It’s nice to have options. And with the multitude of possibilities available at Walsworth’s printing facilities, your publication can really stand out on the shelf.
David Sevits is quality, warehouse and shipping manager at Walsworth’s Printing and Bindery Facility in Marceline, Missouri. He has been quality manager for most of his time at Walsworth – overseeing internal and external continuous improvement.
He explained many of the possibilities available for book printing.
“Basically, under one roof, we can do virtually any binding type that any customer would request.”
Walsworth has options for case-bound, perfect-bound, perfect case bound, saddle stitch, and coil-bound projects - all under one roof. It’s even possible to use components to create multiple binding types.
“There are virtually no cover applications or enhancements that we are not capable of applying in our Marceline facility.”
The options run a wide gamut, from traditional printing to silk screen to embossing and debossing, not to mention special inks including thermochromic and photochromic. Photochromic is an ink that reacts to UV light and changes when exposed to sunlight. Thermochromic is an ink that changes colors or disappears as you touch it.
One popular cover application for hard covers has been laser cutting designs into the cover, or partially cutting through the surface of the cover to create a branded appearance. This leads to even more creativity in what is revealed or attached to the laser cut area.
Yearbooks are a big part of Walsworth’s business, and those benefits have spread to the Commercial Print Division. “The yearbook side of the business has aided our commercial business in that it brings the creativity of very special, unique cover applications,” Sevits said.
Walsworth’s print capabilities include a wide platform: sheetfed, sheetfed UV, web, and digital. Many companies only have web or sheetfed, but not with all the options available at Walsworth.
“The commercial print environment is very competitive – often with many choices of books on the same topic. The cover, many times, is a differentiating factor in getting a customer to buy a product or simply look at it,” said Sevits. “I think, when we layer our very unique cover applications on a project, it enables our customers to sell books when they otherwise would not have by creating a curiosity on the consumer’s part. They want to pick up the book and look through it.”
Walsworth’s various print platforms allow us to go above and beyond, with nearly endless possibilities. Sheetfed products can be married with digitally printed variable data, allowing for completely unique, personalized books. For example, a consumer’s name can be put on the endsheet or cover.
Dan Drake, operations manager at Walsworth’s Printing Facility in Saint Joseph, Michigan, has overall responsibility for Prepress, Press and Shipping departments.
Core print capabilities include web offset, heat-set and offset, sheetfed, and print-on-demand capability. Walsworth’s Michigan facility has the ability to print consistently through these channels, offering tremendous flexibility and consistency from process to process.
“Walsworth focuses on making sure we understand our customer’s true needs, along with a passion to be excellent at meeting customer delivery expectations,” Drake said. “A lot of times, it’ more than just the printed product. It’s more than just color, it’s more than just meeting the advertiser’s needs. Sometimes it could be a regional point of distribution. Sometimes it could be helping them qualify from a standard mailing to a periodical mailing. It could be a paper solution, or a way to keep them competitive for the next year.”
“We are always exploring how we can provide the best possible solution for a customer,” Drake said.
If the request is not a core competency of Walsworth, like a trim size or addressing a particular need, then it is important talk about them and find alternatives. However, it’s not often that the facility receives a request outside our core competency.
“All in all, we truly are a one-stop-shop,” Drake said. “A full turnkey provider for the magazine market. Most capabilities, we do offer under one roof.”
Oftentimes with larger printers, a customer’s product could be going to different plants within the region. Walsworth generally keeps our magazine customers’ products under one roof.
“This allows us to get very familiar with the customer – not only from a sales or customer service standpoint, but also from the operators who are on the floor,” Drake said. “They become very passionate and they become very knowledgeable about the customer’s true needs.”
Press Checks and Facility Tours
Drake views press checks as an opportunity to build close relationships with customers. “It’s our opportunity to wow a client, to educate them on the process, and to educate ourselves on the client’s requirements and what’s important to them.”
He sees plant tours as another way to show off the facility he’s passionate and proud of. “Not just our facility, but our people, our product, our process and our equipment. We’re sharing our whole self, if you will. We want people excited about the process when they leave a tour.”
When Drake receives feedback from visitors, he often hears about the positive energy, happy employees and cleanliness of the plant.
Walsworth invests in new equipment frequently. For example, a Fujifilm J Press 720 S was recently added to the digital pressroom. It’s monitored by a sensor that scans every sheet for inconsistencies and makes any necessary adjustments sheet by sheet in real time.
Within the first three months of service, the new press logged 1.7 million impressions and helped expand our overall capacity to meet customers’ needs for turn-around speed.
For longer print runs, Walsworth installed a Goss Sunday web press. This is a zero-emission press whose atmospheric exhaust is water vapor only. The Sunday press is designed to reduce paper waste with shorter paper cutoffs and faster make-ready times.
“Our most important asset is our people,” said Drake. There are only two things that take priority over productivity: safety and quality. That's part of Walsworth's promise. “We are committed to sending everybody home the same way that they walked through our doors.”
Walsworth has created numerous safety teams, made up of both floor employees and management. They work to identify and correct safety issues before an incident happens.
“Safety isn’t just a word, it is a total plant effort to create and maintain a safe environment,” said Sevits.