"People warned me that the (polyester plate) wasn't going to have the run length of a metal plate, that there would be slippage on-press and that register could be a bit of a problem," Gajewski notes. "It doesn't slip a bit. I've run more than 75,000 impressions with one set of plates. We run a pretty fine line screen and it holds."
Killing Time, Saving Cash
The move from digital to offset, in light of Trend Graphics' needs, has proven to be a fortuitous choice. Gajewski notes that, previously, it would have taken the digital printer six hours to produce a 1,000-sheet, two-sided 11x17? job, and be saddled with click charges. The Sakurai outputs the same job in under an hour, sans clicks, and just $12 in plates.
The new gear and the addition of a 30-station Duplo bookletmaker have opened a lot of doors for Trend Graphics, paving the way for the aforementioned 35 percent growth. Looking ahead, Bob Gajewski would love to add a five-color, 28? press with coater to his stable. The current workload has justified the addition of a new employee and, at press time, the young company was auditioning a new hire.
"The reason our son and son-in-law are not more involved is we can't afford them yet," Joan Gajewski admits. "Once we meet their salary requirements, I'm sure they'll be happy to come aboard full-time."
In a competitive market such as Chicago, Bob Gajewski needs every edge at his disposal. He's found an angle with paper purchasing, where buying millions of sheets at a time has provided significant savings that is passed on to customers.
While growth is certainly in the plans, Bob Gajewski thinks he sees a comfort level of around $3 million in annual revenues—in spite of his son's promise to some day lead the company to the $50 million range.