Idle hands may make mischief, but idle assets cost money. That is why you will never see production equipment standing idle for any length of time at Nieman Printing, Inc.
“We strive to achieve a very high utilization rate for our assets,” stated Mike Nieman, president. “Our goal is to lead with technologies that are required by our customers. Over the years, we have found that if the customer is driving the technology, maximum use and potential are achieved.”
With this driving customer focus model, the Dallas-based printing company’s latest press acquisition—a 12-color Mitsubishi Diamond 3000R, featuring convertible perfecting with twin coaters—went into production in September 2010. It runs virtually nonstop, including weekends. The 40-inch press became a big (literally, in that it is 120 feet from feeder to delivery) asset to an amply outfitted production facility with a 24/7 schedule.
“I would estimate that 20 to 25 percent of our large print work is produced on the 12-color press at this time,” said Matt Nieman, the family-owned company’s chief operating officer.
Founded in 1979, Nieman Printing operates in a 132,000-square-foot facility and offers one of the area’s strongest complements of equipment and services for quality visual print products to the commercial and trade markets. Its powerful arsenal includes large- and small-format sheetfed offset presses, half-web and digital presses.
As for the array of services, which spans fulfillment, warehousing, mailing and kitting, Mike Nieman again looks to the customer: “We make many different services available to our customers and let them choose according to their unique needs.”
This model and its strategy seem to be working in that Nieman Printing has experienced a growth rate of 15 percent. That translates into annual revenues reaching the $30 million range.
Nieman Printing is a veteran of perfecting printing. Among its press components prior to the addition of the 12-color Diamond 3000R are a 10-color, 40-inch perfector and a four-color, 25-inch perfector that were an integral part of a previous upgrade in its production capabilities.
According to Matt Nieman, the bulk of the company’s two-sided work is four-over-four with a major portion of this work utilizing a PMS color or varnish.
“We print a large amount of publications and books on a monthly basis,” he said. “Before we installed the Diamond 3000R, applying UV coatings on the covers was done as a separate production process and off-site. Additionally, we outsourced spot UV coating, and the costs for this were rising.”
Beyond these cited benefits, the coating configuration on the Diamond 3000R creates valuable flexibility across Nieman Printing’s product mix. The press accommodates aqueous-over-aqueous coatings or UV-over-UV applications on both sides of the sheet inline all in one pass through the press.
“Service is as important as the visual print product itself in today’s market,” Mike Nieman observed. “Probably more than anything, we focus on getting work in the hands quickly. The double coating saves up to half of the time on a large portion of our product mix. Instead of producing an order on two separate 40-inch presses, the Diamond 3000R is capable of running the order in one pass. The final but important component the press provides is through the use of UV. We have a dry printed sheet immediately ready for finishing.”
As the person who is responsible for production, Matt Nieman is aware that Nieman Printing’s customers frequently expect to “turn” an order that is direct-mailed within a 24-hour time period. He cited an example of a recent order that required printed material to be mailed in a “tighter-than-normal” timeframe.
“The order was for 1.5 million pieces with four-over-four color process and an exact color match with an UV application on one side,” he explained. “The Diamond 3000R proved itself with the ultimate outcome a satisfied and impressed customer. With the production speed, efficiency gain and the UV capability, the Diamond 3000R eases the pain for production orders such as this.”
The press’s performance over this time leaves CEO Joanie Nieman saying, “The Diamond 3000R has lived up to our expectations, which were extremely high. We are very pleased that we have partnered with Mitsubishi.”