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New concepts and proposal of new added-values for boosting the production volume of short-run jobs, keeping Jet Press 720S operating at full capacity at the rate of two million sheets per annum

December 25, 2017
[Photo]Hajime Hori, President, Daiichi Printing

Hajime Hori, President, Daiichi Printing

■New force for catering to customers’ demand for higher quality and faster delivery
Daiichi Printing Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Niigata, Japan) introduced a Jet Press 720S in January 2017 as a new force in its short-run commercial printing business. Using its outstanding printing quality and mobility, the company is offering value-added services.

Daiichi Printing handles a range of printing services including commercial printing, book printing, form printing and card printing. In partnership with seven affiliates, it operates as a one-stop shop covering planning, printing, processing and shipping services. Currently, the company is undergoing hardware upgrade to establish a fully-digital production structure, following the acquisition of a high-end color POD system for digital printing. It added Jet Press 720S to its hardware lineup in January 2017 to expand services in commercial printing.
Explaining the background of introducing the Jet Press 720S, President Hajime Hori said: “With our customers demanding services of not only high quality but also faster turnaround, we must become a one-stop shop, covering everything from pre-printing to post-printing. In view of this trend of the time, I made a decision to invest in the Jet Press 720S for further service improvement. We are now in the final fiscal year of our 7th mid-term management plan. It is necessary to continue offering new suggestions to existing customers, and establish the ability to add even greater values to our services for future customers.”

Asked about the purpose of introducing the Jet Press 720S, Daiichi Printing’s Management Director Masaki Abe, who takes charge of the Sales Division and the Business Planning & Development Division, said: “Our aim was to improve our services in line with changes in the market environment, boost productivity of hardware including existing printing presses, and enhance the quality of printing proofs.”

■Value-added solutions that help clients boost their sales
The introduction of the Jet Press 720S went smoothly. It has been operational at full capacity since the introduction, producing more than 200,000 sheets per month after just three months. Eight months after the introduction, the device has now printed 1,260,000 sheets in total.

Commenting on the high capacity factor, Daiichi Printing’s Representative Executive Director Hironobu Koide, who is in charge of the Production Division, said: “We are completely happy about the quality and stability of the Jet Press 720S. After clearing the issues of color-matching with existing offset presses and support for light weight papers, we directed short-run jobs of 1,000 copies or less from the existing sheet-fed offset press to the Jet Press 720S. This has not only increased the capacity factor of the Jet Press 720S, but also boosted the average production lot of the sheet-fed offset press by 10.5%. Increasing the lot volume has raised production efficiency, resulting in the use of fewer printing plates and lower costs.”

Using the Jet Press 720S for short-run jobs has also enabled the company to offer new solutions to clients.
“Previously, we would use the offset press for a 2,000-copy job and deliver it in single batch. Now, we actively offer the option of printing 500 copies four times. Staggering deliveries, 500 copies at a time, allows a customer to incorporate up-to-date information every time, increasing the value of the printed materials. If that leads to the customer’s sales boost and greater satisfaction, the customer will come back to us for future orders. The quality stability of the Jet Press 720S makes it possible for us to offer such a suggestion. Offset printing runs the risk of color tone changes. In contrast, the Jet Press 720S has no such risk, giving us confidence to offer new solutions,” says Koide.

As fresh applications for the Jet Press 720S, Daiichi Printing cites the concepts of “Smart Printing” and “Omotenashi (Premium) Printing” as value-added services that are only possible with digital printing.

“Smart Printing” makes maximum use of the advantages of digital printing to deliver solution-type products to clients. Managing Director Abe said the company strives to play the role of a “media product manufacturer” and “solution provider.”

Meanwhile, “Omotenashi Printing” taps into digital printing’s excellent reproducibility and short-run suitability compared to offset printing, to offer user-friendly printed materials and value-added tools that appeal to their artistic sense.

■“Inaugural Year of Digital Printing” for business transformation
The latest introduction of the Jet Press 720S for general commercial printing gives the company a full hardware lineup in digital printing. Managing Director Abe defines this year as the company’s “Inaugural Year of Digital Printing,” expressing strong commitment to further accelerating its business transformation.

“We are planning the deployment of new services that take advantage of the strength of the Jet Press, POD system and continuous-feed printer. The lineup not only provides support for short-run jobs but also allows us to approach completely different business domains based on the concept of creating new added values and new products.”

Commenting on specific effects of the introduction of the Jet Press 720S from management perspectives, Representative Executive Director Koide said: “At the time of its introduction, we were anticipating the annual output of one million sheets, and set the goals of ‘reducing the number of printing plates used by 12,000 per annum,’ ‘improving the productivity of existing printing equipment by 20%’ and ‘reducing overtime by 30%.’ Eight months have passed, and we are operating at a pace that will allow us to clear these goals comfortably. The output is expected to reach two million sheets per annum, which is double the initial goal. Overtime hours have been reduced by 40%, which is also greater than the original target. The rate of employees claiming paid leaves has doubled from last year’s level.”

Asked about further business growth in the future, President Hori said: “The latest introduction of the Jet Press 720S can be described as our ‘first step toward innovation,’ opening a new door of digital printing. I am very happy to report a wonderful start. We will continue to make creative efforts to deliver value-added services that suit each of our customers, in fostering the digital printing business into one of our major business pillars.”