The Washington Post, based-in Springfield, Virginia, USA, created a digital printing operation in March 2022, for the production of inserts for its world-famous newspaper, plus suitable commercial work. It’s first post-press booklet maker, a Morgana BM5035, was installed at the end of May by Atlantic Graphic Systems, the Plockmatic dealer based in Maryland and servicing the greater Mid-Atlantic area (Morgana is the offline post-press company of Plockmatic International).
Project director at the Washington Post, John Bratt, picks up the story: “As a start-up operation we are currently still building a full portfolio of business, but have found success in production of short run publications. The publication business bleeds over from our core business of printing newspaper publications.”
The operation prints with a Konica Minolta KM-1 press, and a KM6100. Other post-press equipment includes an MBO folder and a Polar cutter. The Morgana bookletmaker is the sole solution for binding.
“The Morgana machine actually wasn’t on our initial list when we started our search, but once we did find out about it and saw its capabilities, we felt it was worth stepping up to get the Morgana BM5035. We fell in love with the square spine and the different feel it gives the finished product. Every time I see booklet coming off the machine it confirms that we made the right decision,” adds John Bratt.
The Morgana BM5000 bookletmaker series is another powerful member of the Plockmatic Group bookletmaking family. The product has been engineered for mid-to-high volume customers with the highest quality and functionality requirements.
With an increasing number of printing systems available to handle larger cut-sheet sizes, US letter landscape and oversize booklets can now be produced easily and cost-effectively. The new BM5000 Series delivers these new applications and can handle sheets of up to 24.5-inch-long sheets.
Booklets of up 200 pages of 20lb bond paper can be produced by the BM5000 series.
“Typically, we are running publications through the bookletmaker with runs from 2,000 to 20,000. We have produced Bay Heritage magazine and Town Visitor guides on a monthly basis, and we are adding one off project’s every week.”
Since installation the operation has already run some 200,000 books through the machine.
“The Morgana BM5000 is one of the most user-friendly pieces of equipment we have for setup, adjustments and running. The controls are very intuitive and make life much easier when we must train someone new.
“The SquareBack finish is the reason we purchased the machine. It gives the perfect bound feel without the need for additional equipment. This is our only collating/binding solution. Its arrival has opened the door for more commercial revenue. The machine always amazes us when a booklet that appears out of order and the machine recognizes that, and shuts itself down. A fool-proof solution for when, on the rare occasion, a rogue print gets in the mix.
“The BM5035’s ease of use has saved us time and money when training of new operators. We have been able to use existing resources to get more runtime on this machine because it is so user friendly.”
Morgana prides itself in producing easy to use equipment that can be operated by staff with little or no experience in print finishing.
“Overall, we have been extremely happy with our decision to go with the BM5035 booklet making solution. The quality of the finished product coming off the machine fits with our high-quality digital press.
“Being a digital only operation and operating as a “start-up” we felt this investment gave us flexibility in binding options. As we continue to grow the work another booklet maker may be on a need, and Morgana will very likely be our first port of call!”
Commenting on the installation, Michael Duffett, General Manager for Plockmatic Document Finishing Inc. said: “It was a delight to work with the team at The Washington Post on this project. Production of quality booklets needs sophisticated but easy to use machinery. The BM5035 will be suitable to service their needs for the foreseeable future and, as they grow, we will be there to support them.”