allura printing, a growing commercial and short-run book printer in Costa Mesa, CA, recently installed a remarketed Speedmaster SM 52 Anicolor and Suprasetter A52 from Heidelberg. The Anicolor press currently runs alongside a competitive digital press, but the company plans to transition the majority of its work to the SM 52 in the near future.
Best of Both Worlds
According to President David Gagnon, the existing digital press is 3 years old and the need for a replacement was quickly approaching. The company started researching various digital options in the market when they were introduced to Heidelberg’s Anicolor offset technology, which lowers the costs for short run printing and ensures top offset quality.
“The Anicolor is ideal for our market because we can compete in both the digital and offset spaces,” said Gagnon. “We print run lengths down to 100 sheets. By adding the 5-color offset press, we can choose which option (offset or digital) would best fit our customers’ needs. On a recent job, we reduced press time from 16 hours to just 3 by printing offset instead of digitally.”
As the first printer in Orange County with Anicolor technology, the California-based company is looking forward to the business growth that will come from bridging the gap between offset and digital.
“We can now print up to 24 pt. stock as well as larger french flaps (up to 6 x 9 in.) and book covers,” said Gagnon. “We can also bring more offset work in-house, which ultimately boosts our profitability.”
The Perfect Plate
In addition, the company also installed a new Suprasetter A52 to support its entrance into the offset market. The compact computer-to-plate device can make up to 20 plates an hour with the lowest energy usage and heat output in its class, allowing allura to minimize downtime.
“We cannot afford to wait for plates between jobs,” said Gagnon. “It was crucial for us to find a machine that could produce at the speed we needed, and have plates constantly ready to go.”
For allura, the investments come just in time for its 10th anniversary, and mark a new beginning for the book publisher. “It is very rare to find a short run printer in this market that has chosen to transition to offset,” said Gagnon. “We are excited to make this evolution as we celebrate another milestone. Our 4 principles of passion, quality, service and connection are what set us apart, and we are happy to have a partner who mirrors those values.”
allura printing, inc. is one of the youngest commercial printers in Orange County, specializing in offset, digital, large format and book printing. Founded by brothers David and René Gagnon, the allura story began in Québec, Canada with their father’s printing business (which began in 1972). In 2006, allura was founded to provide exceptional printing quality and service to clients in Orange County and beyond. Today, allura believes in building a partnership with its clients based on expertise, creativity, business opportunity, trust and integrity.