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DRAABE's Humidification System at George H. Dean Co.

Press release from the issuing company

January 7, 2007 - DRAABE, the world's leading manufacturer of humidification systems, has its TurboFog air humidification system installed at George H. Dean Company, a full-service web and sheetfed printing company located in Braintree, Mass. The 118-year-old family-owned business switched from steam humidification to DRAABE's state-of-the-art system in early 2007.
DRAABE's system eliminates problems
"In the thirteen years that we used steam humidification in our plant, there were too many problems involved," says Kenneth A. Michaud, Chairman and CEO of George H. Dean Company. "Since we've installed the TurboFog system from DRAABE, we've eliminated problems with our papers and presses, we've lowered our costs, we've eliminated the maintenance of the old system, and we've improved our facility for our employees. We know that we're producing a better product with more consistent up-time."
The firm's 100,000 sq ft facility offers a range of printing processes, including sheetfed, web, and digital catering to the general commercial and financial markets with mailing and fulfillment services. Its commercial printing production includes catalogs, brochures, business-to-business, direct mail, and retail utilizing one- to six-color sheetfed presses and one- to two-color envelope presses. To compliment its sheetfed press line, the firm installed both Xerox DocuColor iGen3 and Xerox DocuTech Nuvera digital printers for short-run and variable content printing.
"Digital printing in general requires tight humidity control or it will affect the paper and quality of digital printing," explains Michaud. "If the press is not getting a really consistent humidified area, it will tell you the humidity is out of range and the productivity and quality will suffer. Since we've installed the DRAABE system, our two digital presses have been printing better and we've had more consistent up-time by controlling the static electricity."
A host of problems with old duct system
While maintaining true to its philosophy of "one call does it all" and providing the best possible service to its customers, the firm was inwardly tackling its humidification problems that were interfering with its mantra. "We  had thirteen years of experience with steam humidification in a duct ventilation system and it wasn't working," says Michaud.
"First, there was no consistency in the amount of humidification; when we needed it, it wasn't there. Not having consistent humidification caused problems in our pressroom. We had static electricity problems, especially on our lightweight and digital papers And we had quality problems with our digital presses due to low humidity. Finally, we knew that we were incurring high costs due to operations and energy."
DRAABE's direct room humidification is the answer
After deciding that the firm needed to move in a new direction, Michaud and his team started to research the other types of humidification systems on the market for printing plants. They soon settled on direct room humidification systems rather than steam humidification through a duct, believing that direct room humidification would provide a cleaner, more targeted solution.
Next, the firm evaluated the different types of direct room systems, including steam, compressed air, and high-pressure systems. They asked colleagues and visited different customer references that had the systems in place.
High costs are eliminated
"The parameters for our decision included cost, dust, maintenance, air quality and consistency," recalls Michaud. "When we chose DRAABE's high-pressure system, it was an easy decision. We eliminated steam systems due to their high operating costs and we eliminated compressed air due to its noise and dust. The DRAABE TurboFog system, in our estimation, was not the cheapest but the best."
The DRAABE high-pressure air humidification TurboFog system features a pulsating hydraulic flow and special titanium nozzles that atomize the water to a micro-fine aerosol directly in the room. Not only is this procedure very energy efficient, it is also quiet and absolutely drip free. The air humidity is controlled by a precision hydrostat. The atomization is activated as soon as the air humidity falls below the set optimum value. Only highly pure, de-mineralized water from a reverse osmosis unit integrated in the DRAABE System is used in order to ensure hygienic and trouble-free operation of the air humidification system.
"We've been very satisfied since we installed the DRAABE TurboFog," says Michaud. "It's given our printing plant better consistency especially with our paper supply and it's helped our employees with their health.  We've been able to maintain stable production and stable quality since its installation. In the end, our customers indirectly benefit from the installation because the humidification system allows us to give them a higher quality product in a faster turnaround time at a lower cost. 
Unique maintenance concept
Another draw to using the DRAABE system is its unique maintenance concept. DRAABE's rental system approach allows George H. Dean to rent the water treatment and high-pressure pump with an automatic exchange every six months for service and maintenance. "By renting the system, we're kept free from any maintenance work on the systems," says Michaud. "We are not experts in water technology--that's DRAABE's expertise. They guarantee us a worry-free operation."
Not only is the firm using water to humidify the plant, but it can re-use the process water for other parts of the company. The DRAABE water supply is in an enclosed circulatory system. For hygienic and reliable operation only pure, demineralized water is used, which is provided by means of an integrated reverse osmosis system. The pure water produced in the reverse osmosis unit is being used to feed all printing presses at George H. Dean. 
"We're able to use the purified water for the humidification system and the reverse osmosis water for the printing presses," says Michaud. "The standardized process water means stable production and stable quality. When we had the previous steam humidification system, it was broken a lot and the mineral deposits in the ducts had to be in the air particles spreading throughout the plant. With the new TurboFog system from DRAABE, there are no minerals because the water is purified before it is atomized."
George H. Dean is a family owned full-service union communications company.  Since it was established in 1889, the firm has maintained its reputation as a premier printing resource in the New England area.
DRAABE - a division of Axair Nortec Inc. - is wholly owned by the Swiss-based
Walter Meier Holding (WMH), the world's leading manufacturer of humidification equipment.