September 14, 2015
SCREEN Americas formally reported today that the first customer in the U.S. to install its Truepress Jet520HD high-definition inkjet web press was Epsilon, a global marketing company, considered to be the global leader in creating connections between people and brands.
“There’s always a leap of faith when working with new technology,” said Nathan Milliken, vice president of production. “Epsilon has a deep commitment to embracing technological processes as they evolve.”
Epsilon’s print production division delivers traditional direct mail, high-end financial newsletters and national automotive dealer packages. Clients look to Epsilon for superlative quality, service and speed of delivery.
“The true one-to-one messaging in the automotive programs lends itself well to digital color devices,” Milliken pointed out. “We started investigating continuous-feed color inkjet three years ago, but the quality and resolution of the platform at that time couldn’t support the quality expectations of our automotive customers,” Milliken recalled.
A rigorous, multistage vetting process was conducted in which just over ten high-speed, full-color inkjet platforms from five suppliers, including SCREEN, competed in three rounds of print tests. For the tests, Epsilon created four sample jobs of varying complexity to assess the roll-fed machines’ print quality, platform ROI, platform support and operating efficiency.
“As the automotive segment grows and turnaround times become more critical for the communication, we need to be able to produce 400,000 to 1.2 million digital mailing packages in as few as one to four days.”
SCREEN’s flagship color variable data printing system, the Truepress Jet520HD, ultimately outperformed the competition because it could satisfy the automotive print quality requirements while providing the necessary capacity, volume and throughput. The machine was installed at Epsilon’s Earth City, Missouri, production facility last February.
“The Truepress Jet520HD is phenomenal at handling variable data at high speed,” Milliken said. “The first self-mailer program we ran on the press consisted of 26,000 multiple piece print files. We RIPed the first file in only 62 seconds.”
Another early project involved 400,000 self-mailers, printed in just four shifts —the first shift of the day over the course of four days.
“We started printing on Thursday and mailed the finished program on Monday,” Milliken said. “Using our cut-sheet equipment, it would have taken the equivalent of 24 shifts on one printer running three shifts to meet the required turnaround time.”
Not long after, the Truepress Jet520HD accomplished the same feat on a 1.2 million-piece program, according to Milliken.
Precise droplet size control and a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi make the Truepress Jet520HD a compelling alternative to offset/digital hybrid and toner-based production. The device brings together leading technologies in paper transport, drying techniques, printheads and wide-gamut inks. High-density pigments across all colors and variable-size droplets deliver the colors, textures, details and solid ink areas that improve response rates for personalized marketing campaigns. Wide paper stock capabilities, from 18-pound paper to heavier paper exceeding 9 points, enable Epsilon to augment its service offerings.
In June, full-color projects that previously would have run on the toner printers started moving in greater numbers to the Truepress Jet520HD.
“We found that the sweet spot for maximizing print quality and productivity is 1,200 x 600 dpi,” Milliken noted. “We have begun experimenting with some high-throughput non-automotive programs, printing at 600 x 600 dpi to evaluate the quality and speed at the lower resolution.”
“The SCREEN press offers higher uptime and much better color consistency,” he stated. “What we print for signoff on Wednesday has the identical quality as the print run on Friday when we print on roll number one and the same quality when we finish on Monday with roll number 36. We are very happy with the success of this machine to date.”
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