The personalized, holiday greetings cards have begun to arrive in the mail, and more than a fair share of those ordered online from Hallmark.com are produced by direct marketing firm MSP in western Pennsylvania. (Many of Hallmark’s cards are sold through retail partner websites, such as...
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The personalized, holiday greetings cards have begun to arrive in the mail, and more than a fair share of those ordered online from Hallmark.com are produced by direct marketing firm MSP in western Pennsylvania. (Many of Hallmark’s cards are sold through retail partner websites, such as Walmart.com, and printed on Fujifilm photo paper.) The production secret, especially during this extra busy time of year, is running inline in a single-step operation using a Rollem Jetstream, according to Doug Wright, executive VP of MSP, which outputs from “1.2 million to 1.8 million pieces daily, seven days a week,” he said, using half-web offset presses and a trio of HP Indigo digital presses (models 5500, 7000, and 7500).
The 400-employee company, formerly known as Mailing Services of Pittsburgh, celebrates its 60th year in business in 2013. It also has capabilities for envelope printing, inserting, laser printing, database development/management, tracking, and reporting as well as a full-service bindery within its 150,000-square-foot facility in Freedom, PA. MSP is part of the Thornhill Group, which spun off its TrueSense Marketing (TSM) agency about five years ago. In addition to Hallmark, other major MSP accounts are DoubleTree/Hilton Hotels and OneMain Financial (a Citi affiliate).
For the Hallmark work, the Jetstream starts with a full multi-up image sheet, cuts the sheet vertically and horizontally, and delivers highly precise finished products. It is designed for both digital print providers as well as offset printers, Rollem noted. Sheets are trimmed, slit, perforated, and butt/bleed cut in one, fully automatic system. This uninterrupted processing eliminates guillotine cutting and increases production while performing the most accurate slitting, trimming and scoring processes all at speeds of up to 5,000 sheets per hour (sph). In addition to greeting cards, the finishing solution is ideally suited for the production of postcards, photo sheets, playing cards/games, business cards, direct mailers, coupons, and calendars.
Using XML files input by customers, “We can go from a two-up, 12x18 inch blank Indigo sheet to a finished, 5x7 card in one pass,” Wright explained, “including gutter trims and backbone slitting and scoring.” MSP installed the Jetstream in 2009, and Wright reported that MSP assisted Rollem engineers with the machine design. “The Jetstream is 100 percent faster than our old process,” he noted. “We were running at 5,000 sheets per hour [sph] and now are at 10,000,” adding that no additional set up is required for the backbone slitting/scoring. “We can do one to one or one to many.”
Jetstream is versatile and can be configured in a variety of ways. It operates as a self-contained unit, or it may be integrated into a digital printing line to accept sheets directly from the digital press, thereby maximizing print and finishing efficiency. And it’s flexible. The key to Rollem’s quick change-overs, said Rollem western regional sales manager Doug Sherwood, is its roll-away, modular machine design. Over the past 10 years, the manufacturer has added several features, including the inline gluing and folding tables.
Depending on the application, the Jetstream offers several options including folding, plough folding, gluing, and diecutting to create a complete production line. Product delivery options include a bin delivery, shingle delivery, or an auto-collation feature that gathers product into sets, ideal for game cards, response cards, and other types of packs or sets. In today’s fast-paced print world, the ability to glue and plough-fold is critical to finishing products destined for the mailstream, added Sherwood.