Spectrum Printing Aims High with New Speedmaster 74 from HeidelbergMarch 20, 2013
Spectrum operates with 41 employees out of a 20,000-square-foot facility in Rockville, MD. Clients include associations, nonprofits, schools, religious organizations, and small-to-mid-sized businesses in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Prior to the installation of the new Speedmaster 74, the company’s workhorse press was a 1998 half-size perfecting model that lacked computer control.
“We did great work. We have great people, a strong work ethic, and a reputation for terrific customer service,” said Andrew Berman, company president, “but we weren’t always competitive in our market space. We needed automation for improved consistent quality, greater productivity, and quicker turnaround and delivery to our customers. The new press gives us all that while enabling us to meet the growing demand for five-color printing.”
Living Up to Its Name
Since its founding as a copy shop in 1993, Spectrum has grown by leaps and bounds to become the full-service commercial printing operation it is today. That growth has come largely as the result of a series of strategic acquisitions over the past 12 years that enabled the company to relocate and expand its physical plant, diversify and upgrade its equipment, increase the size of its workforce, and add services like five-color offset and digital printing, copying, full bindery, mailing, and fulfillment.
“We wanted to horizontally integrate our offerings in order to offer a full spectrum of services to our customers,” Berman noted. By the same token, “We also favor dealing as much as possible with Heidelberg as a single source provider.” Accordingly, the company also installed a Suprasetter Chemfree thermal CtP device with inline punching from Heidelberg, and has begun using Saphira Chemfree plates, pressroom chemistry, and inks.
“We felt that the long-term benefits of the purchase of a new Heidelberg far outweighed the cost of buying less than the most efficient, most productive press we could find,” a decision that would have placed the company at a serious competitive disadvantage, Berman explained. “In our experience, printers either have a Heidelberg and make a point to mention it, or they don’t have a Heidelberg and won’t talk about whatever press they run. That speaks volumes to us.” Besides, he added, “It would be foolish not to give our craftsmen the best tools they need to create a better, more consistent product for our customers.”
Among the benefits that have enabled Spectrum to produce work more cost-effectively in the marketplace it serves, Berman cites faster makereadies with associated savings in time and paper; lower power consumption; aqueous coating for special effects and fast turnarounds; and built-in redundancy during crunch times.
Berman also added that the company's quality is exponentially better thanks to Prinect Axis Control, which efficiently detects color variations during the run, and Prinect Prepress Interface, which starts up the press at 95 percent accuracy. “Automation like this enables our pressmen to operate within the limits of their craft with the best tools available. Having five-color capability is really cool. We can easily add a corporate color, metallic or a double hit of another color for extra pop.”
“Yes” Instead of “Yes, But”
Now, Spectrum confidently delivers what Berman feels is the best quality product produced on the best press available, and backs up itsnewly enhanced capabilities with excellent customer service.
“Not only have we gone from acceptable quality to exceptional quality, but we also can provide it faster,” noted Berman. “In terms of customer service, it means we can keep our promises to the customer without qualification because the process is within our control. Quality drives service.”
According to Berman, the experience of installing the new Speedmaster 74 has shown Spectrum that Heidelberg has the most knowledgeable people and the most capable equipment and training. “Buying new from Heidelberg has enabled us to take advantage of Heidelberg’s technical expertise and learn best practices from the finest in the business.”
On a lighter note he relays, “We learned that there’s the right way to do things, the wrong way, and the Heidelberg way. We chose the latter.”