that the equipment was reliable. The Itoh cutters came through with flying colors.

Ross Bindery does trade work for commercial printers—a lot of perfect binding, saddle stitching, folding and, obviously, cutting services. Average runs number into the millions, with some jobs requiring dedicated cutting for a few days or up to a week. The faster the equipment, the better it is for the company's bottom line.

"Now, there is less time spent in the cutting department than there was before," says Jackson of the time since the Itoh cutters were installed. "We are able to cut down on overtime, and stay ahead of the cutting work before moving to the folders."

And it would seem to be good timing that the company would choose now to make this kind of installation. "We have two really big seasons here," Jackson explains, "and one of them is coming up now, so we wanted to get the new equipment up and running. We get really busy with annual reports for the next two months." Towards the end of the year, Ross Bindery is busy with considerable work from the automobile industry.

"They are our two biggest times of the year," he continues. "But then we are continually doing a lot of manuals and any other commercial work."

To help keep up with the demanding workload it faces, Ross Bindery not only has added new equipment, including new saddle binding and folding gear, but it also upgraded and moved its facility a year ago. The company moved from City of Commerce, CA, to Santa Fe Springs—an area outside of Los Angeles. Ross Bindery is located close to Interstate 5, giving it easy access to many large southern California printers.

The shop grew from 38,000 square feet to 65,000 square feet after the move. Not only did it double its plant size, but also its volume. Ross Bindery boasts 160 employees, working on two shifts. If history is any indicator, Ross Bindery still is not finished growing.


Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: