While shopping for a new digital press, Winchester Printers (Winchester, VA) set its sights on a machine that would enable the company to get more done more quickly, with less maintenance, lower click charges, and more uptime than its previous machine. Its eventual choice was a Heidelberg-supplied Ricoh Pro C901 with inline saddlestitcher and color management via Prinect Color Toolbox, which not only lends the company consistent color consistency from job to job, but also puts the operation on a sustainable path in terms of click charges, monthly maintenance and other costs.
“Our overhead used to be a killer; we had to charge so much on longer runs to stay profitable that we couldn’t compete effectively,” said Chris Hottle, vice president. “Are there a few unique applications we used to do that we can’t do now, and are we somewhat limited in terms of substrate thickness? Yes, but those jobs were very few and far between. The difference is more than made up in lower costs and faster job changeovers.”
The Ricoh Pro C901’s inline finishing capability means that certain jobs can bypass Winchester’s bindery altogether on the way to the customer, enabling the company to meet tight delivery deadlines. One recent job, for example, called for the overnight production of a short-run of 20-page saddlestitched booklets. “A rush job like that would have been impossible to complete on time with our previous digital press, which lacked inline finishing,” Hottle said.
“The Ricoh is a workhorse press that handles digital jobs quickly, and produces high-quality work with a minimum of downtime,” Hottle concluded. “We use it for anything and everything that fits—from business cards to postcards and booklets— including helping us with scheduling during busy times when our offset presses are all loaded up. At the end of the day we’re going to be more profitable with the Ricoh Pro than we were before.”
The company’s equipment lineup includes 40”, 29”, and small-format Heidelberg offset presses, a 45” POLAR programmable guillotine cutter, a Heidelberg Stitchmaster ST100 8-pocket saddlestitcher with stacker, and a 65” Rastek wide-format inkjet printer, which represents a growing market for the company. On the front end, Heidelberg’s Prepress Manager workflow powers a Suprasetter 105 with Autoloader, used to image Saphira Chemfree plates. Winchester Printers also takes advantage of Saphira inks and coatings in the pressroom.
Third-generation, family run Winchester Printers is a full-service commercial printer whose clients include businesses, universities, organizations, and associations throughout Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C. and parts of Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
“We understand print, and we have the capabilities and expertise to put that understanding to work for our customers,” Hottle said. “Many of our key employees have been with the company for 20+ years. We know how to get things done.”