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An iGen4 on the floor fits Modern's philosophy

Jul 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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Modern Intl. Graphics (Eastlake, OH), founded in 1958, is an integrated media solutions provider whose core business remains conventional printing. Modern got into the digital print market six years ago with a Xerox (Rochester, NY) Docucolor 6060. Since 1996, the FSC-certified printer has been offering custom print-on-demand websites — a service named eNCOMPASS Web Solutions — to its corporate, ad agency and other high-end marketing customers.

“We were driving a lot of business to the 6060 via our websites,” says Dan Kochevar, director of manufacturing. “Most customer demand was for lower order quantities and quick turnarounds on the 6060. We quickly found that machine was not going to be adequate for our volume needs, nor the quality needs and demands of our customers.” Modern installed an iGen3, which met that demand for three years. The shop also runs a Xerox Nuvera. “When Xerox introduced the iGen4,” says Kochevar, “we took a very good look at the technology, and it made sense for our business.” Modern installed its iGen4 in December 2008.

The iGen4 offers a larger footprint — 14.33 × 22.5 inches, whereas the iGen3 was 14.33 × 20.5 — which enables the shop to run oblong books. It also offers advanced color profiling.

Modern is G7 certified, and the iGen4's color profiling allows it to hit the G7 standard. “With its built-in spectrophotometer, the iGen4 maintains it throughout the print run and from day to day,” says Kochevar. “We get as close as [electrophotographic] technology can get to offset color. Four-color process offset can often be matched with 4-color digital. Often we do short runs on the iGen4 of jobs that are needed short term, then the longer run goes on offset.”

Benefits all around

According to company president David Margiotta, the iGen4 has enhanced all of its customer relationships, as well as bringing in new business. “A lot of our business from offset has spilled into the digital offering, and vice-versa,” he says. “So being a hybrid solution provider has been a good thing for us.”

“We're running a lot of independent jobs on the iGen4,” says Dennis Castiglione, executive vice president. “We are producing a lot of marketing projects that are multichannel programs, where we're involved from concept through finished production with our customers.”

Modern inputs its customers files — either directly or for re-imposition from its offset prepress operation — through Xerox FreeFlow Process Manager, which automates the process. It sends files to the print server, which handles multiple jobs simultaneously. “We have two stackers, so we can run continuously,” Kochevar notes. “We also have a cutter, folder and hand stitcher offline, so we can do all of the finishing right there.”

Modern's customers also can order finished products from its inventory system at a sister company, Modern Logistics, in a neighboring community. In total, the combined companies occupy 100,000 sq. ft. and have 85 employees.

Printers helping printers

The Modern Intl. Graphics staff — in its entirety — participates in the Print America network. “We're one of 13 companies that are part of the group,” Castiglione explains. “All are independently owned printing companies scattered around the country, which share like philosophies and approaches to business — all very progressive and aggressive thinking firms.”

“It's been invaluable for equipment evaluation and acquisition,” says Margiotta. “We sent test files to Print America members, to print on various digital printing technologies, before choosing the iGen.”

Presently, Margiotta estimates 20 to 25% of Modern's business is digital print. The firm expects this to grow despite the current economic conditions posing a bit of a setback. He adds, “[The iGen4] provides better output and more uptime than we've ever had.”

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Denise Kapel is managing editor for AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at