With shrinking budgets more commonplace these days for taxing bodies of government, state agencies are not immune to shortfalls or equipment snafus. Mike Pobega, Deputy Director and Production Manager of the New York City Human Resources Administration’s print shop, knows this too well. Faced with a safety situation resulting in three of his five paper cutters being mothballed, his search for a solution to remedy his production quandary led to the purchase of a new 45” PRISM® cutter from Colter & Peterson.
Six months after having it installed, Pobega says the machine is handling a majority of the Brooklyn print shop’s work, which tips the scales at 20 million sheets annually. He credits local C&P dealer Rick Fassano of Summit Offset, for bringing the PRISM cutter to his attention.
“I was intrigued so Rick set up an appointment for me and my boss, David Hall, to see it in action. The three of us visited C&P’s shop and were impressed by what we saw. Its price tag wasn’t small and that was a consideration because of our limited budget. But the machine seemed to be well-built and we liked the larger size and the sweeping movement of the blade. It was highly accurate and something we didn’t have on the three machines we took out of service.”
For a one-shift operation with 14 employees, the print shop is a busy place. Housing an assortment of digital printers including two Xerox 1000s and a 4-color Presstek 52DI, Pobega and his crew do color and black and white work for many city agencies. From printing books and signage to brochures, flyers and stationery, including mailing cards and pieces and business cards, they cover it all and do it quickly.
“Of course, everything’s needed yesterday but the typical turnaround for any job is 1-3 days,” laughs Pobega. “We handle a lot of small runs. Books usually run 3,000-4,000, flyers are anywhere from 5,000-8,000, and foldouts are in the 12,000-14,000 range. But we occasionally have larger runs of 60,000 books and we’ve hit the 100,000 level on some flyer and foldout work.”
That kind of productivity requires reliable finishing equipment. Besides the PRISM, Pobega says his team uses two, 20+ year-old Challenge paper cutters and is hoping to add another machine in the near future. A budget issue can rattle the cage but it is minor compared to what the shop faced when Hurricane Sandy caused incredible damage to many parts of Brooklyn in October 2012.
“The water was waist high in some parts. We were lucky; the power remained on in our area and the only thing not working were the elevators. We did the bulk of printing for all the agencies and worked double and triple shifts for 25 days straight, producing materials for shelters where displaced people were living during the clean-up. The toughest part was carrying all the finished work by hand up the stairs, but that was nothing compared to what people in the neighborhood were experiencing.”
The PRISM is so popular with his staff, Pobega says he at times must referee who gets to run it.
“If there is such a thing as a beautiful machine, the PRISM is beautiful. My staff is cross-trained and 4 or 5 of them can run it, and they fight over who uses it,” said Pobega. “It has programmable functions so it’s very easy to operate and is user friendly. My guys received one day of training and the learning curve wasn’t hard. We’ve had some follow-up training because anytime you introduce a new user interface, it’s not as easy as it appears but everything has been seamless. We’ve had only one minor issue and that was quickly worked out. Colter & Peterson has done everything in a professional and expedient manner.”