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P-O-P Star KDM

Cincinnati shop's customers range from food retailing giants to regional and national corporations.

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By Peggy Middendorf

'About two or three times a week, jobs involve two or more areas of the company,' says Kissel. 'The combination of technologies makes a good mix for business.' On jobs that do involve all presses, KDM typically produces the commercial pieces first (since it has a more limited color gamut), then screen, and then digital.

KDM's ever-expanding set of printing equipment includes:

- Digital: two EFI Vutek PressVu 200/600 6-color flatbeds, chosen because their 1200-dpi resolutions match 150line screen from offset presses, as well as the fact that they print on rolled and rigid media; an HP Designjet 5500; a Zund UVjet 215-C; and three Agfa Sherpas, which are situated in the prepress room for proofing screen jobs.

- Screen: three banner presses, including a 4 x 18-ft unit that is one of the largest screen presses in the country; three multicolor in-lines; and three 5284 single-color screen-print presses.

- Offset: four presses (ranging from 2- to 6-color), plus a newly acquired 6-color 4464 press.

But, as indicated earlier, the company doesn't stop with just printing the graphics. It has a full array of finishing machines-laminators, guillotine and die-cutters, sewing machines, drills, folders, binders, stitchers, and more-as well as a large kitting area.

The kitting area-where 'packs' for retail stores are assembled-is one of the hardest jobs in the company, says Kissel. 'Generally it's the last minute when all of the pieces come together. Then the kits have to be assembled and mailed to stores around the country.' Each kit might contain a variety of printed materials, including display pieces, fliers, banners, and planogram diagrams of how and where to display products in the store. KDM produces approximately 5500 of these kits per week.

And when finishing tools to do the job aren't readily available, KDM will put on its innovation hat and create its own. To speed up its packing and kitting process, for instance, the company worked with a local engineer to develop a banner-rolling machine. Now, instead of having to rely upon hand-rolling a 20-, 50-, or 100-ft banner, this machine does the rolling automatically in seconds-saving time, as well as employees' backs and wrists.