(September 21, 2008) Building business around ROLAND 300 and ROLAND 700 presses leads to compatible technologies, synchronized systems and a constantly evolving, leading-edge operation with unexcelled efficiency and superb quality output. Just ask the people in charge at Ramsey Press Inc. in Mahwah, New Jersey, one of the Garden State's top woman-owned businesses in 2007.
"At the turn of the century we were primarily a letterhead-and-envelope company," recalls Patrick Pagani, Vice President and COO. "Then we replaced our 4-color manroland 204 press with a 6-color ROLAND 300 and proceeded to grow our business tremendously. We more than tripled our annual dollar volume over the next few years."
In 2003, Ramsey Press expanded tenfold space-wise and was on their way to a stunning transformation. With a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility, the firm added a full gamut of converting and finishing equipment to go with a new ROLAND 700 8-color perfector press with coater.
Upscale operation, advanced technologies point toward high-end growth
"At the time, we were still a more-typical printer in the types of jobs we handled," Pagani said. "But all too often people look at printing as a commodity and we did not want to sell ourselves short. We run a very clean environment and we're pharmaceutical-certified. We have all JDF (Job Definition Format) workflows and the latest technologies tied into the manroland presses and linked systems.
"So, in the last three years, we have pursued high-end, high-profile work," added Pagani. "We have 'niched' ourselves as a boutique-style shop doing really unique, custom-type jobs. Now 80 percent of what we do is fashion work, such as the dual-award winning GQ-Luxe brochure for Gentleman's Quarterly. There are also a lot of short-run and large page-size format jobs, including high-end real estate for condos in the city that sell for $20 million and up."
The strategy leading to all of this, however, was put into play years earlier, when Ramsey moved to its current facility and the ROLAND 700 was coming on-board.
"We looked closely at the companies and equipment with which manroland partnered, serviced and cross-sold - die-cutters, folders, stitchers, the works," Pagani said. "From prepress through converting and finishing, compatibility is crucial to continually improving print quality and production efficiency. As more new technologies arrive, you can readily evaluate and smoothly incorporate them into your operation."
Case in point: end-to-end closed-loop automation with HIFLEX MIS using JDF to connect prepress, press and post-press operations, as it simplifies job handling from estimating through billing. With this MIS umbrella the automated printnet activities on the ROLAND 700, which save immense amounts of makeready time and reduce waste, fit easily into Ramsey's overall system.
"We're fully automated. When our Estimator sets up a job, the information carries forward through printnet and beyond. It automatically sets up the press, the ink fountains, the works. Every job gets up-and-running faster," Pagani said.
ROLAND 700 and Ramsey deliver 'the impossible' on latest award-winners
"The manroland presses' interface with other technologies is key," says Mac Byrd, Ramsey's Director of Sales and Marketing. "Our system is set up so everything talks to and works with everything else. This routinely saves our customers tremendous amounts of time and money, with faster press OKs and every other step of the way."
It also played a key role in Ramsey's latest Gold Ink and Premier Print successes, most notably, the dual-award winning India Calendar. Showcasing photos by Eric Meola, Ramsey pushed the envelope to more fully convey the deep, rich colors captured on film. They went with Hexachrome 6-color separations, adding green and orange to the usual CYMK, and also used 340-line Sublima screening and some of the new PANTONE Goe Color options.
A double-mounted embossed cover and three-color foil stamping completed the job, done entirely in-house except for matte lamination. "We even used gold-colored staples rather than silver to more closely complement the richness in the photos and colors used throughout the piece," Byrd said.
Six-color printing and two aqueous coatings were handled by the ROLAND 700.
"Some of our production partners said it couldn't be done because of the additional screening angles for the extra two colors," Pagani said. "But we did, running a 340-line screening job. Very few can print Hexachrome 6-color process, and the quality of print that comes off this press is amazing."
Putting manroland's PRINTVALUE into practice
While reiterating that "our automation with manroland is great," Pagani said the manufacturer has always been "very supportive, very helpful in every way." If a mechanic is needed, one's there the next day or even the same day, within hours. The same applies to needed parts. "Our double-digit annual growth is also attributed in part to them."
"We congratulate Ramsey on nine new Gold Ink and Premier Print achievements, following last year's 'Benny' and two Graphic Design USA awards," said manroland CEO Vince Lapinski. "The way Ramsey started working with manroland years ago is how we encourage all customers to work, focusing on the total operation, interrelated technologies, systems and services. This is what our PRINTVALUE program is all about, helping to ensure the highest performance and payback while leveraging technology, day in and day out."
Ramsey is proof positive that it works, in the clientele they attract, the quality they provide, and the efficiencies they realize. And, yes, in the awards they earn, too.
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