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Honsa-Binder Printing Gains Control, Quality with Printware Solution

Press release from the issuing company

ST. PAUL, MN, September 14, 2006- Printware, LLC, a privately held provider of computer-to-plate pre-press equipment, supplies and services, today announced that its PlateStream Violet metal CTP system, which was debuted at last year's Print '05 show, has proven itself an ideal fit for commercial printers. With roots dating back to 1912, the Honsa-Binder Printing Company, located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, made a big commitment to automate their printing operation to meet the growing complexity and volume of work required by their customers. Owners Jerry and Kay Owens and Plant Manager, Ray Trombley, began looking into improving the firm's capabilities especially relative to process color. Trombley says, "We quickly decided the Shinohara press would meet our needs and that we needed to update our platemaking process in order to gain the full benefit of a new automated, four-color press." After investigating a number of options, Honsa-Binder chose to work with Printware to help address color printing needs and take the firm to the next level. A Printware Platestream Violet 4 system and a Shinohara press were installed in June of 2006. Trombley says, "We made a giant leap when we went to the Platestream. It has been a great addition. It allows us to really take advantage of the increased productivity of the new Shinohara press." According to Jerry Owens, "Before we moved to direct to plate, we were sending out for film. It could take two or more days from the time a job was received until it was on press. And we didn't have a lot of control over that lag time. With the Printware Platestream Violet, even if we have file problems, we can have a proof out the same day. And, with fast customer approval, we can even produce plates the same day." In addition to the improved turnaround time, the Owenses were pleased with the cost reductions. Jerry estimates that the new system has reduced average job cost by one-third and speeded up the process by 50%. He adds, "The cost factor is important, of course, but time is really the driving force. Where customers once commonly were happy with a two-week turnaround, they now want things in a day or two. By upgrading our systems and installing the Platestream, we are able to meet those demands, and our customers are delighted." There are no bottlenecks and there is no problem keeping up with the capacity of the press. Makeready time is reduced by 50 to 60%, according to Trombley, and makeready waste has gone from an average of 200 sheets to a mere handful. Another area that is growing for Honsa-Binder is its envelope business. Trombley says, "We added some equipment in that area, and with the Platestream, we are able to make much higher quality plates, resulting in a better envelope product. You can't overstress the fact that you will always get better quality from direct to plate than film, regardless of the quality of the film." Kay comments, "Printware has been wonderful to work with. We have a true partnership." Jerry adds, "Working with them, we have been experimenting with some innovations and they have been very supportive. In the rare event we need on-site service or support, their response had been very timely." Ray and his team also take advantage of Printware's excellent phone support and its advanced remote diagnostics which can often eliminate the need to bring a technician on site. Honsa-Binder has also been pleased with its choice of a violet versus a thermal platemaking system. Trombley adds, "Thermal systems are more expensive to purchase and maintain, largely because of the increased number of lasers they use, the heat associated with the process, and the need to replace an expensive laser. We also like the way that Printware has structured the Platestream system. With the processor directly linked to the imager, it gives us a one-step production process." Kay sums up the experience by saying, "We know we made the right decision for our business by going with Printware. Although we are early in the implementation, we have already seen a 20% year-over-year growth in revenues, and we expect to end up at 35% sales growth by the end of the year. And more importantly, we anticipate they will be significantly more profitable revenues."

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