It’s been years in the making, but at the end of last November Regina’s Print 1 Services was finally running a direct imaging (DI) press in its cozy 3,000 sq. ft. downtown shop, and according to company owner Jason Cumbers it’s been worth the wait.
Pictured with their Ryobi 3404 DI are press operator Grant Hubick (left) and Print 1 Services owner Jason Cumbers.
The quick printing business installed a RYOBI 3404DI digital offset press, purchased from Canadian Printing Equipment Ltd. The four-colour waterless 13 x 18-inch DI joins a one- and a two-colour AB Dick press and Xerox digital equipment in the shop’s print line-up.
Print 1 was founded in 1976 by Cumbers’ father, Tom, and celebrates its 35th anniversary next year. Jason has been working in the family business for close to 20 years, buying out the company from his father in September 2001.
The shop’s primary work is in the 11 x 17-inch market and the demand for full-colour has been growing, and Cumber notes that the DI fits nicely in the 500 to 5,000 impressions four-colour category that the company has been cultivating.
"We would do some of that work on our laser printers and our one- and two-colour presses," he explains. "But if the four-colour work wasn’t cost-effective on our lasers then we’d be farming it out. Now we’ve pulled that work in for ourselves."
According to Cumbers, the new press was part of a long-range plan. "We didn’t want to put a press in and then go looking for some work, because according to Canadian Printer magazine [he chuckles] you’re supposed to have the volume first and then put the press in. So we used our Xerox equipment and outsourced to another competitor in town until we got to the point where we could buy our own machine."
"When you’re a small company [Print 1 has four employees] you have to plan things out in several steps," he reasons.
The company had to relocate within its building to have the required ceiling height to be able to house the new press, and there have been a few bumps in the road over the first few months.
"The thing they don’t tell you about is the actual servicing of the machine itself," notes Cumbers. "You spend a fair amount of time servicing the machine, but as you learn the little things the machine needs it runs the way it’s supposed to run."
He notes that unlike a digital toner device that requires a service call and a technician when it breaks down, all of the servicing on the DI has been handled in-house after phone calls to the supplier or manufacturer.
"Even with our limited experience in the four-colour offset industry, we’re still able to produce images that are WOWing our customers," says Cumbers.
"I do wish the press were an inch or two bigger to be able to do a presentation folder or something like that," notes Cumbers. And he admits it does get tight positioning two 8-1/2 x 11-inch jobs up on a sheet—fitting in crop marks and colour bars—but they’ve been able to make it work.
The shop is also running envelopes, and he notes that the press likes to run a lot of ink. "You can run a full 12 x 18-inch flyer with corner to corner coverage and the press inks up and in five copies it’s ready to go."
Overall Cumbers is very pleased with the new installation and looking forward to adding another employee later this year to help with all of the new work.