UBS Printing Group -- Forging New Paths
Hamrick also claims to be the only commercial printer doing "stay-flat" book binding. The printer developed a "stay-flat" book binding process that attaches a paper-reinforced open-back spine, which allows books to lie open for ease of use. UBS obtained a Wohlenberg perfect binder and Ashdown, a printing veteran of more than 25 years, tweaked it to perform UBS' binding process. "We did things that the perfect binder manufacturer said couldn't be done on its machine," Hamrick points out. "They're asking us how we did it."
The decision to diversify, primarily into package printing, fed into that need to be more creative—to do things a little differently and to not follow the beaten path.
"The packaging world is truly innovative—it's all about ideas, ideas, ideas," he says. "Customers expect you to have the experience to look at what they're trying to package and know how to do it. That means keeping an open mind and being creative. You have to listen and react to the client's needs, as opposed to installing a press and just going out and selling press time for it.
"When we go out to an account, we say as little as possible in order to really learn what they need. My sales reps don't go in just to sell a job. We desire contract printing and we want them to know that we can print just about anything they might throw at us. The overall customer mindset over the past five years has been to eliminate vendors. We're one supplier that usually doesn't get eliminated, primarily because we can do so many things."
KBA North America spoke to UBS Printing's needs with the trio of Rapida presses. More specifically, the hardware was the answer to UBS' diversification demands for printing on board stocks, plastics and paper. In doing both package and commercial work, substrates can range from 60-lb. book to 48-pt. board stocks. Hamrick points out that his company does a fair amount of five-over-one printing on board stock for blister packs and clamshell inserts, which can become tricky when graduating into the 20-pt. weights.