Tag Archives: Open House

Open House at PRP Companies

prp-logo

On Wednesday March 26, 2015 Softec got a back stage tour of the PRP Companies in SLO. Our tour lead was the CEO Todd Ventura and he clearly knows his industry and has the passion for their tech.

PRP Companies are broadly described as a commercial printer but they are much more than just that. PRP Companies do print, apparel, creative, mail, and web. We got a backstage tour lead by Todd Ventura who walked us through the pre-press, large format, high-speed digital, color printing, bindery, mail.

Pre-Press

The pre-press room consists of a several high-end macs with a printer that outputs metal film (plates) for the press. This replaces what used to be a larger staff setting up the film to finally create the plates.  Now the plates are optimized and rendered directly.

Large Format Printing

The large format department consists of several large printers including a latex printer that avoids lots of the environmental issues of ink printing. This department creates lots of large format items including Vehicle Wraps, Floor Graphics, Trade Show Graphics, and Banners. One interesting us of large format is the ability to create custom wallpaper and I can think of all sort of creative uses for that. The key to this department is that the print is big and so is the impact.

High Speed Digital Printing

This department consists of multiple high-speed digital printers and the range of projects varies greatly. In production during our tour was a book that was printed and spiral bound – a great way to have a lay-flat document. Todd talked to us about many of the improvements in this area being able to handle materials that were impossible a few years ago. As an example they can print a box in these printers and then fold them out to the final box form.

Color Printing Printing

To me this is the heart an soul of a commercial printers and in this department they were running a magazine and the technology is amazing. The print runs through 6 colors to a sealant and dryer resulting in a fully set print with wonderful resolution that can be process ready to bindery in just minutes. To demonstrate this Todd pulled a sheet right off the printer and rubs the page with no blurring of the ink images.

Bindery Department

Bindery Department handles the job after printing and includes trimming, collating, and binding. The first machine Todd showed us was the cutter and it goes through several inches of paper in a single cut and the edge is perfectly straight. This requires a very sharp knife and lots of pressure. Todd demonstrated the safety equipment on this machine that is there to insure he never has an employee nicknamed Stubby. Safety and environmental controls are no joke in this company and you can see they have spent time and resources making sure the business is a professional work environment.

PRP-Open-HouseThe second machine Todd and John demonstrated is the one in picture. This takes the print output from high speed digital or color printing departments and colates, staples, and trims on three sizes to create the final product.

Mail Processing & Inkjet Addressing

This department is the final stage for some projects where they prepare the item for delivery in the mail. This includes equipment for collating, folding, addressing, and sealing. There was no job in process during the tour but Todd did a good job explaining how this can save clients money by getting the best postal rates but doing the right prep before delivering to the USPS.

Overall the event was a great tour although I was disappointed in the turnout. Our mission of creating Softec moments are better served by large groups but the small turnout resulted in a more personalized tour of the business.

Thanks to our Host

Softec would like to thank PRP Companies for the backstage tour and the insight into how this business operates. If your business has an interesting story of interest to the technology community please contact events@softec.org to set up an event like this.

Cool Meeting with Santa Maria Manufacturer’s Association

If you missed the plant tour at Lineage Logistics you missed a very cool tour and you can take the word both ways. The Santa Maria Manufacturers Association was the coordinator for the event and we had 40-45 people for a 7:30am start time. The thing you have to know about Santa Maria is they tend to start earlier than most SLO groups.

Start-of-Meeting

The building is 225,000 square feet and it is actually much larger than the footprint would indicate. I spent 16 years working in the foodservice industry so I am no stranger to this sort of facility but I must admit to being in awe of the 40 foot ceiling. Other facilities I have worked in were closer to 25 feet and that was considered state of the art in those days.

They took us through the warehouse and there is something special about walking into a room that is 100,000+ SF with minus 40 degree air. It has been a long time since I have experienced that temp and in some ways I miss it – however I quickly got over it. I suspect that more than a few people that are acclimated to the mild central coast felt this was way cool in both senses of the words.  Those that showed up in shorts probably regretted that morning’s wardrobe selection.

Front-of-Bldg\

This is a shot of the front of the building and by this point the group had spent a few minutes in sub-zero warehouses so they were enjoying the warmth even if it was a brisk morning by local standards.

fork-trucks

This picture of the forktrucks gives you some idea of the scale of the building. Those forklifts run up to 40 feet and weigh in at about 8,000 pounds with an average lift of 2,000. Needless to say they must have very well trained staff.

Back-up-signs

I love how they paid attention to the little details. Note in this picture that the signs are printed two ways. One is inverted so it reads properly in the mirror of the truck when they are backing up to the dock. Truck can back up and seal to the building and then open the door on inside so they do not compromise the temperature of the storage area. The facility has open dry storage at a very balmy 38 degrees and some office space so if you are looking for that sort of thing give them a call.

I do not know about everyone else but I really enjoy plant tours and would like to thank the Santa Maria Manufacturer’s Association for putting these types of events on. Santa Maria has lots of very interesting businesses and they have a warm welcome even at the very cool places.

 

 

Update July 2014

If you missed last night’s Open House hosted by our friends at IQMS then you missed a great networking opportunity. We got an insider’s peek at their new building on the growing IQMS campus.  This is a beautiful building thatIQMS is working hard to fill with professionals that will support their growing customer base of Manufacturers.

Randy Flamm, CEO of IQMS, gave us an update since our last visit and his long term vision of a six building campus. There is no doubt that IQMS is a world-class organization that competes at a global level, while living on the Central Coast. Softec would like to wish Randy, Nancy, and the entire IQMS team continued success.

Nicole Smith from IQMS gave us a tour of the building and explained the logic in the design and a little bit of insight into the IQMS culture. There is a reason that they are so successful and it starts with their team and their culture. Softec had the privilege of an open house when they opened their first building and now we are looking forward to buildings 3 & 4.

RRM LogoThe building was designed by RRM Design group and is a perfect fit for the mission and culture ofIQMS. I have had the privilege of seeing several projects by RRM and they do truly create environments that people enjoy and the newIQMS building certainly exceeds that standard.

I would like to give Nicole Smith a big shout out on this event because she is the person that did most of the heavy lifting and like most of her work – it was flawless. Nicole has been a Softec Board Member for several years and serves as our VP of Marketing. Nicole brings to us innovation, creativity, and a get-er-done approach to our communications. We appreciate her efforts on this and other events and deeply appreciate IQMS supporting her service on our board.

Softec welcomes a new Partner Level Sponsor
MINDBODY is one of the leading technology businesses in the region and so we are excited to announce that they are now a Partner Level Softec Sponsor – our highest level of sponsorship. Their support, and the support of our other sponsors, makes it possible for Softec to advocate for the technology industry and pursue our mission of creating Softec Moments. The Softec Board takes the responsibility of putting the support we receive to work in our community building and growing the technology industry as our primary mission.

Tech Brew
Josh Erdman. Softec VP of Beer & Snacks, from Tektegrity is working on the next Tech Brew. It will be an update from Tim Williams, CEO of Digital West, on the State of Fiber in SLO. Since high speed communications is critical to our tech businesses we are looking forward to this update. Remember the 2nd Monday at Pappy McGregors for a great networking event. The event is free and the connections you can create are priceless.

Save the Date: September 29, 2014 
Softec has been an advocate and sponsor of the local robotics teams since 2004 when we helped with the formation of the 2nd local robotics team – the AGHS Eagle Robotics. Robotic team competitions are the single largest item on the Softec budget. Last year we donated $5,000 to 9 different teams from Paso to Santa Maria and many of our members added to that. We believe at our core that mind-sports like Robotics are important to getting young minds excited about careers in technology. As a society we get what we celebrate. As an industry we chose to celebrate technology and what better way to do that than Robotic Competitions! Personally, I will be very happy when local robotics team competitions draw a bigger crowd than a Friday night football game – but that is just me – or is it?

Sincerely,

Bob Dumouchel
Bob Dumouchel
President