Industry Innovation in Action: A Look at Fenske Media in Rapid City, S.D.
A shop that transitions from conventional to digital printing has to make the same kind of transition in finishing — otherwise, the advantages of speed and flexibility offered by digital production will be lost. At Fenske Media, where 90% of the volume consists of digitally printed direct mail, a pair of Kodak Prosper 6000 continuous-feed production inkjet presses can turn out work in volumes from 50,000 copies all the way to 5 million. With this kind of capacity, explains Dave Fenske, president of the Rapid City, S.D., company, it’s crucial to have a two-step, print-then-finish workflow that is both continuous and touch-free.
He achieves it with the help of modular finishing equipment from MBO and its subsidiary Herzog + Heymann. “Modular” means that the components can be moved into place on the finishing line to suit the specific requirements of the job being processed. As jobs change, devices can be swapped out to meet the finishing parameters of whatever is next in the queue.
In this way, says Fenske, he can take a printed roll, unwind and sheet it and then give the sheets the “origami” they need: perforating, diecutting, foiling, folding and gluing in a complete sequence that commences as soon as the roll starts to unwind — with one operator controlling all of the finishing steps.
What’s innovative about this customizable, 1:1 postpress workflow is the way it puts finishing on the same level as the inkjet printing in terms of value-adding digital efficiency. Fenske adds that by compressing the time frame from print to finished, mail-ready product, Fenske Media improves its ability to deliver personalized combinations of data, images and text at the precise “consumer moments” that his customers want to take advantage of.
Marketing with data-driven direct mail, he notes, is “like picking a pear:” the personalized content, like the fruit, is time-sensitive and doesn’t stay appealing for long. A finishing workflow that’s as nimble as the presswork helps to ensure that the timing will be right and the result will be a productive response from a pleased recipient.