Precise Digital Printing - PDP, located in Bensenville, Ill., is one of the leading wholesale suppliers of large-format, full-color signs, graphics, and point-of-purchase displays in the Midwestern United States. Rising from the ashes of the 2008 recession, the company began with all of two partners, Jugnu Shah and Kevin Grouwinkel, and a single employee. In a mere 14 years, PDP has grown to a staff of 56 with an impressive array of state-of-the-art equipment, including 12 flatbed and roll-to-roll printers and two Zünd cutters — with a third one on its way — but more on that later…
Precise Digital Printing’s remarkable growth is due to a number of different factors, not the least of which is the recent pandemic and its effect on many smaller PSPs unable to adapt to a new environment, let alone cope with the resulting labor shortages. Many of the survivors in the business saw tremendous growth and were forced to look to wholesale trade suppliers to contract out whatever jobs they could not handle themselves. PDP was able to benefit tremendously from this, seeing their business increase by 30-40% over the past year alone. With a need to accommodate this type of order volume (much of which on short notice), the company now operates 24/7 with no sign of things slowing down any time soon.
The key to success: careful investment
When asked about how Precise Digital Printing managed to weather the turmoil of the past several years so well, Vice President Kevin Grouwinkel has no doubts: “It’s all about careful investment in people and technology. We hire good, experienced people and treat them fairly so they want to stay with us; and when it comes to equipment, we also choose wisely but at the same time frugally, making sure we can pay for everything within 1-2 years.”
As did many other successful printers during and after the pandemic, President Jugnu Shah and Grouwinkel saw a need to diversify and decided to invest in a Scodix printer. Combined with the versatility of PDP’s two Zünd L-3200 cutting systems — one of which equipped with a 1kW router and Automatic Router-bit Changer - ARC — the company is able to quickly and easily produce jobs involving tens of thousands of pieces cut from 20x28” sheets of embellished PVC and Di-Bond. “The amount of business — new business, mind you — we have generated from these capabilities has been incredible. And this is not a service many trade printers can offer. The speed and efficiency of our Zünd cutters has allowed us to increase the size of orders. We used to go for display jobs ranging from 150 to 200 units, and now we’re at 500-1,000 — and some of these displays consist of 15-20 pieces!”
Sustainability and the need for speed
Another development Precise Digital Printing was quick to see and respond to, is the growing demand in POP away from plastics towards more cost-effective and sustainable corrugated materials. Having experienced a threefold increase in this segment of their business (now at a volume of 2-3,000 sheets per week), Grouwinkel can hardly wait for the arrival of their third Zünd cutting system, a 10x10 ft G3 3XL-3200 set up for tandem operation. This cutter configuration allows for loading/unloading the machine on one side while cutting operations continue on the other, which results in an incredibly fast and productive, non-stop production workflow.
Everybody wants a Zünd
When things get backed up, Precise Digital Printing happily resorts to partnering with another Zünd customer, who actually used to be a good customer of theirs. Kevin Grouwinkel does not mind at all when this happens: “Consistencies in workflow and output quality make it easy for us to help each other out, because just like us, these customers have done their homework when it comes to buying equipment. They know exactly what they can expect from these cutting/finishing machines: unequaled Swiss engineering, quality, and reliability, not to mention ease of use and labor savings — and one more thing — consistently low maintenance costs. That’s why everybody wants a Zünd!” To sum it up, what Kevin Grouwinkel appreciates most about Zünd is the unwavering dedication to making manufacturers’ jobs as easy as possible, no matter their specific application or workflow requirements: “In the printing business especially, there is so much equipment that comes and goes, that simply becomes obsolete or dies. But Zünd just goes and goes and goes…!”