It’s no secret that graphic designers love … FACTORY TOURS!

At Fresco Creative each designer has a close relationship with all their suppliers. And printers are certainly no exception! I was recently invited to visit Offset Alpine Printing in Lidcombe for a special access-all-areas tour, exploring the intricacies of their processes and all possibilities for the printing and production of magazines.

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On our way to their largest and fastest printer (it was printing 78, 200 copies of a 48 page magazines every hour!) I was met on the factory floor with an unmanned robotic forklift! It beeped as I tipped my hat. I was particularly impressed by their attention to efficiency and the comfort and health of their employees. I was shown humidifiers spraying a fine mist throughout the room which served to reduce static which slows down the machines and dust which is bad for respiratory health. As I was introduced to the guillotine men I was shown their air-roller paper transfer machinery and extra-squishy padded floor mats. Not to mention, they both had all their fingers!

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The machines themselves virtually run themselves. They have a neat trick of scanning the top corner of each section so that during compilation they know if they are inserting the wrong section on something that’s upside down! You wouldn’t want to be half way through New Idea and have to stand on your head to continue!

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I was astonished by the amount of paper they had on hand in their storeroom for the kind of web-fed printing we use. I saw reams of paper worth thousands of dollars. But thieves beware, you’d have to pinch the robotic forklift first – and I reckon she’d have something to say about it!

Click here to view some samples of their work for us.

Andrea Dell 06.05.2012