Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Rainbow Publishing Makes Memories With New Fujifilm Equipment

Press release from the issuing company

HANOVER PARK, Ill., March 2003 — The old cliché "there aren’t enough hours in the day" takes on new meaning for printers like Mansfield, Ohio-based Rainbow Publishing, where core business is seasonal — and completed in a matter of months. As one of the largest, independent publishers of school "memory books," Rainbow Publishing works around the clock from February to June, producing thousands of these creative, colorful keepsakes. "It used to be a cut-and-paste operation. Now, it’s cutting edge," reports Jeff Hofacre, prepress manager. "With our new Fujifilm Ninja, four-up imagesetter, we’re able to output 200 pages of black-and-white copy per hour. In the past, we had two imagesetters running simultaneously, and we produced only 64 pages per hour. Our output has tripled using one machine." The Ninja is not only fast, says Hofacre, it’s also very easy to operate. "The Ninja runs with a Rampage RIPping system, so when we have to correct or change something, we simply re-RIP the file, and it’s on press in minutes." While speed and operator-ease are key offerings of the new imagesetter, Hofacre emphasizes that ease and speed don’t mean a thing without quality. "We run periodic calibrations, and we’ve never been off more than one percent. The Ninja has run flawlessly since we installed it a year ago. It’s a top quality technology that produces a top-quality product." To keep pace with the increased imagesetting efficiency, Hofacre says, it was necessary to install a Fujifilm PS-850 plate processor. "We had to get a new processor just to keep up with the imagesetter," he says. "It was installed a month ago, and it’s working out great. We expect to save a lot of time in production, as well as money in chemistry, since there’s a longer period between maintenance and chemical changes with the PS-850." Hofacre describes the new-and-improved operational scene. "Right now is our busy season," says Hofacre, noting that during the "off" season, Rainbow does general commercial printing, much of which involves the memory books (for example, the millions of flyers announcing when school photos will be taken). "Memory books are stacked three deep, in rows of 10 to 15. They’re all staged and waiting outside the imagesetting area. In the past, the books used to go through layout, camera, manual stripping, etc., and it would take weeks for them to be completed. Now, books are produced digitally. Pictures are either scanned in or digital images come from the photo processor, and we’re ready to go to press in just a couple of hours. "Customers love it," Hofacre adds. "Plus, they’re able to do more work on their end. Before, they used to do manual paste up, and now we scroll in the photos and text in a matter of minutes. This gives customers the ability to do custom layouts. They used to be limited to the number of pictures per page, limited to certain layouts and so on. Now, they have lots of flexibility in design." Rainbow Publishing’s new high-tech equipment provides quality, flexibility and plenty of creative opportunities for its 1,300 school-clients. That translates into a lot of smiles for some 500,000 children who annually order their keepsake memory books from the company. "We look at [pictures of] a half-million kids each year," explains Hofacre. "And when you’re working with that many photos, it could be easy to make a mistake. You have to be very careful not to have the wrong name, photo, text, whatever. Rainbow is known for its attention to detail; we have very few makeovers. It’s a painstaking process to get everything right." But, that extra effort is worth it. The proof, concludes Hofacre, is the joy on children’s faces, as they savor their school memories on all those precious printed pages.