Who would think you could deliver a product faster than tomorrow? Wholesale franchise stationery printer BCT Indianapolis is on the cutting edge of turnaround. Owner Doug Keller moved to a digital workflow to replace camera-ready copy. Recently, BCT took the idea a step further and installed a computer-toplate (CTP) system.
"Quick printers, as opposed to my other customers, have a tendency to send art in digital format. As a result, they are apt to take advantage of computer- to-plate more readily,” says Keller.
“My greatest challenge in going digital has been convincing customers that non-digital artwork is different to scan, especially screened art,” says Keller. Quick print shops tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to going digital.
"Customers have been pleased with the enhanced improvement in registration. Now, tiny register marks and quote marks are produced with a significant improvement in quality,” says Keller. “We’ve also gained a marketing edge due to the PlateStream® through accelerated service in terms of turnaround: 90 percent of all jobs within 24 hours.”
BCT’s Previous Workflow
BCT creates 95 percent of its artwork digitally, typesetting customers’ orders and scanning supplied logos and graphics. The other five percent is received on disk. Before CTP, files were sent to a laser printer to output proofs. Upon customer approval, the laser print was used as original art.
Keller commented, “I used several criteria to choose the Printware PlateStream. First I looked for reliable technology that met our speed and quality requirements. Then I looked at Printware’s experience.” Keller continued, “Several vendors offer CTP systems; however, very few have installed hundreds of them like Printware has. I also checked references to ensure that other printers were successfully using the equipment in applications similar to ours.”
Keller notes that comprehensive service and training programs were also a criteria. He definitely would recommend having several employees trained to operate and maintain the platesetter so it performs well every day. Finally, Keller looked for an upgradable platesetter, which would accommodate new features as they became available. For example, an integrated punch was installed on one of his platesetters to service his newest 2- and 4- color presses. Keller justifies his decision by stating, “When you’re purchasing cutting-edge technology, it’s important to know that you will be able to keep it cutting edge for many years to come.”