James Litho has a broad customer base in the Southern Californian market – from retailers and supermarkets to local manufacturers, municipalities and universities. The company recently installed a third digital press from Heidelberg, a Versafire EP, to replace an older Heidelberg system and complement the current Versafire CP.
While the diverse range of substrates and high speeds of up to 135 A4 pages per minute played a key role in the decision to purchase a Versafire EP, Litho President Jeff James cited the two main factors behind the company’s investment in Heidelberg digital presses as cost-efficient operation and Prinect workflow integration with the company’s current Speedmaster SM 74 offset press.
A long-time Prinect user, James Litho recently upgraded its workflow to the subscription-based Prinect Production Manager, which gives the company access to the entire Prinect product portfolio while also ensuring up-to-date software at all times. The Versafire EP and Versafire CP from Heidelberg are both fully integrated into the Prinect workflow and are controlled via the Prinect Digital Frontend (DFE). Using Heidelberg colour management and renderers – both tried-and-tested solutions in offset printing – the Prinect DFE enables print production to be automated and standardised for excellent efficiency.
‘From imposition to colour management, it’s great having the Prinect integration between our offset and digital platforms. It’s so efficient, in fact, that we don’t have any dedicated digital press operators. Because of the common workflow platform, our prepress technicians prepare our digital jobs from their prepress workstations and send the jobs to print. With our high-capacity delivery, they just press a button and let the Versafire presses run,’ explained James.
In addition to Versafire and Speedmaster systems and the Prinect workflow, James Litho also operates Stahlfolder and POLAR cutters and has recently signed a contract for Prinect Business Manager. This reflects the company’s strategy of systematically digitising its processes.
‘I think it’s an industry-wide issue that we are going to lose many technically skilled operators in printing in the very near future. Heidelberg has been thinking about this for years and is really the only company that has developed all of its products with user-friendliness and automation in mind. From press, to postpress, to prepress – everything from estimating to job tickets – it’s just a complete system,’ emphasised James.
As James Litho looks to expand its offset business to include the 70 × 100 format in the near future, its goal is to have complete automation and digitisation in all areas. ‘We know that with Heidelberg technology, having automated systems is what’s going to keep us successful and viable moving forward,’ concluded James.