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The Printing Image--An Efficient Image

February 1998
What's Noticeably hot in Miami these days—besides the weather—is The Printing Image, an eight-year-old commercial printing company that has grown and matured into the new, emerging ranks of mid-size printers.

Mid-size printers are increasing in numbers throughout the United States as small shops begin taking on more complex, higher-volume offset jobs. To cost-effectively meet their increased volume needs, new equipment and materials—such as SonaPrint ink from Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America are being offered.

A Little Bit of Everything
Founded in 1989 in Miami, The Printing Image offers a complete range of printing—from business stationery and folders to full-color brochures and high-impact direct mail. The printing company serves a roster of distinguished customers including Levi-Strauss, Bank of America and French Fragrance, to name a few. It produces high-quality jobs on three Ryobi sheetfed presses.

"As a middle-size printer, we are now running larger jobs at faster speeds within shorter lead times. This higher output gave us a whole new set of growing pains," explains Joe Regenstein, president of The Printing Image. "Essentially, running faster means that we have more at risk every second. Each minute on press must deliver more quality impressions with virtually no waste."

"While it was important to fine tune our presses to achieve high-quality jobs consistently throughout longer runs, we also realized it was necessary to look for more cost-effective inks that are formulated for printers of our size," Regenstein continues.

"We needed inks that would set up quickly, lay down consistently and produce vivid color for both complex, multicolor jobs and standard, single color runs."

To this end, The Printing Image began using Van Son Holland's Sona-Print, a new ink specially engineered for mid-size printers. The new ink is said to not only exceed high-quality expectations but also reduce total systems costs. Furthermore, it is available at prices comparable to ordinary printing inks.

"The new inks are priced competitively in all PANTONE Basic Colors, a balanced set of Process Inks and an Intense, all-purpose black," Regenstein notes. "In addition, they are even packaged in specially sized 2.2-pound vacuum-sealed cans to better support our volume requirements."

A Hot Innovation
Severe heat and humidity can seriously affect a printer's ability to produce quality products, particularly as volumes and printing speeds increase. These conditions can also delay jobs by extending drying times and decreasing throughput, which, in turn, affect profitability.

"Although weather conditions in Florida may hamper ink performance, SonaPrint proved to be an exception. We found that the new ink can safely stay open on press and in the shop, all day, without drying up like other inks," he says. "Plus it lays down beautifully and dries very quickly."

SonaPrint's drying capabilities and user-friendly characteristics led to a considerable increase in production at The Printing Image.

Traditionally, after printing multicolor jobs, a full day was required for inks to dry before cutting, folding and commencing other finishing applications.

"However, the new ink now permits us to run jobs through our presses and then back them up immediately," confirms Regenstein. "Drying downtime has been virtually eliminated, which gives us a 24-hour competitive edge."

Intense Color
As with all Van Son Holland inks, the new SonaPrint line is milled internally from its own dry color and varnish. This process supports more intense colors with greater batch-to-batch consistency. Van Son additionally claims that SonaPrint also features minimal dot gain, high gloss levels, fast setting speeds, consistent trapping and excellent rub resistance.

The secret to SonaPrint's success is a unique varnish property developed and produced exclusively by Van Son Holland specialists. The new varnish supports less water pick-up, greater color density and longer mileage. It dries to a high gloss on coated stock and boasts excellent rub resistance on any stock.

In particular, The Printing Image has had much success implementing the new ink's "reflex blue" color. "Sometimes it is difficult to achieve reflex blue color consistency throughout an entire run," Regenstein assesses.

"However, we found that SonaPrint worked effortlessly, right out of the can, without any special preparation or additives."

"To meet our customers' quantity and quality needs," he affirms, "it's important to enhance the performance of our inks and other materials as well as our equipment and accessories."
 

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