Printer Enjoys Improved Productivity with PlateRite 8600 Thermal Plate Recorder
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — Graphic Services, LLC of Rockland, Mass., keeps its printing presses "well fed" with plates thanks to the new PlateRite 8600 thermal computer-to-plate (CTP) device from Screen (USA).
In January, Graphic Services ushered in the New Year by installing an Akiyama J Print 10-color (five-over-five) sheetfed press. The addition of this very "hungry" press has resulted in a huge influx of print volume. It also prompted the $23 million firm to invest in the PlateRite 8600.
"We produce almost 100 percent of our plates using the PlateRite 8600," said Bill Fitzgerald, president. "The quality is excellent, plate after plate. Since we put this device in., it has been running pretty much nonstop and the consistency has been phenomenal."
Founded in 1989, Graphic Services occupies two facilities totaling 165,000 square feet, with a work force of 110 employees. The headquarters houses prepress, printing, finishing and office space. The second plant accommodates fulfillment, distribution and warehousing. The presses are kept running 24 hours a day, six days a week.
What makes Graphic Services unique, according to Fitzgerald, is the fact that the company serves three distinct market segments: traditional commercial printing, financial printing and educational book printing. In fact, the educational market accounts for about 60 percent of the company’s business. Projects can range from 16-page pamphlets to 400-page workbooks.
"Another thing that makes us unique is our fulfillment and distribution center," Fitzgerald said. "We try to cultivate new accounts by offering the added service of inventory management."
To service it broad client base, Graphic Services manages the entire process in-house. Its pressroom consists of a mix of sheetfed and web offset presses, including two full-size King web presses in two-color and four-color configurations. The J Print is the flagship of Graphic Services’ sheetfed fleet, which includes a six-color Akiyama Bestech, a six-color Miller and a two-color Heidelberg.
Fitzgerald explained that Graphic Services wanted a plate setter that could keep pace with the demand for 4,000 plates a month.
"We have 40 cylinders we need to keep fed," he said. "This Screen device allows us to keep our cylinders fed with quality plates at the incredibly quick speed of 20 plates an hour at 2,400 dpi. We recently went through 240 plates on the J Print during a 12-hour period."
The PlateRite’s high degree of automation helps accommodate the high volume of plates, Fitzgerald added. "We can load it at 2 o’clock in the morning and come in at 5 a.m. and have 50 or more plates done already."
In addition to the speed and quality of the PlateRite 8600, it was Screen’s reliability that sold him on the machine.
"We have had absolutely no problems with this equipment," Fitzgerald said. "I almost hate to let the competition know we have it."
About Screen (USA)
Screen (USA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Dainippon Screen, based in Kyoto, Japan, is one of the world’s largest developers, manufacturers and suppliers of system components for the prepress and printing industries. For more information, contact Screen (USA) at 5110 Tollview Drive, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. Telephone: (800) 372-7737 or (847) 870-7400; fax: (847) 870-0149; Web site: www.screenusa.com.
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