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Gutenberg: CTP Turns Prepress Specialist into Full-Service 4Color Printer

Press release from the issuing company

Emanuele Barelli, owner of Digital Color World (Los Angeles, CA), will be returning to GUTENBERG FESTIVAL, May 17-19 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California to review the latest prepress, digital printing and converting technologies. At the last show, Barelli purchased the latest computer-to-press equipment from Heidelberg USA (Rancho Dominguez, CA). It enabled his prepress and design company to bring previously outsourced four-color printing in-house increasing his gross margins by 30%. THE GUTENBERG FESTIVAL 2001 will host 300 of the graphic arts industry’s leading manufacturers and more than 20,000 attendees. At GUTENBERG FESTIVAL 2000, Barelli was able to compare the latest advances in computer-to-press technology from the industry’s top manufacturers—all under one roof. His ultimate purchase, made right on the show floor, enabled his company to easily transition from being a successful design and prepress firm, into a full-service, four-color printing company. Prepress Expertise – A Foundation For Digital Printing Digital Color World, in continuous operation since 1986, began as a CAD design and printing company serving the local construction industry. In 1996, the company expanded its range of services to include design and prepress operations. The move opened up many new business-building possibilities. "Short run publishing and printing became a profitable specialty for us," says Barelli. "In addition to cultivating commercial printing clientele, we also used our local networking skills to develop successful relationships with diverse short-run niche publications. Average revenues from this business ranged from $40,000 to $60,000 per month. We performed all their design, image scanning and digital prepress operations. The only thing we couldn’t do was the printing and binding. We outsourced that, making do with marginal profits to remain competitive." In 1997, Barelli added a two-color offset press to test the full-service printing waters. The added service was eagerly accepted by his loyal customers who kept the press humming, and increased the profitability of his company. Three years later, GUTENBERG FESTIVAL 2000 provided Barelli with the final solution to transform his growing business into an efficient, digital four-color printing company. In-House Digital 4C Boosts Gross Profits By 30% After a careful comparison of the latest computer-to-press equipment at GUTENBERG FESTIVAL 2000, Barelli chose a new Heidelberg Quickmaster DI 46-4. Although the choice of equipment was entirely his, buying it at the show was a decision almost out of his hands. Barelli remembers, "the excitement of the show was terrific. Since I accomplished all my comparison shopping right there, buying just made more sense than waiting. So I did." Stepping up to the opportunities of CTP DI (direct imaging) technology was, in Barelli’s own words, a "no brainer." It was a natural and profitable evolution for them. Their new DI fits seamlessly into their digital workflows. It’s literally as simple as selecting another printer. Digital Color World now enjoys complete control of every job, from design to print. The increase in gross margins between outsourcing four-color printing and bringing it in-house, has amounted to 30%. And Digital Color World isn’t the first prepress company to notice the ease in which computer-to-press technology can be integrated into prepress digital workflows. "With modern CTP technology, prepress and design firms like Digital Color World can easily transition to full-service, four-color printing. It’s a growing trend," says Victor Wiley, Heidelberg USA Direct Imaging sales manager. "All of their digital expertise builds perfectly to state-of-the-art, short run, four-color printing using computer-to-press technology. In fact, half of our new customers are prepress companies with no prior printing experience." Fast Make-Ready’s, Simplicity and High Quality Encourage Business Development The efficiencies of Digital World’s new digital press help them be more competitive with existing business, opens up more opportunities for new business development and provides important cost savings—while still maintaining offset print quality. "One of the biggest advantages of our new DI is its small footprint and fast turn-around between jobs," says Barelli. "Depending on the job, our make-ready times are between 10 and fifteen minutes. That translates into more jobs in less time. It gives us the time to pursue new business without compromising service." The new direct imaging system also saves time, materials, and floor space in the pressroom. Taking up only a third of the space of a conventional four-color press, the DI automatically makes four polyester plates simultaneously. This frees their pressroom operator from the task and eliminates the time and expense of outsourcing negative preparation. Barelli estimates this feature alone provides additional savings of approximately $2,000 per month. Going digital doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. "The ability to print with dry offset inks maintains the same levels of print quality that our customers are used to," says Barelli. "The DI also helps us maintain our solutions-oriented reputation with our clients because we can print on different substrates, depending on the requirements of the job. My only regret is that we didn’t do this sooner." Moving Forward Barelli is eagerly anticipating a return to the GUTENBERG FESTIVAL. "I’d like to bring more of what we outsource, in-house," says Barelli. "We’ll be looking for packaging equipment so we can shrink-wrap and box our finished products. I’ll also be comparing aqueous coaters so we can add even more quality to our two and four-color work."

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