Solo Continues to Soar
MIAMI—Few commercial offset printers, if any, can lay claim to growing their businesses organically by 45 percent in 2009, let alone up another 60 percent in the first quarter of this year. But that’s what Solo Printing has achieved, as company founders Manny and Jorge Hernandez set their sights on building Solo into a $35 million to $45 million performer.
In celebration of their success—and the 25th anniversary of the company—Solo hosted an open house March 18 for 130 customers, prospects and vendor partners to showcase its 100,000-square-foot facility, which houses a newer six-unit, 38˝ Komori System 38S heatset web press with fully automatic plate changers, in-line aqueous coating, remoist glue, pattern perforator, combination folder and Vits sheeter; an older five-unit King heatset web press; an eight-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster perfector; and its brand-new addition, a six-color, 40˝ Komori LS-640 sheetfed press with aqueous coater. The star attraction in the bindery is Solo’s recently installed Kolbus KM 600 perfect binder.
Manny Hernandez attributes Solo’s ongoing success to the company’s recent investments in highly automated Komori presses, an unwavering emphasis on customer service, as well as Solo’s philosophy of housing a large inventory of paper to secure last-minute jobs. To compete from a pricing standpoint, the operation runs what many printers might consider sheetfed-quality work and run lengths on the Komori System 38S web, due to its fast makeready, low paper waste and precise color control capabilities. Similarly, the new LS-640 sheetfed press has doubled the productivity of an older-model Akiyama press.
The FSC, SFI and PEFC certified printing operation caters primarily to East Coast and Caribbean clientele in the retail, travel, communications and educational testing materials markets.
With no more room to expand their present facility, the Hernandez brothers are currently negotiating to buy a 25,000-square-foot building across the street to house Solo’s mailing and fulfillment operations and its paper inventory. This would free up floor space to acquire the next piece of machinery on their wish list: another new Komori heatset web press.