ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. - John Springthorpe III, president of billing and communications product manufacturer SouthData, Inc., can look back on his company's history and see definite turning points.
"There are times when a particular opportunity exists that marks the beginning of a completely new stage," Springthorpe observed. "One such occasion occurred seven years ago, when we moved into our current headquarters facility, which is six times the size of our previous location."
The recent implementation of an automated digital printing-finishing-inserting line with the Screen Truepress Jet520 inkjet web press at its core was another defining moment for SouthData.
"This combination of technologies will change our company again," Springthorpe stated. "It opens up new avenues by allowing us to be more cost-competitive in high-volume printing markets."
SouthData, a national outsourced services firm founded in 1985, acts as a clearinghouse for small- to medium-sized utilities, municipalities and county governments, health care providers and homeowner/condo associations. With headquarters in Mount Airy, N.C., and 114 employees across five states, SouthData handles its clients' document-based billing and imaging needs. The company offers a comprehensive menu of design, data conversion, printing, stuffing and mailing services. Its print products range from payment coupon books and billing statements to tax assessment notices and newsletters.
SouthData uses the Truepress Jet520 to print color billing statements, along with letters and other personalized communications that accompany billing statements. The press is configured with two print engines for duplex printing at the full 20.4-inch paper width. It can print at up to 420 feet per minute at high quality, in color and with all the advantages of variable printing.
"Billing statements represent a big portion of our product line," Springthorpe said. "We have focused on increasing the volumes of those products. The Truepress Jet520 allows us to be more efficient and respond to the needs of clients in a time frame that they insist upon."
Finishing of printed paper rolls occurs inline, including slitting, merging and dynamic perfing.
"The press, finishing system and mail inserter were all purchased to work together," Springthorpe said. "This was a significant investment for us. Complete system integration was essential for this solution to succeed."
In addition to the Truepress Jet520, SouthData operates toner-based color and black-and-white printers. Two-color and four-color offset presses are used primarily to print coupon book covers and specialty catalogs.
To reduce the costs and inefficiencies inherent in short-run printing, SouthData combines order-aggregation technology with computer-integrated print manufacturing. Multiple customized orders are aggregated and printed in a single digital print run. The SouthData-designed manufacturing process enables the lowest production cost while ensuring on-time delivery.
"Unit cost is an important factor in everything we do," Springthorpe said. "Our goal was to enhance our production capacity and lower our unit cost. We have achieved that goal with the Truepress Jet520. We can tailor our sales efforts to reflect the lower cost of operation."
Springthorpe said he was impressed with the way the Truepress Jet520 contributes to job management.
"The equipment makes great use of existing software technologies," he said. "It's always a challenge to integrate new printing devices into a computerized manufacturing system. Implementing the Truepress Jet520 was very easy compared to the system integration we have performed with other digital printing systems over the past 28 years."
For more information about the Truepress Jet520 inkjet web press, please visit www.screenusa.com.