Louie Gerard “Luigi” Abiva heads the third generation management team of the Abiva family-owned Hiyas Press Inc., which celebrates half a century of printing in 2019.
The company specializes in educational materials such as textbooks, published by its 83 year-old sister company, Abiva Publishing House, Inc. It also prints magazines, brochures, posters and yearbooks.
“Competition among printing companies has grown stiff and has become a neck-and-neck race,” says Luigi. “Each printer tries to outdo the other-introducing innovations and upgrading its services.”
Hiyas Press started using Heidelberg pre-press machines in 2004, using computer-to-film (CtF) equipment. In 2010 it shifted to computer-to-plate (CtP), running 12 plates per hour. "We used a detached CtP and processor and were operating for 24 hours then," recalls Luigi. He then sold the machine and upgraded to two CtP machines running 18 plates per hour for each machine.
"I thought it was enough but still we were operating 24 hours and there was a need for a helper to feed and transfer the plate to the processor. Labor cost was getting high, too," says Luigi.
In March 2019, Hiyas Press invested in innovation by installing a 45 plates per hour Heidelberg Suprasetter 106 CtP platemaker with a dual casette loader and turntable. “We needed more output on the plates and do away with two shifts," says Luigi. "We now have just a single shift and one operator, with no need for an assistant operator."
Productivity has vastly improved, with the highest output so far recorded at 47 plates per hour. Luigi highlights the Suprasetter benefits: "This was much faster than the 2 CtPs combined, with less labor. And there is no need to run 24 hours. I would say although the machine is expensive it is more efficient, same cost of having 3 CtP's and less labor."
Hiyas Press has long banked on Heidelberg for fast, efficient and reliable equipment. Aside from the Suprasetter 106, it has a 4-color Speedmaster SM 74 and 2-color Sorz. It also relies on Heidelberg for 80% of its consumables like plates, inks, developers and machine parts.
"We certainly would highly recommend the Suprasetter to our colleagues in the industry, if topnotch efficiency is what you're after," Luigi asserts. He adds: "Seamless integration with other Heidelberg machines allows for shorter make ready time and less paper waste."
With innovation at the core of its business, Hiyas Press is set to lead the industry for the next 50 years.
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