Fairfield, OH (May 21, 2008) Hi-Tech Printing is enjoying newfound levels of productivity in its variable data printing (VDP) operations, while delivering a wide variety of high quality output to its customers, thanks to the acquisition of a VaryPress digital press from Nipson America, Inc.
Hi-Tech certainly is no stranger to variable digital printing. The Fairfield, OH trade converter has been providing variable print on labels, tags, and cards for about three-quarters of its 22 years in business. A full service provider, Hi-Tech handles everything from the pre-press to finishing steps in their 40 person, 48,000 square foot facility. They have built up a lot of expertise at printing bar codes, sequential numbers, and other variable text on all sorts of label and card stocks, and a great deal of their business involves providing these materials to distributors and end users throughout the US.
Last year, Hi-Tech decided to upgrade their variable printing capability in order to improve the level of quality that they could deliver and achieve higher levels of efficiency and economy. After a careful review of the equipment available on the market, they settled on a VaryPress T700 high speed digital press from Nipson.
The VaryPress provided a number of advantages. First of all, it more than doubled their capacity with its print width of 18.5" compared to their old equipment's 8.6" print width. However, according to Bob Dillingham, President of Hi-Tech, that's just the beginning of the benefits they have experienced with their switch to the VaryPress.
"Since we started running the Nipson machine," says Dillingham, "we've had much higher consistency in our print from run to run, and a much higher level of output quality. Our downtime is considerably less and our costs for consumables and parts are greatly reduced. Most importantly, our output quality is higher and we're able to accomplish more in less time. That translates to more and more satisfied customers, which is what it's really all about for us."
Hi-Tech's customers are a diverse lot. As a trade converter, Hi-Tech gets orders from all over the country, from all corners of the marketplace. Their orders encompass everything from retail hang tags and bar coded product labels to shipping documents and labels to lottery coupons. "We never know from one day to the next what we'll be asked to print," comments Dillingham. "The beauty of the VaryPress is that it doesn't matter – it just handles whatever stock we need to put through it, whether it's paper, cards, vinyl, polyester, latex saturated paper, coated stocks, or whatever."
Another advantage the VaryPress offers is the ability to image two-dimensional barcodes, which Hi-Tech could not do previously. The Data Matrix and PDF 417 codes are being used in a lot more high end applications today because of the large amount of data they carry, so having this capability allows Hi-Tech to provide more added value to their customers.
Hi-Tech's VaryPress is installed in line with a 6-color Aquaflex 1650 press. This configuration puts the flexibility of digital variable printing together with the broad capability of a traditional printing press for a best-of-both-worlds solution that maximizes their ability to provide a wide range of products. In operation, the web, up to 16.5" wide (the capacity of the Aquaflex) is fed from a large roll unwinder through the VaryPress, where the bar codes and other variable data are printed. The web then flows through the Aquaflex press for application of the required colors. Hi-Tech applies aqueous transparent inks right over the black variable print. Following the press operation, the matrix is removed (in the case of label stocks), and the web is either re-rolled for further processing, fanfolded, or sheeted, depending on the job. Hi-Tech has several finishing equipment options that are on casters and can be moved into or out of the line easily to handle the task at hand.
"In this business," remarks Dillingham, "you have to be able to say 'yes' when someone asks if you can do something. We at Hi-Tech have always prided ourselves on being able to do that, so the VaryPress is an ideal addition to our arsenal of tools. Whatever we need to print on, the VaryPress does it in a way that lets us make money and deliver a top quality product to the customer."
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