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PrintCards KM AccurioPress and Growth in Playing Cards

After weathering the Covid storm, PrintCards has invested in new machinery to keep up with the increased growth in the card game industry.

Established in 2021, PrintCards has evolved into a company that specializes in digital printing of playing cards. Currently, this constitutes around 30% of its business, with the remaining 70% comprising various digital work, primarily stickers, labels, and packaging.

Growth in Playing Cards

In recent years, PrintCards has made a series of investments in digital production presses. The most recent addition, in the summer of 2023, was the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C14000, a long-SRA3 format sheetfed toner press.

PrintCards also operates two HP Indigo presses. For wide-format printing, they rely on a fleet of Epson SureColor SC-80600L eco-solvent printers, primarily used for stickers, decals, and more, along with two roll-fed HP latex printers. The company is equipped with a range of finishing equipment, including lamination, die cutting, laser cutting, plotting, and more.

PrintCards founder, Ryan, leads the company. He has overseen its transformation from its original focus on presentation graphics work to its current specialization in printing playing cards. John Monson, the production manager, explains, “This transformation occurred when we realized we could produce playing cards. Since then, the production of playing cards has grown significantly and now forms about 30% of our work.”

In 2022, PrintCards launched a website that allows customers to order personalized prints, including playing and gaming cards, calendars, canvas wraps, and outdoor banners –

The company is located in Utah, approximately 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City. Over the years, it has expanded its factory from 2,000 square feet to its current size of 15,000 square feet. Currently, over 30 employees work at the facility.

Demand has been challenging to keep up with. Monson recalls:

We’ve nearly doubled our workforce in the past year, all of whom had lost their jobs within the print industry due to Covid. Since then, the growth has been exponential, mainly fueled by the playing card side of the business. In September 2022, we employed two more people temporarily until Christmas, but as the workload didn’t slow down, both were kept on. By April this year, we had a pre-production manager/office manager starting to work alongside me.

What is the AccurioPress C14000?

The AccurioPress C14000 is the flagship model in Konica Minolta’s range of SRA3 format digital toner production presses. It introduces new levels of automation and self-calibration, along with a variety of configuration options, including numerous inline finishing modules. Announced in October 2019, it boasts a top speed of 140 A4 ppm (or 80 A3 ppm) and a duty cycle of 2.5 million images per month, representing a 40% increase compared to the previous fastest model. Additionally, there is a 120 ppm C12000 model available.

PrintCards AccurioPress C14000 is configured to handle sheets up to 35in long, sourced from three drawers that can contain different stocks. The output is delivered to a long stacker and trolley. There is also a 1,300mm option available, although it cannot duplex in the same pass. The press accommodates paper weights ranging from 52gsm to 450gsm, and it can handle textured or embossed sheets up to 300gsm.

Konica Minolta’s optional IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Optimizer system ensures precise registration and verifies print quality. The C14000 can be operated using KM’s own controller or third-party front ends such as EFI’s Fiery, which is the choice at PrintCards.

Final Thoughts

As PrintCards continues to evolve and grow, one thing remains clear: the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C14000 plays a crucial role in their success story. With its impressive speed, reliability, and versatility, this digital toner production press has proven to be a valuable asset in its pursuit of excellence in the world of digital printing.

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