Custom ink mixing in vogue at Rapid Impressions
Monday, January 12, 2009
Press release from the issuing companyGurnee, IL – January 8, 2009 - Rapid Impressions has come a long way during its 40-year history in the near western suburbs of Chicago. It began as a quick print shop doing short run, single color work for local businesses in 1969. Today it handles offset and digital projects – some more complex than others – for regional and national accounts, ranging from one to nine colors. To get that kind of workload out the door at both of its locations, they turn things around quickly in the ink department by relying on GFI Innovation's Mx6 Ink Formulation Dispenser.
The Broadview, Illinois, company began using the dispensing system in April, 2007, and continues to be rewarded for their decision. The flexibility of the machine, combined with outstanding features, allow for greater autonomy within the operation. Getting projects finished quicker with minimal prep time and having consistent results from one job to the next is making a huge difference.
"We were always looking at ways to reduce our ink costs," recalls pressroom supervisor Dennis Figg, who started with the company in 1995. "Our COO, Jim Kosowski, first looked at another dispenser that used bags of ink. We saw the Mx6 at Graph Expo '06 and thought it was right down our alley. We later took a trip up to GFI's headquarters in Gurnee and tried it out. Our only concern up to that point was accuracy, but it has not been an issue."
The Mx6 Ink Formulation Dispenser is ideal for printers who want to do spot-color quicker and more accurately. Most printers typically mix between one and five pounds of ink, but Rapid Impressions is not your typical printer.
"We use it every day and seldom mix anything less than four pounds," Figg said. "We do have some jobs where we only need a pound of ink but depending on the jobs we have lined up, I'll make 60 or 70-pound batches at the same time."
Printers often remark about the Mx6's color consistency. You can count Figg among that fraternity.
"From batch to batch, the mix is always consistent and that's important to our operation," Figg said. "It isn't so much the cost savings of mixing the ink in-house, but more about having control over mixing it when we need it. At times we will have a job come through and at the last minute the job will change. The Mx6 gives me that extra cushion so we can mix at the last minute when we need to."
At Rapid Impressions, they use both conventional and UV inks and print on everything from plastic to metallic. Figg purchased remote software so he could run the machine from his desk but stressed that its operation is very simple.
"Anyone can run this dispenser. Our small press operator mixes 90 percent of the ink. He logs into the machine when he comes in, simply places a can on the scale to start the mix and then he can begin his make ready on the press. The Mx6 will dispense the correct formula and then wait for the next mix. Everyone from the pressmen to floor help can mix ink and have the color match perfectly, batch to batch. We even had a customer service representative or two mix a color at one time or another."
Remembering what it was like before he had the Mx6, Figg brought up some interesting points.
"Consistency for me is a priority and the machine will do the job every time. It also helps to have a good ink vendor," Figg said. "Our long runs, where we make multiple batches, are always perfect. Another thing I like about this machine is the scale is very accurate. It measures within .001 compared to our old scale that was .005. The window is very narrow and that takes another variable away from the process. We will begin using the work-off feature this month and I am very optimistic that I can bring my inventory down 50 percent in the first six months of 2009."
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