Conway Printing Adds Screen Truepress 344
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Press release from the issuing companyROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. -- Business-savvy printers will embrace technology that allows them to drive volume and make money by giving customers more and better products. Once Conway Printing Co. realized it was outgrowing the ability of its four-color, 20-inch press to meet the requirements of quick-turnaround, high-quality commercial projects, the company began looking beyond traditional lithographic presses.
"After seeing the speed and quality that the Screen Truepress 344 is capable of producing, we decided this would be a valuable investment in our future," said Bill Ferguson, co-owner of the $2 million firm. "As more and more color jobs become commodities because of the Internet and specialty shops, the only way to remain competitive is to produce work faster and more economically. With the Truepress 344, we can make last-minute changes to higher quality materials that will hit the streets or go in the mail the next day."
On-press imaging The Truepress 344 is a two-page, four-color press with a minimum sheet size of 3 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches and a maximum sheet size of 13 1/4 x 18 1/2 inches. The press employs standard offset inks and fountain solution. It prints exceptionally high screen rulings, including Screen's Spekta 2 hybrid screening method, which generates the line screen equivalent of 650 lpi.
No external platemaking is required. The Truepress 344 incorporates processless polyester plates on press and Screen's leading-edge multi-array laser diode imaging technology. All four plates are imaged in precise register in only two minutes.
"One of the reasons we were attracted to the Truepress 344 is the marriage between digital plate imaging and a conventional printing machine that puts ink on paper," Ferguson said. "We know how to print with litho ink, and Screen imaging technology has a good reputation within our organization. The press is so easy to operate that we were printing live jobs after one day of training."
Long on tradition Established in 1894 in Conway, Ark., Conway Printing has experienced six generations of family ownership and operation. Co-owners Bill Ferguson and his brother, John, are the great-great-grandsons of founder John Williamson (J.W.) Robins. Josh Ferguson, John's son, is among Conway Printing's 12 employees.
Conway Printing also enjoys a long history with Screen (USA). The company first purchased a Screen Companica vertical camera in 1990. Conway Printing advanced to a direct-to-film workflow in 1995, adding the Screen Katana two-up imagesetter.
In 2005, the company implemented a fully automated PlateRite 4300 computer-to-plate device and Trueflow 3.0 workflow management system. The PlateRite 4300 outputs high-quality thermal plates for two 19 x 25-inch sheetfed presses (a one-color and a two-color).
Perfect fit The full-service firm prints the whole gamut of commercial projects, from business cards and stationery to booklets, brochures and presentation folders. Most of its work is business-to-business, with a broad base of industrial accounts.
"The Truepress 344 is perfect for what we are trying to achieve as a short-run printer," Ferguson said. "Run lengths will continue to stay low, and customers will be able to buy color on very short runs. If you can't perform as needed, somebody down the street can and will do it. The Truepress 344 really gives us a feeling of confidence. It offers enough flexibility to meet those performance needs."
The Truepress 344 controls the ink density throughout the run based on the image file data for each plate. The TrueFit Advance software scans every sixth sheet at press speed using inline CCD sensors inside the printing press. The data is analyzed against the original calibration, and the ink and water are adjusted automatically.
"Repeatability and consistent color had been challenges with our older equipment," Ferguson said. "The Truepress 344 is taking us to a quality level we have not experienced before. We can come back and nail the color right from the start. The Truepress 344 also accommodates printing that requires higher solids much better than the press it replaced."
More jobs in less time Conway Printing upgraded from Trueflow 3.0 to Trueflow SE ver. 6.0 when it installed the press. Trueflow SE ver. 6.0 automates workflow processes in a hybrid offset/digital printing environment, outputting files to CTP devices, proofers and digital presses. A print-on-demand option allows PDF job submission to the Truepress 344 via the Trueflow hot folder workflow.
"It used to take two people approximately a half-hour to make plates for the four-color litho press offline and up to a half-hour to hang and register the plates," Ferguson noted. "Now imposed source files are sent directly to the press. One operator can complete the entire process in minutes. That really increases our productivity."
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