Boost digital colour output
The Customer: SOS Print + Media
SOS Print + Media has grown to be Australia’s biggest digital print-on-demand provider. That growth has come from many years’ digital experience shared by the company’s three owners-founders, Andy Faber-Castell, Michael Peel and Bob Gardner. Located in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria, they employ 170 staff and turn over approximately $30 million a year, making it one of the largest independently owned printing companies in New South Wales.
While today there is no shortage of conventional offset printing capability at SOS, including two 10-colour presses, an increasing volume of work is being produced digitally. Michael Schulz, a Director at SOS, says approximately 40 percent of the company’s production by value is now printed digitally and he expects this percentage to grow rapidly.
The Challenge: Colour production excellence
A significant growth area for SOS has been books on demand, with publishers ordering anything from a single copy up to 900 of a particular title. Digital technology empowers the company to meet the demands of publishers quickly and to the highest standards, without waste.
The company were looking for a production-grade colour device that could complement their existing devices and increase their growing output demand. SOS looked at a number of contenders in the digital production colour space, but chose Ricoh’s first entry into the colour market – the Ricoh Pro C900.
"We looked at the Pro C900 at Print 2009 in Chicago and found it to be a solid, sturdy engine, capable of delivering good quality register on a variety of substrates up to 300gsm," Schulz explains. "Although Ricoh are a reasonably new player to the digital production market, we saw their engine capability and service offering as a good fit for our digital print requirements."
SOS is a demanding production environment and even tested its own business cards, incorporating quite complex QR (Quick Response) codes, along with the requirement that they could be cello-glazed after printing. The Ricoh Pro C900 passed all the tests and has quickly become an important and productive part of the SOS digital armoury.
The Pro C900 is Ricoh’s first colour production device, featuring the fastest speed in its class. It delivers a constant 90 ppm in full colour, an average monthly print volume of 170,000 and duty cycle of 400,000. Amongst its industry leading inline finishing capabilities, it also boasts the first ever fully automated ring-bind finisher.
Ricoh’s Better Way
"We have been very happy with the workload ability of the Pro C900," says Schulz, noting that the unit had already produced around 500,000 impressions in the first five months since it was installed. It handles a diverse range of applications, including colour books, covers, flyers, short run colour, a bit of variable data and mail-outs.
"The device is dependable in its ability to offer maximum uptime while also demonstrating high accuracy in repeatable colour jobs," he says, adding that it was important for the Ricoh Pro C900 to be calibrated to match their existing digital device, which was achieved with minimal fuss.
SOS staff received training on the Ricoh Pro C900 at Ricoh’s Printing Innovation Centre in Sydney. Since the installation, Ricoh’s production specialists have been on call to support SOS with its Pro C900 investment.
"If we have needed help, Ricoh have responded quickly with support to ensure we’re getting everything we need," says Schulz. "The versatility of the Pro C900 means it can handle anything we give it. Because it runs so well, we are putting more work on it. It’s competitively priced and is well supported by Ricoh’s Production team."
Call our Production Specialists today on 1300 887 414 to find out more.