Hudson Printing: Filling the Mid-Range Void
Hudson Printing has been in business for a half-century. Today, the Macedonia, OH-based operation has 35 employees and produces about $3.5 million to $4 million in annual sales. Despite the economic turmoil, the company grew 20 percent in 2010 and added nine employees.
This general commercial printer also has a large promotions department and offers graphic design services, both of which are geared to helping its customers advertise their businesses. Three small- format ABDick presses; a four- color, 29˝ Komori; and three four-color, 40˝ Harris presses comprise its conventional sheetfed offset production platform. In addition, the company operates both monochrome and color Konica Minolta digital presses.
About two years ago, Hudson moved from a conventional, film-based platemaking process to a computer-to-plate (CTP) workflow and, in early 2010, was looking for a means to more efficiently address requests for print runs in the 5,000 to 25,000 sheet range.
A CTP Wish List
"As you can imagine, our film-based platemaking process was very inefficient and time-consuming," says Al Carrero, president of operations and finance. "It was past time to move into CTP. We were looking for an easy-to-use platesetter, and plates that were cost-effective for the many mid-range runs we produce, but that could also accommodate longer runs when necessary. In addition, we needed plates that would run well on our older presses, which are a lot less forgiving than today's newer presses."
Carrero also realized that today's printing business is a makeready business. "You don't make money off printing these days; you make it off makereadies. We needed to add a fast-makeready solution that could address the fast-growing category of 5,000 to 25,000 counts, which was not profitable to produce using either our digital or conventional offset presses."
As a result of these requirements, Hudson added a Presstek Dimension Pro 800 using Aeon plates, and a Presstek 52DI digital offset press to cover mid-range static runs. These acquisitions rounded out the shop's production platform to meet existing customer needs.