AJ Images, Inc. grows 20% with Agfa partnership
Agfa’s ECO³ software solution has been an important part of the company’s growth & success.
AJ Images, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service, family-owned commercial printing company based in Roselle, NJ. Founded in 1967, the company offers personalized printing and binding services to a wide variety of clients. Their customer base includes large corporations, small businesses, government agencies, healthcare providers, utilities, and direct mail marketers. Many of their customers have been with AJ Images for decades.
Three generations of the Greebel family run the business at AJ Images. Skilled graphic and printing professionals share a commitment to meeting client deadlines while paying keen attention to the smallest detail in each job. Cutting-edge technology is readily adopted and mastered, resulting in consistently high-quality production. Customers regard AJ Images as a value-added and cost-conscience partner. Agfa’s software has been an important part of the company’s growth and success.
AJ Images has been a long-time user of Agfa’s Apogee workflow software. To make their print production even more cost-effective, ecological, and profitable, they recently implemented Agfa’s ECO³ program. ECO³ focuses on three success factors to achieve sustainable innovation: ecology, economy, and extra convenience. Included with Agfa’s ECO³ program are PressTune and InkTune applications.
More stability on press
InkTune integrates into the prepress workflow during the rendering process to apply GCR (grey component replacement) and replaces expensive CMY inks with more economical black ink. In addition to ink cost savings, this technique results in improved consistency, higher printing speeds, and faster drying times. This cost-effective solution improves quality while reducing environmental impact by cutting down on both paper waste and ink usage.
Aharon Greebel, vice president at AJ Images, was first impressed by InkTune’s ability to create an ideal environment for applying GCR. “We are able to maintain stability on press more easily than the conventional four-color process. We have faster, more convenient make-readies and it’s easier for the press operator to come to color, maintain grey balance, and sustain consistent color with InkTune,” he explained.
Print to G7 standards consistently
To optimize color control, AJ Images also implemented PressTune, Agfa’s print standardization and audit tool. PressTune contains powerful analytic capabilities based on lab values obtained through spectrophotometer measurement tools. A score is then automatically calculated by PressTune, enabling the objective evaluation of printing jobs according to specific standards. Therefore, production inefficiencies are reduced by eliminating subjective evaluations. In addition, this unique tool ensures that jobs are consistently printed to ISO, G7, and client-specific specifications.
The application automatically collects print quality data directly from the press during manufacturing. The results are displayed on an easy-to-read dashboard enabling the press operator to assess quality and take action accordingly. PressTune’s capabilities help identify, diagnose and address issues with substrates, inks, packing, rollers, and other variables before they become problematic. Furthermore, prepress and pressroom managers can corroborate and update tonal curves based on overall trends, resulting in faster production and greater consistency.
More jobs completed in less time and with less waste
PressTune monitors CMYK and a library of spot colors and then guides press operators to make the appropriate adjustments to remain within tolerances as chemistry, paper, ink, or other variables change. This results in an average 25% reduction in paper waste.
With PressTune, we are able to keep tighter color control and repeatability. The application enables us to adjust and maintain density values, so we consistently hold to our G7 standards. It helps us maintain G7 compliance by getting the dE values and dot gain correct.
“PressTune lets us know if we are running too much water or if the blankets are getting contaminated. It allows us to make quick determinations on a multitude of settings. PressTune also keeps all of our crews on the same playing field despite each individual employee’s differing skills and abilities. We’re able to ensure that each shift produces the same job consistently.”
Greebel further explains, “We pretty much rebuilt our pressroom 20 years ago. At that time, we learned everything we could about color control and consistency. That’s when we decided to begin working with Agfa. Anyone who knows me knows that as a hands-on owner/operator, I’m always checking everything.”
Having PressTune is like having a dedicated extra pair of eyes to assist me.
When prompted for feedback, AJ Images’ clients quickly state that the company’s excellent team provides consistently high-level quality at competitive prices and with a good turnaround.
Happy customers lead to 20% business growth
“Clients appreciate the fact that we stay within dE2 for all PMS builds and PMS mixes,” states Greebel. “They also like that we are proving our G7 process on the run and can produce a report if necessary. We’ve experienced a 20% growth during the past 18 months, verifying that all systems are running successfully. Having Agfa as a print partner has been a key factor in our growth.”
“PressTune and InkTune have helped us produce more work
with the same number of employees and within the same number of hours.”