When DavCo Advertising went looking for a new 8-up press to meet growing business demand, it did what came naturally. It bought a Ryobi.
DavCo Advertising installed the 4-color, 36-inch RYOBI 924 press with aqueous coater in March 2014 at its 35,000-square-foot facility in Kinzers, PA, southeast of Lancaster. The press is now running at full production, joining four other multi-color Ryobis that anchor the company’s offset press fleet.
The family-owned, 47-employee company also has a successful apparel and promotional products business under roof, serving customers across southeast Pennsylvania and throughout the US.
When it began its search for a new 8-up press, DavCo Advertising reviewed the 40-inch presses sold by Ryobi’s German and Japanese competitors. But all were quickly ruled out.
One big reason: cost. “The prices we were seeing on the 40-inch presses were more than double what we paid for our newest Ryobi,” explained co-owner Rick Esh. “Those machines also had a much larger footprint—and had significantly higher consumable and electrical costs. Yet in the end they all still delivered 8-up print, which is what we needed, so going with a 40-inch press just didn’t make sense.”
The new RYOBI 924 press was sold by G.E. Richards Graphic Supplies Co., Landisville, PA. G.E. Richards has been one of the largest Ryobi offset press distributors in the U.S. for more than 30 years—and has sold DavCo all of its Ryobi equipment.
The new RYOBI 924 press has been running five days a week since installation, and more as needed. It joined a 4-color, 6-up RYOBI 754 press with aqueous coater, which, for 11 years, served as DavCo’s flagship press. Now the two largest Ryobi presses sit side-by-side like the twin workhorses they are.
“Our RYOBI 754 press has never given us any problems—none of our Ryobis ever did,” Esh said. “Based on our experience, we know the print quality cannot be beat. They’ve all been very economical to own, operate and maintain, with a bare minimum of repair and service work needed. Properly maintained, Ryobi presses are extremely reliable, hard working and super productive.”
“So as our work volumes grew, we were running into opportunities to bid on larger jobs, but we found ourselves not being able to compete pricewise with 40-inch shops because of our size limitations.”
Thus the move to the new RYOBI 924, equipped with a Harris & Bruno International aqueous coater and the Pamarco Global Graphics Sentinel Ink Management System. The latter is an electronically controlled, fully automated, air-tight cartridge ink dispensing system that also tracks and reports ink usage.
DavCo’s new press also has many standard and optional features. They include a semi-automatic plate loader, an ink volume setter, the RYOBI PCS-G Printing Control System, auto-cleaning devices and the SMART Makeready function, all of which reduce makeready time.
The press also incorporates an impression pressure preset, a paper size preset, and the RYOBI PDS-E print density control and monitoring system.
Following the smooth install two months ago, Esh said the press operator’s learning curve was extremely quick because the 924 is so similar in operation to the 754.
“Our 924 is doing everything we expected it to do,” Esh explained. “We could not be happier with how it’s serving our existing customer base and helping us drive new business growth.”
Quantifying the financial savings versus 8-up, 40-inch presses
The 8-up RYOBI 920 series press delivers deep financial savings versus 40-inch presses, including a 29% savings in plate costs, a 29% savings in consumables and reduced energy costs, according to Ryobi’s U.S. and Canada distribution group.
Its compact size is also a big advantage for typically space-constrained pressrooms: the RYOBI 920 series presses use less than two-thirds the floor space that a 40-inch press requires. The 924 has only a slightly larger footprint than the 754, Esh said.
“With even more automation on our 924, combined with CTP technology that’s faster and less expensive than it was a decade ago, we can really drive our production costs down over growing volumes.”
“We’re also now able to reach and serve larger customers,” he added. “So there’s no question: Ryobi offset presses have been a big win for us for decades—and we fully expect that to continue.”
Esh patriarch got into printing as a hobby
DavCo Advertising is owned and operated by the Esh family: brothers Rick, Jerry and Don Esh. The company was founded in 1974 by father David Esh, then a veteran salesman of promotional products who just happened to have a side interest in printing.
“So, one day in the early 1970s,” explains Rick Esh, “our dad attended an auction and ended up with the winning bid on an old letterpress. It was a true antique—hot lead, type set by hand, printed one sheet at a time.”
“He began tinkering with it as a hobby and before long was doing some small jobs for the local fire department and some other non-profit groups as a courtesy. He wasn’t charging anything, and he was having a lot of fun.”
David Esh’s passion and drive for quality was intense, and it showed in his print work. He quickly grew a following of local business owners who started asking him to do business cards and stationery—this time for pay.
He bought a one-color A.B. Dick press, then moved up to a two-color portrait press, a two-color landscape press and, before long, he was doing four-color work.
All the kids were involved in the business from very early on. “Some of my brothers started as toddlers, and we were all working on the business at really young ages. Dad had us doing all sorts of jobs: collating, booklet-making, numbering, cutting, folding, you name it. Eventually, all of us were running the presses.”
DavCo Advertising started as a standalone business in the family’s garage in 1974 before moving to a small facility, and then to a 10,000-square-foot facility in 1987. In 2003, success led the company to the 35,000-square-foot Kinzers, PA, facility that is the company’s headquarters today.
Along with the full service printing operation, DavCo Advertising also provides customers with ideas and solutions for promotional and branding products, from apparel to mugs to pens—and much more. DavCo has a full-service design department and, in 1996, added the apparel screen printing and embroidery business.
Success has come to DavCo Advertising from its focus on extreme quality, competitive pricing, disciplined growth and strong customer service. Its strategy of combining design and print, marketing, branding, packaging and fulfillment along with promotional products and apparel has given it a very durable competitive advantage—and many happy customers.