IL-Based Bloomington Offset Process (bopi) Does Much More Than Produce Pocket Folders
While a cornerstone of bopi is its production of pocket folders, to the tune of roughly three million per year, the shop churns out a bevy of saddlestitched products, point-of-purchase (POP), advertising and sales literature collateral materials. A sub-niche for bopi may well be postcards, which incorporate a strong balance of variable data and static content. Its customer bases touches vertical markets ranging from insurance and education to healthcare, financial and agriculture—a popular sector in bopi's back yard.
The pocket folder specialty grew legs in the mid-1990s, according to bopi President and CEO Tom Mercier. The company was farming out a great deal of diecut work, and since there weren't any other providers in bopi's market, Mercier opted to bring the capability in-house. That period, from 1995-2000, saw the printer wear out its check book with the acquisition of two six-color Manroland sheetfed presses, including a perfector; a four-color, half-web press; the diecutter; and a folder/gluer. Color took bopi into a newer, more profitable world, one that provided 15 percent annual growth.
As critical as that capex initiative proved to be from a historical perspective, it was equally important for the executive team to recognize a subsequent crossroad. As the six-color presses grew older, repairs and general maintenance costs began to intensify. Highly reactive UV inks also proved to be a technology that was coming of age, according to Mercier.
"We wanted to leap ahead of the competition and, to do that, we determined that the perfect piece of equipment would be a four-over-four press with coater which best utilizes that HR-UV technology," Mercier says. "We spent 18 months investigating the pros and cons of each piece of equipment from all of the manufacturers."
Camera System Ensures Quality Output
The ideal fit for bopi proved to be an eight-color, 40˝ KBA Rapida 106 sheetfed HR-UV perfector. Among its most desirable features, notes Jeff Mercier, director of operations, is a strong perfecting unit with a quality sheet transfer. "Its camera system also provided some significant ROI based on what we had previously done in the past, as well as the ability to run at 18,000 sheets per hour," he says, referencing the video system, which monitors ink density plus sheet travel below the perfecting drum and in the delivery.