Kennesaw, Ga. – After five successful years of running Heidelberg’s Versafire CV, CEC Print Solutions of Union City, California needed to upgrade its digital printing solution to keep up with its ambitious growth plans. With a strong focus on expanding into the packaging and label segments, CEC decided to invest in a new Versafire EP from Heidelberg.
New Technology for a New Business Venture
CEC, established in 1974, has gone through various business transformations over the years – from envelope manufacturer to traditional offset printer to a pure digital shop. Now, after almost 50 successful years in business, CEC is undergoing another evolution – this time from conventional commercial printer to producer of short run labels, packaging, and wide-format printing. Rather than look to a new manufacturer to accommodate its business goals, CEC decided to invest in a new Versafire EP after its exceptional experience with Heidelberg’s original digital print engine, the Versafire CV.
“When we first got into digital many years ago, we used a variety of products from different manufacturers but were never satisfied,” said Owner Amit Chokshi. “In 2015, we originally went with Heidelberg because of their level of support and service. Once we got the experience with Heidelberg, it went so smoothly, that we never looked at other machines.”
Installed in October 2020, the Versafire EP is a big upgrade in speed, substrate range, and inline color and registration technology over CEC’s older machine. “Not only can the machine run at 115 pages per minute, but the extended stock range of the Versafire gives us a big boost in the products we can offer our customers,” said Production Manager Mike Hughes. Suitable for both the short run label and packaging markets, the Versafire is capable of printing on up to 24 pt. board, including preconverted material, and various types of synthetics – none of which were possible on the company’s older Versafire.
While the enhanced substrate range was a key factor in CEC’s decision to upgrade, the company also cites the Versafire’s other improved inline technology as determining investment factors. With exceptional front-to-back registration on duplexed jobs and high-precision inline registration, which actively controls every sheet so that it is steered and adjusted through the machine automatically, CEC can be assured of greater sheet-to-sheet consistency within jobs – imperative in the label and packaging markets, where jobs are often viewed side-by-side. Additionally, the Versafire EP is equipped with an inline sensor that automatically color calibrates the engine, which also aids in in more uniform print results.
CEC is not only setting its sights on the label and packaging markets, however; the company is also hoping to expand by offering short run books for its clients. Equipped with a Plockmatic saddle-stitcher, CEC is capable of printing and finishing books all inline on the Versafire EP. “This machine is opening the doors for us to be competitive in the areas where we see big growth potential,” said Chokshi. “Now equipped with these enhanced capabilities, we can really go after a new customer base. Six to twelve months down the road, I see our business shifting from the traditional commercial work we do now and focusing on packaging, label, and book printing. The Versafire will help us achieve these goals.”
Left to right: Mike Hughes, Production Manager, CEC Print Solutions and Amit Chokshi, Owner, CEC Print Solutions, with the Versafire EP.