VALHALLA, N.Y. (July 2, 2008) - City Printing has operated in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, for almost 90 years, and is still going strong. In fact, the $4 million to $5 million commercial printer has been growing at a rate of 10-20 percent a year for the last 10-15 years.
Joseph Valentini, grandson to the founder, attributes the success to adapting to the constant changes in the industry by installing new technology.
"I attribute our growth to the diversification of our equipment," says Valentini, whose first memories of the company that was founded in 1920 include playing under his father's Linotype machine. "In our market, we're unique. Our portfolio of equipment is unique: we have a five-color press with coater, two-color perfecting presses, two-color Heidelberg QuickMaster presses, die-cutters and equipment in the digital and wide format world. When a person comes to us with an order-whether it's 50,000 full-color brochures or a full-color graduation invitation-we'll handle any of that."
The latest additions of technology include a Xerox DocuColor 5000 digital press and Fujifilm's Acuity HD 2504 UV flatbed printer. The digital equipment enables the company to grow its business with existing customers and expand with new applications. Just as it has in the past, City Printing turned to Fujifilm to provide reliable technology that best fit the needs of the company.
"My first thought about Fujifilm is that their products work and are consistent," says Valentini. "We're under a lot of pressure in the printing industry, so what we don't need are problems. We haven't had problems. When we were using the company's film it was great; now, their plates are great. To me, Fujifilm is a very solid product line. Basically, when you get in your car you want it to start. That's what Fujifilm does in terms of our equipment."
City Printing didn't jump into digital printing; it started slowly about five years ago with a Xerox DocuColor 12, then added a DocuColor 2045. In early 2008, volume had reached a point where the company decided to install a DocuColor 5000 digital press, giving them a much needed boost in production - up to 50 color pages per minute. The company is producing jobs such as signs, labels, tri-fold brochures, business cards and short-run booklets.
"The DocuColor 5000 is a good all-around machine to handle our digital work," says Valentini. "The quality is very good. The image registration, sheet to sheet, which is very important to our clients, is very precise. It also has variable data capabilities that we're now getting into."
By being able to offer variable data services with the DocuColor 5000, City Printing is entering new markets. It can now print ballots that require different numbers and information, such as precincts and names that constantly change. "Registration has to be dead on because the ballots have to run through scanners," says Valentini. "We found that many county elections are doing more absentee ballots. Also, we can print tickets with the variable data aspect."
The newer technology that offers higher quality enables City Printing to shift some of its offset work to the digital equipment as well. "Digital is definitely a growing area," states Valentini.
The DocuColor 5000 also enables City Printing to provide short-run printing with an improved appearance. The company has always printed smaller jobs for local clients, such as doctors' offices, schools and churches, but usually printed them in one or two colors. The printer can now produce those jobs cost effectively in full color. A local church, where Valentini's grandparents were married in 1916, is celebrating the immigrants who started the parish with a bronze statue of a family, 600 color booklets and bookmarks. City Printing will economically produce the color 4x5-inch booklets designed to look like passports. "This was a project that may have been done one or two colors a few years back because they only need 600," says Valentini. "Now we're printing it on the DocuColor 5000 because it's more economical to print shorter run print orders in color on the digital machine. They're thrilled with what they're getting. It's nice to have the versatility and the ability to do that for customers where they can walk in and get exactly what they want."
Wide-format printing on a wide variety of media
When clients started looking for wide-format printing of window graphics, floor graphics, banners and trade show displays about four years ago, the company began implementing wide format printers. In early 2008, City Printing added Fujifilm's Acuity HD 2504 UV flatbed printer, which offers full-bleed capability on prints to 48 inches wide by 96 inches long. A vacuum table holds a wide range of media-including irregularly shaped materials and media to 1.9 inches thick-to ensure accurate registration. Fujifilm's Uvijet inks cure instantly and provide durability for outdoor applications for two years.
"With the Acuity and cutter, we're in a good position to fulfill all of our customers' needs, whether it's backlit signs or trade show booth applications," says Valentini. "Clients are very pleased with the quality. The machine is quite smooth. We run a lot of different materials on it, including scrim, satin, backlit materials and vinyls. One minute we'll be doing backlit material for trade show booths or for signs, the next minute we're doing scrim for banners that will hang on fences at baseball fields, then the next minute we'll be doing a high-end print where the client is looking for the artistry. We do a lot of different things with that machine. It's a good versatile machine for us."
With the digital technology, City Printing is a one-stop shop that obtains business it wasn't getting before from its existing clients. "We come in every day trying to make sure that we're doing the best job we can to service and grow with the client base we have," concludes Valentini. "We've been doing this a long time and we really care about our clients and our print jobs. We're old school-we have the mentality that we want to do things right. Our new digital machines allow us to do that."
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