By DPS Staff
King Printing Co., Inc. is a book printing and manufacturing company specializing in short-run printing and binding for self-published authors, small businesses, and publishing houses. The company realized the benefits of short-run book printing beginning with its establishment in 1978. “Publishers used to come to us and say they wanted 80,000 to 500,000 books produced, and we just didn’t want to play in that arena,” says Adi Chinai of King Printing.
King Printing relies on digital printing for book publishing success.
Based in Lowell, MA, King Printing runs three shifts with 120 employees. The company serves authors and publishers looking to produce runs from one to 50,000 and maintains an innovative lead in the short-run book printing space. Back in the late 1980s King Printing was one of the first printers in the country to adopt a digital press. In 1995 they installed direct-to-plate capabilities.
Capabilities include hard cover, soft cover, and mechanical binding, assembly, four-color inkjet printing, multi-color and monochrome digital printing, pre-press, sheet-fed, and heat-set webs. The digital lineup includes multiple Kodak Digimasters and NexPress installations, and a Truepress Jet520 from Screen (USA).
They closely watched the development of inkjet, and installed the TruePress Jet520 two years ago when they felt the technology reached a level that could meet customer expectations. “In the book world, we were the first company nationwide to produce four-color books with inkjet,” says Chinai.
Additionally, King Printing places a strong focus on its finishing capabilities, offering all necessary binding services in-house. They were an early adopter of soft and hard cover binding technology from DGR, a company based out of Germany, which provides solutions for short-run book binding. Their plant also employs casing-in lines, case makers, and perfect binders from Kolbus; and trimmers and saddle stitchers from Muller Martini.
Efficiency and productivity are integral to King Printing’s production workflow. “It’s quite lights-out,” says Chinai. Customers upload files directly to their servers, where it is processed, a job ticket is created, and files are fixed automatically. “The intervention only resides at someone saying, ‘okay we have this job, and now it’s ready to print.’”
While the company offers both traditional and digital printing services, there is a definite shift to digital. Chinai notes that they’ve seen runs on offset lower in volume. “Instead of doing 10,000 copies of a book, our customers might increase the frequency of a 1,000 copy order,” he adds. “At the end of the day, people are not going to be cognizant of how their book is produced. Our customers want a quality product and they want to pay a fair price for it.”
Evolving to the Next Generation
Digital print’s advantages run parallel with the evolving needs of book publishers and printers. Shorter runs, less waste, and the ability to push production processes further down the supply chain mean higher efficiency and lower costs throughout the entire production cycle. Traditional print has a place in book production far into the future; but digital will affect the transformation of the entire industry. The next two issues of DPS further discuss the digital book publishing industry. dps
Click here to read the full-featured article, Book Publishing Evolves
Mar2010, DPS Magazine