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Associated Printing & Services improves quality, profitability with Truepress 344

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Rolling Meadows, Ill. -- Creative thinking is the foundation of Associated Printing & Services, Inc., a family-owned commercial printing firm located in Rutherfordton, N.C.

" 'Printers with Imagination' has been the company's motto since my parents founded it more than 40 years ago," said Eric Wells, owner. "One of our key strengths is the ability to identify unique ways to improve our customers' projects."

To enhance the quality and reduce the cost of short-run color work, Associated Printing installed a Screen Truepress 344 digital offset press.

"The Truepress 344 affords us the opportunity to provide very high quality and low cost on runs under 5,000," Wells said. "The color reproduction is amazing. Makereadies are extremely fast. The press is up and running in 50 to 75 sheets."

Started in 1967 by Eric's parents, Joe and Ginny Wells -- who "still come into the shop every day," according to Eric -- Associated Printing originally operated an AB Dick 350. Today, two-color sheetfeds (a 13 x 19-inch and a 20 x 29-inch model) perform the bulk of Associated Printing's one-color and two-color commercial work.

"We print four-color jobs on the small presses by running the sheets through twice," Wells pointed out. "It isn't that cost-effective on shorter runs. The Truepress 344 will fill the hole in the product mix."

Wells made good use of Print 09 last September to compare the latest digital printing technology.

"We eliminated toner-based systems from consideration because of problems with the toner cracking," Wells said. "We also were concerned about drying and registration issues associated with waterless digital printing. The traditional wet offset method employed by the Truepress was attractive to me as someone who has been around ink-on-paper since he was 8 years old."

With 20 full-time and part-time employees, Associated Printing caters to small to medium-size businesses primarily in the local area. Its client base ranges from manufacturers to health care providers to real estate agencies.

"We do a little bit of everything for everybody, including corporate identity packages, annual reports, marketing materials and business forms, as well as photography and design," Wells said.

Projects under 500 impressions are slated for a Canon copier, although Associated Printing decided to test the Truepress 344 on smaller jobs.

"We ran a 250-piece job on the Truepress 344," Wells said. "When we figured the low sheet waste with the press and factored in the click charges on the copier, the Truepress 344 actually produced the job more cost-effectively."

Wells cited another project in which the two-page Truepress 344 surpassed Associated Printing's four-page conventional press.

"A full-color annual report we print for a hospital consists of 24 8 x 11-inch pages plus covers," he explained. "Compared with the previous year, we were able to turn around the project in the same amount of time, reduce the cost to the end user by 40 percent and still retain our margin."

Adding the Truepress 344 will generate new business for four-color work while positioning Associated Printing to compete with online printing companies.

"There is a lot of competition from online printers," Wells noted. "We are confident we can offer better prices, faster turnarounds and the personalized service of a brick-and-mortar operation."




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