New Printing Company in Heart of Silicon Valley Installs New 8-Up Ryobi MHI 925 Press

New Printing Company in Heart of Silicon Valley Installs New 8-Up Ryobi MHI 925 Press

Friday, September 19, 2014

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Demand is strong as large tech companies are bullish on value of print; press runs nearly full-out over two shifts—six days weekly

SANTA CLARA, CA – It takes bold confidence in future of print to invest more than $3 million in a new printing company startup.

But that’s exactly what 25-year veteran printing company owner Mike Mahmoudi did when he opened Nino Press in the heart of Silicon Valley in 2013.  The business serves some of the biggest names in global technology along with fellow commercial printers—differentiating on job turnaround speed, dependability and print quality.

When it came time to decide on a flagship offset press for his new company, Mahmoudi, a trained electrical engineer, scrutinized all options from Japanese and German manufacturers.  He choose a five-color, 8-up RYOBI MHI 925 offset press with aqueous coater late last year that, today, runs nearly full-out over two shifts, six days a week.  The other presses, he said, just couldn’t compete in head-to-head comparisons.

Mahmoudi said selecting RYOBI MHI was among the best business decisions for Nino Press, which specializes in high-quality books along with the full gamut of commercial and high-margin specialty print.

“Our RYOBI MHI press can produce 98% of the jobs we would do on a 40-inch press—for a whole lot less money,” said Mahmoudi, who established a network of successful printing companies in western Massachusetts before doing the same in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996.  “It delivered the strongest technological package at the best acquisition price and lowest total cost-to-print.”

The 16,200-sph press was sold by Kian Hemmen of Print & Finishing Solutions (PFS), Placentia, CA, and is fully serviced by PFS, which covers the Western U.S. for RYOBI MHI’s distribution group, Graphic Systems North America.  PFS is a GSNA co-founder and partner.  GSNA and RYOBI MHI are exhibiting at Graph Expo 2014, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, Booth 4404, McCormick Place, Chicago, and a RYOBI MHI 925 with built-in LED-UV instant cure will be demonstrated.

For Mahmoudi, the RYOBI MHI 925 has been such a reliable profit-center—with its heavy automation, new production efficiencies and low cost-per-impression—that he expects his next offset press will be another RYOBI MHI.

Comparing the economics of offset and digital

Mahmoudi said successful printers today understand they need to have high-technology offset presses as well as digital presses to maximize profitability.

The economics of certain very short-run jobs obviously favor digital.  But on an increasingly large percentage of business over 250-500 impressions, the economics clearly favor offset, he said.  The big reasons:  automation and speed of today’s sheetfed offset presses versus digital’s high cost-per-page.

Exceptionally fast turnarounds and extreme-quality print have been the cornerstones of growth at Nino Press and his other printing company, Bay Central Printing in Union City, CA, even through the extended recession.  This day and age, Mahmoudi said, “the customer doesn’t want to wait—things have to be done right away.  That’s how our operation is set up.”

He said the days of a printer taking 48 to 72 hours to get a quote back to the customer are long gone.  Today, in less than two hours, the customer gets his price quote, the printing company is chosen and the file is sent over for proofing and printing.

Mahmoudi offered one example where a client needed 3,000 copies of a four-color, 56-page book with aqueous coated cover—in less than 18 hours.

“They came to us on a Friday evening at 5—and said they needed the job in their hands by Saturday noon,” he explains.  “We asked them to bring us the file, got them a proof while they waited and they approved the job on the spot.  It ran overnight, was in the bindery at 6 a.m., and in their hands one hour before their deadline.”

“Printing is so much about extraordinary service today—and the market for great service is always going to be there,” Mahmoudi said.

Silicon Valley tech companies know print is a cost-effective supplement to digital marketing

He is thoroughly bullish on the long-term future of print, and that’s saying a lot for someone who’s built two separate printing companies in the epicenter of global technology.  “There’s very high demand for ink on paper around here and that’s not going to go away.”

“Many tech companies do a lot of advertising using print—a lot of direct mail, brochures, catalogues and books.  They know that print is a cost-effective, profit-driving complement to digital communications and marketing.”

He added:  “We also know the arguments about digital communications somehow being more environmentally friendly than print have been debunked.  It takes an enormous amount of energy to run technology, and that energy has to come from somewhere.  Paper, on the other hand, is a renewable resource.”

Printing companies, he said, can cut operating costs with a low carbon and chemical footprint.  It’s not just about using “green” to market to customers.  His Agfa plate setter is chemical-free, and the new RYOBI MHI press draws less energy and uses less paper and chemicals than other 8-up presses.  All coated and uncoated stocks are recycled and they’re printed using vegetable-based inks.  Nino Press is in process of becoming a certified Bay Area Green Business, a designation his Union City facility already has.

Nino Press employs nine people at its 10,000-square foot Santa Clara center.  But it doesn’t look anything like a traditional printing company.  “We made it look really high tech—a nice, clean operation.  We literally stripped the interior down to the studs and put in brand-new everything—new offset and digital presses, new platesetter, new computers, new furniture, paint and flooring.”

He said some visiting clients walk in and immediately wonder why they don’t smell inks and chemicals, the familiar smell of a traditional print shop.  “We tell them we’re not a traditional printing company—and they can bank on that.”


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