Access Direct debuts new finishing equipment
Reprinted with permission. Standard Finishing Systems FinishLine, Fall 2014
John DiNozzi’s father founded Access Direct Systems, Inc. in 1969. “He was a programmer who started out compiling lists, and as that business grew, customers began to ask if he could print names and addresses,” recalls his son and senior vice president. “So he bought an impact printer, and then the equipment to affix labels to envelopes and cards.” The business evolved to include an offset printing operation, which eventually gave way to digital printing. “We started seeing things go digital. We spent a few years looking at the digital market, hoping to find the right high-speed continuous-form equipment that gave us the quality we expected, but we didn’t find it right out of the gate, and instead, held our own for a number of years with cut-sheet full-color digital presses,” DiNozzi explains.
Today, the company serves FORTUNE 1000 organizations — spanning industries like banking and finance, publishing, and advertising — with a full menu of direct marketing and domestic mailing services. Less than a year ago, it invested in its first Canon ColorStream 3900, and more recently installed a second press. The printers have been complemented by Hunkeler Roll-to- Roll solutions, with a Hunkeler UW6 Unwinder on the front end, and a Hunkeler RW6 Rewinder on the back end.
“We had several choices of Roll-to-Roll solutions when we purchased the ColorStreams, but after hearing accolades from current users, we went with the Hunkeler solution, and it did not disappoint,” DiNozzi reports.
The introduction of those particularly fast digital printers prompted some rethinking of how best to support them with post-press equipment.
“We’d been running some legacy equipment in finishing, and prior to those printers being installed, we didn’t really see the need to spend money on upgrading that equipment. It was all fine,” DiNozzi notes. “But once we started to see the value of the digital inkjet, and we started to see the throughput tremendously increased, we quickly realized the necessity of finding the right finishing equipment.”
DiNozzi went in search of turnkey solutions to manage the unwinding, cutting, and folding of the printed media. He came upon Standard Finishing Systems’ video demonstration of the Standard Hunkeler/Horizon Roll-to-Fold solution, and said, “That’s what I want!”
The solution combines best-of-breed technologies from Hunkeler and Horizon: a UW6 Unwinder, an FM6 Folder Merger, a CS6-II Cutter, an AF-566 Folder (with a DIF-56 transport unit), and a PSX-56 Stacker. The DIF-56 is significant, because it allows Access Direct to use the AF-566 Folder in-line with the complete finishing system to process roll-fed print, or offline as a standalone device for processing cut-sheet work.
DiNozzi says that flexibility is mission-critical: “The ability to handle a variety of formats is huge. We’re not always in complete control over the media, over how our customers have handled layout. They bring in their print the way they want it, and ask that we finish it the way they want it. We needed the ability to handle pretty much everything they throw at us, and so far, it has answered that call of being very flexible, working at high speeds, with quick setups and changeovers.
“We see the speeds it promised. It does exactly what we need it to do, and we were able to get a complete system from a single supplier,” DiNozzi adds. “That’s important, because with other systems, we’d be forced to piece together technologies from different companies, and that often leads to fingerpointing. So if something doesn’t work, it’s always the other-guy’s issue. When we met the folks at
Standard Finishing Systems, we could see that they were 100-percent committed to this equipment. It arrived in early 2014, installed precisely the way they promised, and now it’s producing exactly like it does in the video.”
While new digital print equipment often makes news, DiNozzi says that this new Standard Hunkeler/Horizon Roll-to- Fold system is garnering attention, too. “Finishing equipment is kind of like the Wizard of Oz. Don’t look at the man behind the curtain! But behind the curtain, there’s a lot going on,” DiNozzi quips. “The back-end stuff? People aren’t always interested in it, but it’s the bread-and-butter of what we do. And though we’ve gotten a lot of attention for our inkjet presses — customers love them — when we hosted an open house recently, we had a lot of people who were really interested in this finishing equipment. When you see what it can do at those speeds, it’s pretty miraculous! The inkjet is big; it’s impressive and does big things, but when you see paper moving at that speed and be cut and folded? It’s pretty impressive.”