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PROSPER S5 System helps drive growth in direct mail business

  • September 24, 2018

Production powerhouse continues to expand

Founded in 1980, Kyoritsu Printing is a general printing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. With eight production sites, the company caters to high volume orders and a variety of printing needs from clients across Japan, from web and sheet-fed printing to direct mail processing and bookmaking. Kyoritsu Printing boasts the largest scale in Japan for web printing with a total of 34 web presses, and is capable of handling orders for millions of pieces. Its overwhelming capacity has established Kyoritsu Printing as a production powerhouse, and has greatly contributed to its growth.

Five lines of printers are equipped with a total of nine PROSPER S5 units

In 2017, the company’s new Information Logistics Output Center came on-line. This high-security factory is dedicated to producing direct mail, and features production lines integrated with a variety of equipment that automates the process from end to end. It currently employs five lines of printers that include KODAK PROSPER S5 Imprinting Systems installed on conveyors. With a maximum speed of 150 meters per minute, the hybrid production lines are easily capable of managing direct mail orders up to millions of pieces.

Kyoritsu Printing’s experience with the PROSPER S5 system dates back to 2012 when the company installed its first unit. Noriaki Tajima, Executive Officer and Manager at the Second Production Division, recalls, “We had only just started initiatives in printing direct mail. We were searching for equipment to support pressure bonding direct mail and to print addresses, and we came across the PROSPER S5 from Kodak. We compared it with products from other companies, and chose the PROSPER S5 because of its wide clearance for printing materials, as well as its printing speed.”

With the PROSPER S5 technology, the distance between the printing head and the paper can be adjusted to a maximum of approximately 5 mm, facilitating trouble-free printing even for thicker materials. With a beautiful appearance featuring rich blacks with no blotches or smudges, and output that is clearly superior to UV output, print quality was also an advantage.

Processing as many as 10 million pieces of direct mail every month with PROSPER S5

Since installing its first PROSPER S5 unit, Kyoritsu Printing has rapidly grown its direct mail printing business, netting approximately 7% of total revenue in its balance for March 2018, close to double that of the previous year. As part of its strategy to drive continued growth, the company is actively investing in additional capacity. Strong results and reliability offered by the first PROSPER S5 system over time made the decision to install more units an obvious one. Mitsuo Nomura, Assistant Manager at the Information Processing Department, explains, “The system is incredibly reliable, and there are few mechanical problems. It is user-friendly and easy to run, and all our staff can operate it without trouble, even if they have not been trained as dedicated operators. By installing all units with the same type, our staff are always comfortable using the machines.”

The company’s current workload has reached a maximum of about 10 million pieces per month, and it has successfully processed a single order for 7 million pieces of direct mail within just two weeks. Shintaro Kurata, Processing Manager at the Information Processing Department, notes: “These machines are excellent in terms of speed, running costs, quality and flexibility. They can be reliably operated by anyone.”

Using read and print functionality in a Japan-first venture

When Kyoritsu Printing installed more PROSPER S5 inkjet heads at the start of fiscal 2017, the company also became the first in Japan to deploy read and print functionality. This advanced feature enables inter-related variable information to be printed accurately on both sides of the sheet, such as a name and address on the front and a card usage statement or targeted coupon on the back. Division Manager Noriaki Tajima comments, “Until now, we had made various efforts for printing on both sides of a sheet, such as using a device to flip the sheet over. When I heard about read and print, I was keen to deploy this functionality. I saw appeal in a safe production method that was riskfree, as no defective products are created even if an error occurs in the process.”

Until then, the concept of variable printing on both sides of the sheet had been considered off-limits, but increased customer demand for this advanced capability inspired Kyoritsu Printing to move boldly. By being the first in Japan to offer read and print capabilities, the company expands its offering to include a high-value service that customers want and need, while strengthening its own competitive advantage. As Kyoritsu Printing looks to the future, it’s clear that Kodak’s innovative PROSPER inkjet imprinting system will play a fundamentally important role in the company’s ongoing drive for growth.