CHICAGO, IL - Brian Zahl knows his market and what it takes to keep customers happy at Piner Printing in Santa Rosa, California. His parents started the northern California business in 1974 and he joined them in 1982. The shop handles primarily two-color work but his clients have been clamoring for more. That’s why he invested in an A.B.Dick DPM2340 digital platesetter and a 9995A two-tower offset press.
“The DPM2340 gives me the ability to tackle four-color work. With the 9995A press, I can keep doing true two-color and go to four-color with two passes when I’m ready,” said Zahl, who bought the shop with his wife, Barbara Fabrizio, when his parents retired.
Piner Printing caters mostly to small businesses in Sonoma County and does it well. However, like most shops do at one time or another, Zahl had some tough equipment decisions to make in order to satisfy client demand. He had a 15-year-old press that limited his capability and he briefly entertained the idea of buying a used press. But careful research and a few telephone calls to other printers convinced him to go in a different direction.
“I considered a Heidelberg press but I wanted to have the capability to do multi-color work without ink migration,” said Zahl, who employs five people. “When I saw the 9995A, I knew it was a step up in quality. The format and configuration made sense since the two plate cylinders have their own blankets. Being a small shop, price was an obvious consideration. It made more sense to go with this press and the digital platesetter.”
With most of the work at Piner Printing focusing on catalogs, brochures and general stationery, typical run lengths are currently short and rarely exceed 5,000. But the flexibility of the 9995A press allows it to be configured for short or longer runs, which provides Zahl with options on how to market his shop to a wider range of customers, including designers.
“This press is doing for us what I hoped it would and is making us more productive,” explained Zahl. “The continuous dampening system works very well and wash ups are very easy to do. The re-circulation is fantastic and the concept is very good. With the DPM2340, it’s helping us turn work faster.”
The 9995A press is digitally compatible with the DPM2340. The best selling small format CTP device on the market, the digital platesetter wasn’t an automatic sale with Zahl until he saw how it worked. He quickly changed his mind.
“I hesitated about spending the money on it until I saw it, but I’m glad I did,” said Zahl. “I really like the DPM2340 and the semi-automatic plateloader. The registration is very, very good. I’m hanging plates in minutes and they’re ready to go since they require little adjustment, if any.”
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.