Tecnau Technology Creates Turnkey Solution For Printing Business

Tecnau Technology Creates Turnkey Solution For Printing Business

KP, a printing powerhouse that has been in business for more than 90 years, considers Tecnau a solution driven partner who always places ideas and solutions on the table for consideration. 

The company focused on general commercial print for a number of years. However, over the last five years, KP has shifted its focus to data driven critical communication. This includes correspondence with members, patients and customers in highly regulated industries requiring rigid service level agreement (SLA) performance, confidentiality, and security.

This communication may include confidential protected health information (PHI) and/or personal identification information (PII). KP’s evolution has resulted in double digit compound annual growth for the company. To support this increase in business, KP made a significant investment back into the company in continuous inkjet platforms, high speed inserting, and finishing equipment.

Since the transition to data driven critical communication, KP has had a heavy focus in the healthcare, government, and financial services markets. Brett Birky, Chief Operating Officer at KP, added, ‘Most recently, the legal/info-sec market has been a growing market for us with critical communication outreach.’

The company’s initial investment in new equipment began in 2018 when KP was responding to a bid from an existing customer. KP needed to expand its capacity and capabilities. ‘Tecnau came to the table with different solutions, and was great at guiding us along the way,’ stated Guy Smith, Senior Vice President of Operations at KP. ‘They were the only finishing supplier that scoped out the project and was with us throughout the entire RFP process. Tecnau stood out from the onset.’

To retain the business, KP was introduced to continuous inkjet for colour and additional capacity. The company’s first Tecnau purchase was the Stack 2020, a cutting and stacking solution that includes the Buffer 530, Cutter c20, and the Stacker s20. It is used in conjunction with the Ricoh press in KP’s Sacramento location.

Since this initial investment, KP has purchased Tecnau equipment six more times. The company enhanced its operation with the Tecnau Revolution 50 Stack 5251 on numerous separate occasions. The Stack 5251 operates in-line or near-line with web-fed digital inkjet printers at speeds up to 180m/min. This solution includes the double-cutting Cutter c52, which includes dual rotary knives to sheet the web using single cut or variable double strip cut for full bleed colour printing.

The Stacker s51 builds up to 25.4cm (10”) tall stacks of sheets and has an integrated buffer for non-stop deliveries. Furthermore, the Stack 5251 features next generation controls for compatibility with the ‘Internet of Thing’ (IoT). According to KP’s Vice President of Operations – Sacramento, Chris Howton, ‘The Tecnau equipment has helped us to grow our customer base, reduce overtime, and allows us to drive down our price to be more competitive in data driven communication and PII mailing markets.’

During the pandemic, another issue KP faced was the ability to purchase envelopes. They often had a long lead time; therefore, KP looked to invest in a different solution to satisfy customer needs quickly. The choice was the Roll2Mail self-mailer system, which eliminates envelopes from production. The system includes the InfoSeal Pressure Seal PS880, Baum 20 INF Folder, and Tecnau’s Unwinder u9 and Cutter 561. The Cutter 561 is a cost-effective solution ideal for less-demanding offline environments. This new self-mailer system provides a two wide sheet, consisting of three pages each, folded and sealed to compact, secure self-mailers. ‘With this system, KP can process 40,000 sheets or 80,000 mail pieces in an hour. The number of touches is reduced. Each piece goes straight from a press to a finishing system. It definitely makes us much more efficient,’ stated Guy Smith.

Perforated paper is another significant requirement for KP’s clients. This need led to the purchase of the Tecnau TC1550 HS1 Dynamic Perforator, which can perforate as well as score sheets horizontally or vertically – 2D Datamatrices trigger unique dynamic processing sheet by sheet. This piece of equipment helped KP to reduce the need to inventory perforated sheets of paper. KP uses the TC1550 HS1 in conjunction with Tecnau’s Unwinder u9 and Rewinder r9, and Ricoh printers (models 5000 and Pro VC40000) in its Sacramento facilities. This same line of Tecnau equipment is also used with the Screen 520 HD printer at its Renton location. Similar to the Unwinder u9, the Rewinder r9, operates at a speed up to 180m/min and supports unattended printing.

‘Tecnau brought many cost saving ideas to us. A roll of paper versus a sheet paper drove down our paper cost. As labour continues to rise in cost and was especially hard to find during the pandemic, the Tecnau solutions reduced the number of full time employees needed,’ according to Howton. ‘We are now able to meet very tight turn times without additional staffing or overtime.’

In addition, KP has found the post sales process to be excellent, including Tecnau’s technicians who have been very responsive. ‘We run our lines hard with very high uptimes. We are confident they can deliver. There is not a lot of concern if a line does go down because the Tecnau service is spot on,’ stated Howton.

Finally, the Tecnau team provided on-site training for the KP team. After these sessions, KP found that the lines are relatively easy to operate, and training is now taught by its in-house staff.

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