Tim Cotter, VP of Operations at Sheridan Books was interviewed by Printing Impressions for a February article titled High-Speed Inkjet Presses: Next Round of Investments, by Heidi Tolliver-Walker, that looks at the decision behind various inkjet press installations over the past year. Here’s what Tim had to say:
Sheridan Books: Critical Color Needs and ISO Compliance
One of the verticals in which we are seeing rapid investment in high-speed inkjet production is book publishing. This transition is exemplified by Sheridan Books (Chelsea, MI), which installed an HP T360 color inkjet web press in October 2012.
“We’ve seen about a 20 percent reduction in our average run length,” says Tim Cotter, vice president of operations for the short-run book printer, which serves more than 2,000 publishers in the trade, professional, religious, scientific, medical and technical fields. “While our run lengths vary, the average has dropped from 2,200 to 1,800.”
Cotter finds that publishers are aggressively going after inventory costs and have a better understanding that purchase decisions aren’t just made on manufacturing unit cost but on the total cost. “We also expect to use the press to cut delivery time by 60 percent to 75 percent in many instances,” he adds.
Cotter did his product research in conjunction with Ed Hartman, vice president of operations for Sheridan’s sister company The Sheridan Press, which produces short-run books and short-run magazines and journals. Both are units of The Sheridan Group.
Top on the list of factors in the purchase decision was the ability to match offset output. Sheridan Books and Sheridan Press provided live job files to all vendors under consideration, and the 1,200×600 resolution HP T300 was the closest match. Sheridan is also an ISO-compliant company, and HP was the only vendor that could adhere to ISO standards, according to Cotter. Sheridan is currently working with HP and GRACoL to make the press G7 compliant.
The Sheridan team also liked that HP provided additional redundancy in terms of print nozzles, increasing its comfort level in its ability to manage the quality and run continuously.
Sheridan’s HP T360 is driven by an HP SmartStream Elite print server and is capable of production speeds up to 600 fpm in full-color and 800 fpm in monochrome. On the front end, Sheridan uses Prinergy, as well as a customized, fully automated front end system. It is in the process of rolling out a front end Web commerce interface supported by a content management system as well, but the company is not yet ready to release details.
On the back end, Sheridan Books is the first company to integrate a Timsons T-fold device. “Instead of what you would expect to see coming off the press—cutsheet book blocks—we get folded, high-page-count signatures,” reveals Cotter. “Having this capability was key for us. We can also run the press in discrete signature mode instead of book block mode. We can feed those signatures into our bindery with the same high-speed stream feeders we already have on our binding lines.”
Investment in high-speed inkjet is also part of Sheridan Books’ larger effort to use alliances to provide full distributed print capabilities in the United Kingdom and Asia.
To access the full article, click here.
To view a short video showing Sheridan Books’ inkjet press coming to life, click here.