Las Vegas is the city that never sleeps and the same can be said for Des Moines, Iowa-based TPI. One of the largest Variable Data printers www.the-printer.com in the U.S., the action is non-stop 24/7 as TPI produces direct mail pieces each month for over 200 gaming customers. Keeping pace with the workload requires employee diligence and best-in-class equipment, so when Bindery Supervisor Steve Prince needed a new paper cutter he knew who to call: Colter & Peterson’s www.papercutters.com local office is a 10 minute drive.
“We wanted to replace an old 54” POLAR with a new 36” cutter to better fit the size work we do for our gaming customers,” recalls Prince, who ordered it from Colter & Peterson but soon was informed of a problem with delivery.
“The west coast shipping strike taking place at the time caused a delay. The guys at C&P were proactive and they were willing to put a loaner machine on our floor. We agreed but a day or two later they called back with another option. That’s how we bought the 45” Prism®, and had it delivered and installed within a week. We’ve had the cutter for more than a month and getting good results from it.”
TPI has grown to become a prominent print operation. The Benskin family opened the small commercial shop in 1973 and shifted the majority of the work to database printing services in the 1980s. Steady growth led to moving into a larger manufacturing facility in 1989 and serves as home base today. Fifteen years ago, they began to capitalize on an emerging trend – the expansion and proliferation of land-based casino gambling – which today involves nearly half of the states in the continental U.S.
“Almost all of our work is gaming related and our business can’t afford down time. We have a small window for the first eight days of every month, but on the ninth we need everything to be up and running 24/7 for the rest of the month,” informs Prince, a 36-year bindery veteran who joined the nation’s leader in offer-driven marketing for the casino industry over a year ago.
In 2002, TPI handled Variable Data printing for four casinos in Iowa. Two years later they had 15 gaming customers, and by 2010 they had 125. Today they do business with 212 properties in the U.S. and Canada, and the pace is so frenzied the USPS has a full-time detached mail unit on site to provide greater postal compliance and efficiencies. Efficiency was on Prince’s mind when he made the call on C&P’s new paper cutter.
“I’ve bought a lot of equipment in my time, so I knew about them and I heard Vince Payne was a great guy,” said Prince, referring to C&P’s Vice President who manages local operations in Des Moines. “They are local and service oriented, big issues with me because I didn’t want to deal with extra costs to fly someone here for a couple of days when the machine goes down. I saw an online video of the Prism and the price was right. It’s a reliable machine and we have a two-year warranty; it’s not a Cadillac but we didn’t pay Cadillac prices. We’re cutting paper here!”
The compact and robust 45” Prism is easy to operate and loaded with state-of-the-art electronics technology. The time-saving Microcut® computer control system is critical to TPI, giving operators automated capability to store cutting sequences so the back gauge automatically positions itself for a precise cut every time. Programs can be uploaded from a network or with a USB device using CIP 3/4 files, and no additional hardware of software is required.
“All of the work is 2D Barcode Security identified and our digital presses run 18” x 12” sheets. We run the work on four, 4-color and 12 black and white digital presses, plus three 6-color KBA litho presses,” said Prince. “It’s a bit of everything – scratch off cards, post cards, promotional literature, VIP cards, some foiled stamp work, you name it. We use the Prism and another 54” cutter to cut the digital work, then handle all the mailing.
“We’re a one-stop shop, we have fantastic people working here and our owners are great to work for; they provide the resources we need to get the job done,” reflected Prince. “Since the Prism arrived, we’ve only had one glitch with the Microcut system. I sent C&P an email and they had the problem fixed two hours later. It’s amazing, they are Johnny-on-the-spot with their response.”