OPM Looks to Prosper in Digital Book Sector

OPM's Prosper 1000 press with the side panels open.

OPM press operator reviews a proof that was printing on the Prosper 1000 press.

arvato USA/Offset Paperback Manufacturers (OPM), part of the Arvato Print division of Bertelsmann AG, recently held an open house for select industry journalists in conjunction with Kodak. Both the Prosper 1000 (monochrome) and 5000XL (color) digital inkjet web production systems were the main focus of the day, and our group had the opportunity to see live demonstrations of both presses at the company’s printing plant in Laflin, PA.

Since July, OPM’s Prosper 1000 reportedly has been producing books for sale without a single reject. Now, its Prosper 5000XL is set to produce offset-quality, color books for the next book season.

Mitch Weiss, vice president of sales at arvato, explained that the most important advantage of the Prosper Press platform is that it can deliver four-color printing in short runs, offering a continuous workflow.

“Many customers have been forced to go offshore and endure long lead times and pay high unit costs to replenish their four-color inventory,” Weiss asserted. “Kodak presented the Prosper Press into the market at a really good time for our customers.”

One Prosper Press has reportedly replaced three competitive digital presses in OPM’s workflow. So far, the company’s first Prosper has produced about 400,000 books and achieved an uptime of 75 percent, with capacity for producing between 4,800 to 6,000 books per shift. Target run lengths range from 500 to 3,000 books.

While OPM’s work is currently about 94 percent offset, Weiss envisions short-run jobs being produced digitally and sees further opportunities for customized publications. He also expects the Prosper platform to allow the company to enter into additional markets such as healthcare, education enrollment and journals. Weiss likened the Prosper press to a digital warehouse containing libraries of PDF book files that a customer can have output on-demand.

OPM’s operation is profiled in this video produced by Kodak, including interviews with David Liess, president and CEO of arvato Print USA/OPM; and Mitch Weiss, vice president of sales at arvato discussing the Prosper Press platform:

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