Wichita Shop Installs DPM Digital Platesetter, Four-Color Press
Press release from the issuing company
CHICAGO, IL -- Steve Harshbarger has been around long enough to know. A fixture at Wichita’s City Blueprint before the architectural blueprint firm diversified as a printing source more than 20 years ago, Harshbarger became an A.B.Dick customer in 1984 when he bought an offset press. The company’s printing manager knows how to roll with the changes, so his most recent situation led him to purchasing a DPM2404 digital platesetter and a 4995 four tower color press. It joins a plethora of A.B.Dick equipment in the shop.
“I don’t see how any print shop will survive without having a complete system in place,” said Harshbarger, describing his latest investment. “The world is changing to digital and color equipment. We’ve been in business a long time but when it comes to digital, we’re still young at this. Everything we examined made sense to go in this direction.”
‘This direction’ meant finding an effective solution for short runs, the prevailing reality in the business today. What once was a company specifically for engineers and draftsmen has evolved into a full-fledged print and copy division with 35 people. When Harshbarger realized a couple of years ago that to remain competitive City Blueprint had to offer a color solution, he bought a Heidelberg GTO press. But that was a temporary fix at best.
“The GTO could handle big runs but it wasn’t effective for the short ones, which make up the majority of our work. We had some work pile up on us but the 4995A-ICS took care of the problem,” said Harshbarger. “There is no typical run length but most customers do 1,000 per job. It is capable of going long and we have done runs up to 100,000 on it.”
City Blueprint does about 25 percent of their work in four-color, but Harshbarger sees that percentage increasing soon. They handle work for many business sectors – retail, wholesale, corporations, agencies, organizations, you name it – including a vibrant aircraft business in Wichita. “We have good customers we’ve never met,” said Harshbarger, describing the amount of work they receive via the Internet.
With business growing 20 percent in 2003, it factored into his decision to buy the DPM2404 digital platesetter and team it up with the digitally compatible 4995A-ICS press.
“We were strictly a metal shop but everything in the industry is going digital. Outsourcing film to a service bureau ate up too much time and money. So, we got on the horse and rode it because we knew what we were doing,” explained Harshbarger on how he automatically saved $3,000 a month. “The DPM2404 gives us the best of both worlds where we can output 8 mil polyester plates or film. No other company felt comfortable with our desire to output film but it gives us the flexibility to do so. It does what it is supposed to do; it’s fast with no down time and we do so many jobs per day, it will quickly pay for itself.”
The DPM2404 is a fully integrated platemaker that provides extra functionality by handling offline film, as well as plates, for the 4995A-ICS, GTO and other portrait presses. It offers integrated punching on the drum, an internal drying system, and is supported by the ScanMaster digital scanning solution with off-the-glass usage for direct-to-plate work.
The 4995A-ICS is the latest press addition and complements a wide array of A.B.Dick equipment, including a QP25II two color press, a Century 3000 two tower press and no less than five, 9910 single and multi-color units. Many printers like Harshbarger have realized the value in linking a Digital PlateMaster (DPM) device with the outstanding features associated with the 4995A-ICS press.
“Describing what’s best about the 4995A-ICS press is like saying what you like about your car,” quipped Harshbarger. “The automatic plate loading system is impressive and so is the console. The console’s value was not apparent until after we installed the press. I don’t think most people realize how many trips you make for ink adjustment. You greatly improve your productivity because of the time-savings and keeping the operator’s attitude positive. We did neither with the Heidelberg GTO because we had no console, and we were constantly tweaking and making adjustments.”
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