Hagg Press Adds Second RMGT Press in Four Years as Steady Growth Continues
Chicago-area Commercial/Trade Printer Installs RMGT 970 Series 8-UP+ Press as “Publication Workhorse” Machine.
SOLON, OH – April 20, 2023 – Graphco, distributor of the leading 8-UP sheetfed press in the Midwest and Southeast, has delivered another fully automated RMGT offset press to Hagg Press in Elgin, Illinois. This time an RMGT 970ST+LED installation continues the Graphco/Hagg Press relationship which began in 2018, when a new 40-inch RMGT 10 Series press was purchased as the first step in modernizing the firm’s print platform.
“We knew we needed to change out our old presses, we just weren’t sure what brand was the best for our business,” states Jordan Hagg, President of Hagg Press. The first RMGT 10 Series press picked up the volume formerly produced by one 28” and two 40” presses from Komori and Manroland. Hagg’s print volume grew significantly during the first few years after the new press came online. “Half of our RMGT years took place during the pandemic, but growth has basically been thrust on us by our existing customers and several new major accounts that came our way. I think our print quality, fair pricing, and the fact we rarely miss a deadline makes Hagg Press an attractive source,” Hagg comments. “We’re glad we picked the RMGT press from Graphco.”
To add needed capacity, Hagg’s management team decided to continue its successful relationship with Graphco & RMGT through the purchase of the RMGT 970 press. The new unit was installed at Hagg Press shortly after the 970 was exhibited at the PRINTING United Expo 2022 in Las Vegas.
“In my mind, it’s the most efficient offset press out there,”
“As our business grew, we needed to make a choice. Option #1 was to pair up and buy another 10 Series press, which was attractive since we could easily share work over both platforms,” says Taylor Hagg, VP of Operations. “But Derek Gordon from Graphco kept pushing the advantages of the new RMGT 970’s 8-UP+ platform, and the ease of use that press offered. So we took a closer look at bringing our publication and direct mail jobs onto a super-efficient press that was ideally suited to that book of business. The math was very simple. Moving that work over freed up lots of hours on the 10 Series to run future packaging jobs, so we decided to buy the new press. The first time any of us saw the 970 was in Vegas. It basically blew us away.”
“In my mind, it’s the most efficient offset press out there,” said Jordan Hagg. Hagg Press is a second-generation, family operated, full-service print firm. “The new RMGT 970 has a 25” X 38” sheet size which is ideal for our CMYK publication and direct mail work. We’re printing 16-page signatures for 8.5” X 11” publications, and lots of 5.5” x 8.5” postcards that run 32-up on the new press.” Hagg points out that it makes much more sense economically to produce static offset print and add the variable content using high-speed inkjet addressing equipment, “as opposed to paying top-dollar for digital [press] clicks just to put an address on a postcard.”
“Hagg Press personifies doing more with less,” notes Chris Manley, President, Graphco. “Over the past four years, they’ve replaced three older 40” presses and one 28” with these two RMGT presses – and one of those vintage models was an SP super-perfector so that’s a heck of a lot of work to shift over to two presses.
Compact with LED Technology and ASAP Make-Ready Automation
he compact press format of the new 970 translates to substantial operational savings while maintaining the advantages of a full-sized press for the cost-conscience Printer. Because of this key advantage, Hagg Press saves money on consumables, such as ink, chemistry, blankets, and plates, while still producing the 25 X 38” size sheet. “We are using way fewer sheets for makereadies, which are super-fast,” Hagg reports. “In addition, aluminum plates are 24% smaller, which adds up fast with all the jobs we’ve put through the new press.”
The new RMGT 8-UP+ press features advanced LED curing lamps, manufactured by Benford UV, that instantly cures printed sheets. While productivity is a top priority within the plant, sustainability runs a close second. “There are no VOC gases with LED cured inks, and energy costs are much lower than our old presses, which the Hagg brothers love,” says Manley.
LED curing changes liquid ink into a solid using narrow spectrum ultraviolet energy. (When the energy is absorbed, a polymerization reaction occurs that changes the photo-initiator material into a solid.) This process happens instantaneously, making it an appealing alternative to traditional drying methods because it speeds up the production workflow. “We run more efficiently because product no longer needs to set overnight to dry,” explains Hagg. “We save space and can pick and choose which jobs to move into post press based on what makes the most sense.” Eliminating spray powder means higher running speeds in finishing, less clean-up required and a very clean workplace.
In addition to publications, Hagg is using the RMGT 970 press to print some wide-format work. “We recently produced a ‘rush’ job of 500 posters that measured 18x24 inches,” recounts Jordan Hagg. “The customer needed them printed, trimmed, -and shipped in two hours. Quick-turn work like that is highly profitable because we can charge a premium for it.”
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