November 12, 2019
L to R: Mark Stavalone, Senior VP of Production; Sal DeBiase, President and CEO
Rochester, NY-based, Phoenix Graphics, a family-owned, fifth-generation commercial printer has geared up for a planned business expansion with the recent installation of a new SCREEN Truepress Jet520S digital inkjet web press, which joins its sibling machine, a SCREEN Truepress Jet520HD press, Phoenix Graphics installed just last year.
The thriving company has adopted SCREEN’s high-speed inkjet technology as a perfect complement to its expanding print services offerings that include direct mail, digital variable printing, large format printing, plus a niche market that involves ballot production. Phoenix Graphics has built its highly successful business, serving customers throughout the US and around the globe.
The company’s president/CEO, Sal DeBiase, explained how adding the SCREEN Truepress presses met a specific capacity need. “Before the SCREEN presses were installed, we were running at 120% of capacity on several older, offset and toner cut sheet presses.” To meet production demand, the 41-staff print operation routinely incurred significant overtime and scrambled to meet deadlines made tighter by their capacity limits. “I am very pleased to report the efficiency and productivity of the SCREEN presses has enabled us to eliminate the overtime and affords us much more capacity and broader bandwidth so we can expand our customer base.”
“SCREEN inkjet roll-fed technology also helped us overcome the hurdles you face in the cut sheet environment,” DeBiase added. “When we were printing offset or digital toner, it involved too many additional offline steps. Now with the Truepress Jet520 presses, we can generate the variable data, addressing and numbering all inline. This eliminates downstream processes in the bindery, and effectively increases our accuracy.”
Phoenix Graphics is incorporating Informed Delivery direct mail processes into its offering as a means of further differentiating itself in the mailing business from other printers. Helping its customers engage their direct mail targets through integrated, personalized messaging tied into digital marketing campaigns is seen by Phoenix Graphics as an extension of the value they can bring to customers that was not feasible before the SCREEN Truepress equipment.
DeBiase points to the unique advantages the Truepress Jet520HD that has been the company’s workhorse since its installation in mid-2018. The high-speed, offset quality of the press affords Phoenix Graphics remarkable flexibility to accommodate the wide variety of job types, stock requirements, run lengths, plus color and quality levels his customers have come to expect. “The 520HD allows us to shift gears, from the highest quality, more moderate speed production to high-speed transactional production at a moments notice,” he said. DeBiase is proud to report that they printed 360 full rolls of stock within a 3-week period shortly after the press installation, a striking milestone.
Phoenix Graphics has migrated approximately 35 percent of its offset projects to the SCREEN TPJ520HD with definite plans to move more. “We are still learning and experimenting with all the capabilities SCREEN technology can deliver. This will undoubtedly help us take the lead in variable mail production,” he explained.
“It used to be that you had to reinvent yourself every seven to ten years to survive in this industry,” DeBiase said. “When we added cut sheet digital in 2012 and 2015, we believed we were on track with the next trend. Today, it’s a much shorter cycle and you have to look to the future and take some educated risks. So when we met SCREEN at the Chicago trade show back in 2017, we saw the next trend was upon us. That opened my eyes, so we made the commitment to digital inkjet web and it has directly benefitted our bottom line.”
“The nice thing about SCREEN is that they never quit developing their technology; they don’t just sell you the equipment and walk away. SCREEN is a longstanding technology company that always seems to be ahead of the competition,“ DeBiase added.
Perhaps the best testimony to Phoenix Graphics satisfaction with their SCREEN equipment is seen on the outside of their 43,000 square foot facilities. It is a hand-painted, 60-foot long, full color mural of their Truepress Jet520HD that adorns a very visible wall, covering the entire length of the building. “We’re a company who invests in the business, invests in its employees. We are careful, yet diligent with implementation of new technologies and proud of our standing in the industry. I think it just sends the right message about the kind of people that are inside this building,” DeBiase beamed.
A traditional offset printer with a primary focus on folding cartons, Pacer Print and Packaging of Chatsworth, California, shifted 80 percent of its label business in-house with the new inkjet press.
FastCap, LLC, a lean manufacturer of unique household products located in Ferndale, Washington, installed the press in June 2020 and has since increased its productivity by 500 percent.