A new and unique Lithoman IV pressline is only part of the story for a growing US web printer with an innovative approach to staff and customer relations.
A range of features make the custom-built manroland Goss press at schoolbook printer Bradford & Bigelow unusual, not least the option of a right-to-left web feed and the Baldwin/AMS LED-UV curing technology, credited with eliminating VOC emissions and reducing gas consumption and paper waste… as well as being 12 metres shorter than a traditional heatset web.
But innovation is the rule, rather than the exception at the Newburyport, Massachusetts, printworks, named one of six top innovators of 2023 by trade magazine Printing Impressions.
On the company’s website, president John Galligan tells how B&B moved from markets such as computer manuals and financial printing to focus all its capital expenditure and marketing efforts to the quarto (8.5×11”) educational workbook market for K-12, home-schooling, and faith-based publishers. Students do their homework, tear out the perforated pages, and turn in their assignment, with workbooks having a lifespan of five-to-ten years and needing to be reprinted every year – a business model popular with most educational publishers.
B&B also financially rewards and honours its employees – a large proportion of which are Spanish-speakers, and include couples and some of their grown children – on a ‘wall of fame’ for suggestions that boost productivity and quality, and simplify workflows.
With four double circumference printing units, the new manroland Goss line prints a 48-page format of 1156 x 1460 mm. In collated production mode, the maximum production speed is up to 37,500 cylinder revolutions. DynaChange functionality allows the system to switch back and forth between printing units during two-color production and at full production speed.
Apart from the first 48-page, four-color manroland Goss Lithoman LED-UV web offset press in the world, the company has upgraded its pair of 48-page Timson Zero Makeready book presses, each with 30 new motors and drives, in a project with Amerikal/Timson, for which it was the North American beta site.
Other improvements and innovations have included equipping its Screen Truepress Jet520HD inkjet presses with inline drilling – as is a Müller Martini Allegro perfect binder – and making boxing an inline process… part of a ‘one and done’ manufacturing policy.
Two major investment programmes – in 2019 and 2021 – totalling more than US$35 million (A$52 million) have also seen additions to the factory, and warehouses in Seabrook and Newton, New Hampshire. The 2021 programme included installation of HP’s PageWide T490 inkjet web with inline Müller Martini SigmaLine finishing, and an order has been placed for a second 48-page manroland Goss web.
Pictured (from left): Universal Color president Kevin Coneeny, Baldwin Americas sales VP Craig Black, Baldwin product management director Jonathan Fore, B7B EVP Rick Dunn, John Galligan, B&B press manager Mike Daugherty, manroland Goss Americas northeast sales manager John Gallagher, and manroland Goss Americas sales VP Jason Elliott