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Becoming a P-O-P Star

(May 2010) posted on Thu May 06, 2010

Cincinnati-based KDM P.O.P Solutions has found an expansive niche in point-of-purchase

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By Kacey King

Although screen and offset printing was KDM’s bread and butter entering the 1990s, digital printing made its initial appearance at the company circa 1995, with the purchase of an Encad NovaCut printer/cutter. Later, when digital printing really began to take hold, the company invested in various machines, including Encad NovaJets, HP Designjet 5000s, and an HP Designjet 5500.

As digital continued to cut a wide swath in the graphics market, KDM recognized the value of wide-format digital printing in providing quicker speed to market for the P-O-P industry. In 2004, the company took the leap into flatbed printing with the purchase of an EFI Vutek PressVu 200/600 UV machine. Within a year, it added another PressVu 200/600, then later traded up to an EFI Vutek QS3200. More recently, the company invested in an HP TurboJet 8500, and this past year upgraded that machine to an 8550, which provided speed enhancements.

Additionally, in September of last year, KDM added the HP Scitex FB7500 to its digital printer roster, “tripling our digital output,” says Dan Kimmerly, KDM’s graphics director. That machine now produces 10 to 15 percent of the company’s annual sales, a figure that is expected to rise.

The company’s digital printing capabilities especially cater to retail marketers, enabling them to make their campaigns more affordable than ever. So, while the current majority of KDM’s output work is still screen printing, digital printing is on the fast track to catch up. At present, KDM’s job breakdown is 20 percent offset, 60 percent screen printing, and 20 percent digital—with a strategic focus on raising the percentage of digital to more than 30 percent.

“Overall, it’s more efficient to use digital,” Kimmerly says. “There are less support departments involved in a digital job. Digital also reduces the environmental footprint. There are no chemicals, no emulsions, and no screens—therefore there is less waste and less energy used. Additionally, there is a faster speed to market, and greater color consistency.”

Just one word: plastics
As KDM has explored digital printing and added digital technologies to its operation, it has also been incorporating a number of large-scale components to the operation as a whole—acquiring three companies in just three years.