DIGITAL CTP USERS SPEAK OUT
Color House Graphics, Inc.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Derek Landheer, Production Manager
Color House Graphics was established in 1987 by Ken Postema, Bill
Landheer and Steve Landheer. The industry veterans pooled their
unique skills and print management backgrounds to form one of the
fastest growing book manufacturers in the United States. In 2002,
Bill retired from the business, followed in 2012 by Ken, leaving
Steve as the owner.
Though recognized for delivering high-caliber books for leading Christian publishers, Color House Graphics' experience, standards and technologically advanced equipment ensure the same quality work for independent authors and publishers of all sizes. To meet customers' book printing needs, Color House Graphics operates 40-inch sheetfed presses (two-color and six-color models with inline coating capabilities). Its pressroom also houses monochrome and four-color digital print engines. The company thoroughly researched different lithoplate solutions before converting in late 2012 to Integra positive-working, no-bake thermal plates.
"Color House Graphics had a longtime relationship with another digital plate vendor, but we grew concerned about the manufacturer's future in the printing industry," says Derek Landheer, production manager. "Like most printers, we were seeking long-term assurance, reliable supply and ways to cut consumables costs. The Integra is a high-quality, affordable plate. When we took everything into consideration — plate handling, chemistry usage, image quality and cost of the plates — we tried to think of a reason NOT to switch and could not come up with one. It really was a no-brainer."
Passing the Test: "As part of our research, we selected a couple live jobs, processed the files in prepress, made plates on our Lotem 800 CTP device and processed the plates using SLP's plate processor. The Integra plates printed the jobs very well. We talked to our press operators, and they were quite satisfied with the SLP plates' performance."
Holds Up to Unforgiving Substrates: "Groundwood paper, because of its abrasive characteristics, can quickly degrade the structure of the halftone dot on a plate. Our previous plates started to lose images after 20,000 impressions when using groundwood paper. The Integra plates are good, long-lasting plates. They maintain the dot structure on our longest runs."
Easy on Chemistry: "The Integra plates are more generous with the plate chemistry. In the past, we have changed chemistry after 1,000 plates. On average, we are experiencing twice the longevity with the Integra plates that we used to get."
You can learn more details about SLP Integra 830 P digital plate solutions at slp.com/lithoplates-integra830P.asp.
ColorCraft of Virginia, Inc.
ColorCraft of Virginia is known for devising award-winning
solutions to challenging projects. Since 1986, the $8 million firm
has catered to the printing needs of government agencies,
educational institutions, associations, health care providers and
midsize businesses. Colorful annual reports, brochures, promotional
pieces and posters are among ColorCraft's many commercial jobs
printed on a mix of full-size and small-format sheetfed presses and
Service: "I have worked with hundreds of companies in more than 30 years in this business, and none of them come close to the customer service of the SLP organization"
Long Run Lengths: "Our longest runs are 250,000 impressions, and we have had no quality or performance issues whatsoever."
Superior Plate Technology: "The Integra has great dot structure with no soft fringe, which is a must when printing with 10-micron and 20-micron stochastic screening on a daily basis. We run less water on our six-color Heidelberg presses due to the superior grain structure. The linearization from skid to skid is the most consistent of any plate we have ever used."
Chroma Graphics, Inc.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Rusty Coolidge, President
a full-service commercial sheetfed printer, Chroma Graphics runs to
a very high quality standard. It is driven by the desire to offer
the best print quality possible to corporate clients, ad agencies,
graphic design firms and corporate clients located throughout the
Washington, D.C., region and nationwide.
Chroma Graphics produces a wide variety of multicolor brochures, marketing pieces and catalogs. Looking to decrease costs, increase profits and further differentiate itself from the competition, the $10 million company was drawn to the Integra's value and reliability.
"We had used and tested many different plates over the years before finally going to SLP products," states Rusty Coolidge, president. "We actually ran a blind test in our pressroom, comparing ink pull up, dot structure and printability. The Integra plate came out ahead."
Performance: "The Integra meets our needs for repeatability. It is a durable, long-run plate. Our run lengths are longer than many sheetfed printers. The dot structure on the plate is solid and doesn't just wear away while running on press."
Value: "I truly feel that the Integra is the best plate on the market for price and reliability."
Commitment to Customers: "The service and commitment from SLP to stand behind their product was the biggest factor in our decision to choose the Integra plate. If we ever have a problem, they take care of the situation very quickly. I always give SLP praise in the Washington metropolitan area."
George Stulpin, President
understands the needs of book and periodical publishers. The
8-year-old company specializes in books, magazines, technical
manuals and catalogs, as well as marketing materials and other
general commercial products. Production runs range from 1,000 to
100,000 sheets. Colorgraphx already knew the value of SLP solutions
when it converted to Integra plates.
"SLP is a true partner with Colorgraphx," observes George Stulpin, president. "They have really worked to help us reduce costs and print the best quality we can from SLP plates."
Positive Plate Technology: "We were one of the first shops to start using Integra plates. We made the switch because, for us, the future lies in positive-working, no-bake thermal plates. Eliminating the oven from the processing workflow was the direction we wanted to go."
High Print Quality: "The Integra fits our needs in terms of print quality. It holds a sharp dot. The resulting print quality is higher."
Cost Effectiveness: "Our present platemaking process is even more cost-effective than it was."
Sanborn, New York
Bob Alessi, Prepress/Press Manager
Back in the 1970s, American Coaster Co. began producing beverage
coasters in western New York. Lots of coasters. As the microbrewery
and casual dining industries exploded in the 1980s, the company
flourished. American Coaster Ad-Mat, as the printing company later
became known, eventually joined the Katz Group. The Koehler Paper
Group acquired the Katz Group in 2009.
Today, Katz Americas' production plants in Sanborn, N.Y., and Johnson City, Tenn., print, cut and ship virtually every kind of standard and specialty coaster under the sun. The New York location specializes in short-run projects while the Tennessee plant emphasizes extremely long runs. Both plants rely on Southern Lithoplate Digital CtP plates to help overwhelm customers with innovative product solutions and out-of-this-world service.
"In the nine years we've been printing with SLP plates, representatives from every other major plate manufacturer have tried to convince us to switch to their products," recalls Bob Alessi, prepress/press manager. "They've cited price, technology, plate quality — you name it. I've repeatedly turned them away. Southern Lithoplate is a company that will have no problem whatsoever holding on for the long haul."
Reliability: "Southern Lithoplate Digital CtP plates deliver good, stable performance day in and day out for anything and everything we produce as a company. I have nothing but praise for the plates."
Supply: "Southern Lithoplate goes out of its way to anticipate our needs and make sure we have enough metal on the floor to handle any unforeseen production circumstances."
Direct Relationship: "We believe in strong relationships with our vendors. When we started working with SLP, it was the only plate manufacturer we found that was open to dealing direct with customers, which was a huge benefit to our operation at the time. Everyone else was pretty much broker-driven."
St. Croix Press, Inc.
New Richmond, Wisconsin
Brian Ristow, Plant Manager
Founded in 1971, St. Croix Press is a short-run to medium-run
publication printer known for award-winning printing and innovative
solutions. The family-owned printing company specializes in trade
journals, alumni magazines, specialty market publications and
catalogs with print runs up to 200,000. Its services include
printing, binding, finishing and distribution. A team of more than
150 print professionals develops long-term relationships with
customers by maintaining the highest standards of quality,
craftsmanship and personal service.
St. Croix Press runs a wide variety of paper grades and sizes on its top-of-the-line half-web and sheetfed presses. After utilizing thermal plates from another manufacturer, the company made the move to Southern Lithoplate Digital CtP plates in 2009.
"The pressroom was looking to open the window with ink-and-water balance," says Brian Ristow, plant manager. "That was the biggest reason behind our switch to Southern Lithoplate. We're able to maintain our ink-water balance much more effectively and keep more consistent color. The press make-readies are much faster. We also print a higher-quality product. Reduced spoilage goes along with all of that. The press operators are extremely pleased with the plates."
Imaging Quality: "The prepress department really likes the SLP plates. They image well, and the ablation residue is significantly less than we experienced with other plates."
Plate Wear: "We've never had any instances where the plates failed to achieve the run lengths that Southern Lithoplate promised."
Service: "Southern Lithoplate is very reactive to any concerns. Problems are a rare occurrence, but on the occasions when there have been minor manufacturing issues, a local technical representative addresses the issues quickly. We can place a phone call, and the rep is usually here within an hour."
Carlstadt, New Jersey
Steven Rickett, President
UNIMAC Graphics, an $80 million graphic communications company,
caters to clients in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as
well as select accounts throughout the United States. The company
employs 350 people at its world-class production facility. Its
diverse capabilities run the gamut from print production and
integrated marketing communications to data service and
An early adopter of CtP, UNIMAC Graphics migrated from Southern Lithoplate analog plates to digital plate solutions for its sheetfed and web offset presses. Southern Lithoplate Digital CtP plates deliver flawless results on commercial projects, packaging, direct mail, large-format printing and newspaper inserts.
"As a Pantone and GRACoL 7 certified printer, UNIMAC Graphics is on the highest edge of quality," says Steven Rickett, president. "We put Southern Lithoplate products to the test in all areas as far as quality, run lengths, stability, dot gain and precision. They've passed every test possible."
Service: "What really sets a company apart from the competition is the service behind the product. Southern Lithoplate has supplied plate products to UNIMAC Graphics for 10 years. Service is the single greatest advantage of doing business with Southern Lithoplate. The service has always been excellent and immediate."
Durability: "We achieve tremendous run lengths on both web and sheetfed presses. We've printed a million impressions on web equipment without changing a plate."
Consistency: "Southern Lithoplate Digital CtP plates are steady performers under a wide range of press conditions and printing applications. They print extremely well with conventional and UV inks on paper, foils and various plastics."