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For more than a year now, since December 2010, Fenske Media has been using its new press to create millions of full-color, highly personalized materials, which drive higher rates of return and increased revenues for its customers. With its automated color management and image quality management system, the high-speed inkjet printing system is capable of print quality that rivals offset output up to 175 lpi across a range of mail applications on uncoated, coated, and glossy papers, ranging from 45 to 300 grams per square meter or 30-pound to 200-pound text weight. To reach the required quality levels its customers demand, Fenske uses pre-treated glossy coated substrates. Last May, the firm added a UV-coating set up, which is still being tweaked.
"Relevance equals revenue, and the ability to personalize these self-mailers based on the consumer's past purchasing behavior is vital," Dave Fenske explained. "That's where our Prosper 5000XL Press excels in more ways than one—millions to be exact. Now we're able to produce highly targeted, data-driven marketing materials in runs that result in much higher response rates, yielding maximum return on marketing investment."
For its digital front end (DFE), variable data flow exclusive to the Prosper Press is driven by the Kodak 700 Print Manager, developed by the vendor's former Creo unit in Israel. Fenske only runs variable print on its Kodak Versamark VL2200 Printing System and Prosper 5000XL Press. It also uses a NexPress Digital Production Color Press and Prinergy Digital Workflow for its computer-to-plate workflow, which is overseen by partner/brother John Fenske, who has helped to develop a proprietary workflow system for conventional and digital press capabilities; Prinergy profiles are employed to match digital and offset output.
Planet Fenco also runs an older model Xeikon 5000 digital press, a Heidelberg sheetfed offset press, and a range of Standard/Hunkeler finishing equipment.
Gold in Them Thar Hills?
Their father, Paul Fenske, the original visionary and family patriarch, lived to see his dream realized. What would become Fenske Media Corp. rose from its letterpress roots in the mid-1950s. But what potential did the Korean War veteran see in Rapid City when he and his wife moved there from Minneapolis? Perhaps he was inspired by the fairly new mountain sculpture at nearby Rushmore, where another man envisioned monumental art when other's could only see stone. Fenske Media casts the shadow of a printing firm, like the tall pine trees shading the Black Hills near which it is situated, but it has become so much more than just a printing company.
Paul Fenske knew the children shared his vision when they designed a new plant for the growing company. The building was erected in 2001 with the move-in date a week after the 9/11 tragedy, recalled Dave. While the timing may have been poor, the dream lived on.
Although their dad passed in February 2010, two months shy of his 82nd birthday and 10 months prior to the Prosper's delivery, he knew what was in the works; how his boys planned to expand his vision and use technology to take printed personalization to a new, long-run level. Their mother, Anne, loves visiting the plant, the brothers said, and she is quite certain that as she looks upon the fancy new digital press, her husband of 58 years is looking on, too, and smiling proudly from a superior, aerial vantage point.