MARIETTA, Ga. — November 10, 2016 — One Step, based in Davenport, Iowa, recently purchased and installed an RMGT 9 Series Offset Press, replacing two older RYOBI presses the shop had been running. One Step also invested in the LED-UV technology upgrade, making it a powerful addition to its operation. One Step is in the midst of an amazing 2016, growing 60% this year alone, and purchasing three other companies to increase the range of services and products it can offer. To maintain that kind of growth, a shop must have the right business model, and the right employees to execute it — but just as important is having a cornerstone press that is robust enough to keep up with the demands for more speed and better quality.
“We choose this press because of its LED-UV curing technology,” explains Doug May, president at One Step. “It has a faster speed to market, with no dry time and no coatings needed on 95% of the jobs we run. And then you add in the ability to run shorter runs cost effectively — it’s application based, but we have run as few as 2,000 8.5×11˝ sheets — and it was a great investment.”
Founded in 1995, One Step didn’t take the path most print shops follow. They began as a digital-only shop, and didn’t install their first offset press until 2002. “We were reluctant to get out of digital and into offset,” May notes, “but hybrid printing drove us into combining the offset and digital production lines.”
In fact, May was quoted early on in his print career as saying he would never own an offset press, but those are words he is happy to take back now that he has seen what his RMGT press can do. “When you look at digital, and where it’s at, we found the offset cost per impression and the throughput speeds just made more sense than going after digital,” he pointed out. He also noted that while high speed digital presses are now starting to hit the mainstream print market, they still aren’t as reliable and consistent as his RMGT press.
“Reliability and cost per copy come into play when comparing digital and offset,” May notes. “With the big press, we always know exactly what the cost and throughput will be, every time. Not to mention, if a technician comes in to service a digital press during a shift, you’re down; offset requires less maintenance so the shop has more up time.”
May joked that one of the biggest changes his company has seen since installing the new RMGT 9 Series — which has been up and running at full speed since the beginning of August this year — has been an increase in paper costs, because they can produce so much more in the same amount of time. But getting serious, he notes, “the biggest thing we’re noticing is the amount of product throughput and speed to market.” Just one example: One Step produces political postcards for some customers, and could produce and ship 100,000 of them in just two hours. “That’s insane for us,” May says.
In fact, One Step, which has traditionally only run one shift per day, is considering looking at adding another shift, or a half-shift. “We are looking at enhanced press shifts to move more product through,” May says. “This press has the ability to push out more product, so we want to consider taking better advantage of that.”
Another fringe benefit that May wasn’t expecting using LED-UV curing on the RMGT 9 Series press was how clean his shop is now. Because the LED-UV technology doesn’t require powder to dry the inks, there is no dust “gunking up” the rest of the equipment in the shop. “We can run the job right through a folder without running into issues,” he adds. “We can pull a job off the offset press and put it on the digital press to address it without any jams at all. No powder, no problem.
Speed is another benefit the shop is enjoying with the LED-UV inks. May pointed out that because the inks dry so fast, they are processing the jobs 15-20 minutes after they get off the press, allowing them to move jobs through the shop at speeds they could never dream of before. They can have a job come in at 8 AM, he notes, and it’s going back out the door by 11 a.m. that same day. “We’re able to hit the speed, and it is really thrilling our clients,” he says.
The RMGT 9 Series press has allowed One Step to better serve its current customer base, May said. But long term, the shop is anticipating increasingly better labor management as they take advantage of the productivity enhancements the press offers. In fact, May shares that now One Step has so much coming off the press at such speeds, the team is looking at other technology in other parts of the shop that will need to be upgraded to keep up. “We are excited to have been a part of One Step’s evolution through the years, and we are happy to now support them through their next phase of growth with their new RMGT 9 Series offset press,” said Chris Manley, President, Graphco, the Midwest distributor for RMGT. “With its combination of speed, flexibility and quality, we know this press will be a reliable platform One Step can use to continue its incredible story.”