Columbus, Ohio – The Watkins Printing Company continues its implementation of a new strategic direction for the 98-year-old family business by recently installing a fully automated RMGT 9 Series 8-Color Long Perfector with LED-UV curing. Operating from their 65,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, Watkins Printing has traditionally been known as a publication printer that produces monthly and quarterly magazines for universities, fraternal organizations and niche publications for clients throughout much of the United States.
As a third-generation family owner, recently appointed CEO, Tamara Watkins Green, has embarked on major technology and automation improvements that include moving Watkins Printing into the commercial print market. This paradigm shift is best illustrated by their investment in a state-of-the-art RMGT 9 Series offset press that is loaded with technology including RMGT’s Insta.Color makeready technology, LED-UV curing and most importantly a one and done 4 over 4 configuration.
“Moving into the commercial print market made strategic sense for our company,” states Tamara Watkins Green. “There are many factors that come to bear in keeping a business alive and thriving for 98 years. Recently, Watkins Printing was proud to become a WBE and a certified partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). From automation improvements in our web-to-print MIS system to major enhancements in the pressroom and bindery, it’s an exciting moment in our company’s history.”
“As we approach our 100th anniversary, we are determined to build on our legacy by pursuing new market opportunities and expand our service offerings,” states William Green, President of Watkins Printing. “The 8-color RMGT 9 Series Long Perfector with LED-UV curing instantly puts us in a leadership position in the commercial print market. One-pass printing coupled with instant curing lets us go right to bindery and then on to mailing. It’s a huge game changer.”
Watkins’ new press is the tenth RMGT 9 Series Long Perfector installed throughout the United States. Due to the RMGT’s very compact footprint, incredibly user-friendly automation, low maintenance requirements and single pass printing 85% of these presses are running with a single pressman. This factor alone reduces an RMGT Printer’s annual overhead cost by over $50,000 per shift while still maintaining an extremely high level of productivity.
“One advantage to working with The Watkins Printing Company is that we are large enough to provide full service and small enough to provide individual attention,” concludes William Green. “My wife and I deal directly with the majority of our clients. That's not something you necessarily get from a company with the breadth of our services. We know our customers personally. We enjoy that interaction and because of that, we have a lot of loyal customers. When we decided to make this next step in our evolution, we were determined to bring in the latest technology that provided the highest quality for our extremely particular client base, so working with Graphco and RMGT made us feel very comfortable.”
Watkins decision to install LED-UV modules at the perfecting device and in the delivery enables instant curing of both sides of the sheet, eliminating wait time before the job can be sent off for finishing. Another advantage of LED-UV curing is greatly reduced power consumption. LED-UV on an RMGT Long Perfector uses 75% less energy than single-side presses that use aqueous coating, and ink costs are comparable by eliminating the coating supplies. LED-UV curing also eliminates the need for powder which ensures a cleaner work environment and less problems moving stock through bindery equipment. From a worker safety standpoint, no VOC printing, bi-monthly ink wash-ups and a smaller footprint makes the RMGT an extremely safe investment for pressmen and owners alike.
“As a legacy publishing printer, Watkins Printing is ideally suited to leverage their extremely strong and long-term relationships and their mailing capabilities in the commercial print space,” comments Chris Manley, President of Graphco, Midwest and Southeast distributor for RMGT. “Additionally, as a union shop, their strategic location in Columbus, Ohio not only makes them an ideal partner for a variety of direct mail and political mailers, but they are poised to enter the short-run world of commercial print with a great company culture and a high-quality sheet-fed offset press that will deliver. As a fellow Ohio based family business, it’s been a great pleasure to work with Tamara and Bill as they move Watkins into its second century serving their clients.”