AccuCopy switches to Digimaster to seize opportunity in variable data printing
Press release from the issuing company
Rochester, N.Y., June 4, 2003 - While many businesses tend to overly use the "one-stop shop" adage, AccuCopy, a digital printer in Greenville, N.C., has a very convincing case. AccuCopy produces a wide range of short-run printing projects from start to finish -- regardless of their complexity -- without jobs ever leaving its production floor.
Heidelberg and its Digimaster® 9110 print system are playing a key role in helping AccuCopy fulfill its mission: "putting it all together" for customers.
AccuCopy (accucopy.com), founded in 1980 by Tom O’Brien and Lindsay Gray, specializes in the high-speed reproduction of training and technical manuals, cookbooks and user guides as well as thermography, foil stamping, embossing, die cutting and offset lithography, among other services. Its Quicktabs division is one of the largest index tab manufacturers in the southeastern United States.
Since starting out as a small retail copy center nearly a quarter century ago, AccuCopy has grown to 60 employees and $10 million in sales -- and is now focused primarily on supporting the printing trade. In fact, AccuCopy is about to move from a 30,000-square-foot building into a new 70,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Greenville to accommodate its expanding one-to-one marketing, mail fulfillment and statement rendering services.
Variable data printing a key to growth
One of the primary areas of AccuCopy’s growth is variable data printing (VDP), using Heidelberg’s Digimaster 9110 print systems. VDP is fast becoming a growing need among its national base of customers -- primarily print brokers, commercial printers, in-plant print shops, graphic designers and printing distributors.
O’Brien noted that among his operation’s 110 million printing impressions last year 3 to 4 million featured VDP, compared to 50,000 VDP jobs out of 100 million impressions in 2001. "We expect that number to continue to grow," O’Brien observed. "We’re doing variable data printing for virtually every printer in town."
For one client, AccuCopy employs the Digimaster print system to produce loan solicitation postcards that include the customer’s name and address and the nearest office address. Each card has a personalized message reminding the customer to drop by the office to apply for a loan or receive new services.
Digimaster surpasses competition
AccuCopy had employed other digital machines, but replaced one of them with a Heidelberg Digimaster 9110 print system 13 months ago.
Since AccuCopy began using the Digimaster system, O’Brien said print brokers have recognized a significant difference in the quality between the Digimaster and its other digital equipment.
"I had several customers observe that the screens and half-tones looked much better and sharper on a job. When I told them it was produced on the Digimaster, they said that from now on they wanted their jobs run only on the Digimaster," O’Brien recalled.
In addition to quality superiority, O’Brien said the Digimaster print system offers workflow advantages over its other digital machines.
"Since we adopted PDF four or five years ago, we like the fact that the Digimaster system features true PDF workflow -- with no extra steps for conversions," O’Brien said. "Sending jobs to the 9110 is much easier than the other machines and we’re confident of the results. We don’t have the font and graphics issues with the Digimaster system as we did before."
Digimaster quickly convinces press operators
While his customers were quickly sold on the Digimaster print system’s quality and reliability, O’Brien needed to initially convince his press operators of the benefits. It only took a short time for AccuCopy’s press operators to embrace the Heidelberg machine.
"Our press operators were nervous about the changeover because we were moving away from what they were familiar with," O’Brien said. "In fact, my lead supervisor was determined that the 9110 was not going to work out. I told him he could make the choice with the next machine.
"Three months later," O’Brien added, "when we needed that machine and I asked him, ‘Which equipment will it be," his answer was an emphatic ‘Heidelberg!’"
O’Brien was referring to Alan Brown, supervisor of AccuCopy’s high-speed duplicating area. "You get nervous when work is piling up. I just wasn’t sure how the transition was going to go," Brown recalled. "Making the switch to Heidelberg was easier than I thought it would be. The Digimaster machines are far more reliable than anything we've used before."
Other advantages include much less downtime with the Digimaster system and Heidelberg’s performance inserting pre-mylared tabs into documents. "Registration, which is critical for tabs, is far and away better on the 9110. It’s light years ahead of anything else we've seen," O’Brien observed. He also was impressed that the Digimaster print system’s productivity on complex jobs surpassed that of machines with higher-rated speeds.
When the lease on his other digital machines expires early next year, O’Brien expects to become a Heidelberg-only operation.
"One thing that always impresses me about Heidelberg is that every time someone walks in my door -- whether it’s our sales rep Doug Lee or a service person -- it’s evident that it's important to them to work with me to ensure that I’m going to be in business 50 years from now," O’Brien said. "It’s much more of a partnership with Heidelberg."
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