Talk from the Top Bindery and Mailing

Top 50 in-plants know the importance of having the right bindery and mailing tools.

By Eric Martin

Printing fabulous-looking work quickly and cheaply is all well and good, but having the finished product merely sit in your in-plant won’t make customers too happy.

The in-plants that make up this year’s IPG Top 50 understand the importance of having the right bindery and mailing tools to get the job done and in the hands of customers as soon as possible.

That’s one reason Tim Steenhoek, head of Document Management for ING, in Des Moines, Iowa, integrates mailing and labeling with the basic printing process, a successful combination that landed his shop at number 15 on the IPG Top 50.

“We understand the distribution of a product before we even print it,” he says. “One group might go out next-day air, another group to the Internet, and a third group will be added to five other pieces and mailed. We use a lot of software tools to assemble and sort the final product before we go to print.”

Over the past two years, Steenhoek’s shop has acquired an HP Indigo 3050 six-color press, a twin tower IBM 4100 that handles 1,220 pages per minute, a Böwe Bell & Howell DemandWorks self-seal unit, a GBC coil binding machine that processes 70,000 pages per hour, and much more.

“We have self-seal units on two Xerox devices, so the printer prints, folds and seals in one shot,” he says.

Steenhoek’s shop uses all digital printing equipment, so pieces are addressed at the same time they’re printed.

“All the material is presorted,” he says, “so it goes straight from the printer to the mail train. That’s one example of how we think of distribution before we print.”

One such job was a run of 4.5 million mailers to notify customers of ING’s privacy promise.

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