Davis Direct Purchases Stahlfolder KH 82 from HEIDELBERG to Boost Efficiency for Signature Folding  

Kennesaw, Ga. August 16, 2023 – Focused on making investments that will usher its business into the future, Davis Direct, a commercial printer based in Montgomery, AL, recently installed a new Stahlfolder KH 82 from HEIDELBERG. The KH 82, which was purchased to increase the efficiency of the company’s signature folding, complements its high speed Speedmaster CD 102 and is a faster, more automated, and easier to operate alternative to the two older buckle folders it replaces. 

“I Wish We Bought This Folder A Year Ago”

“Commercial work is the heart of our business,” said Mitchell Vaughan, Vice President of Sales and Development at Davis Direct. “While we have a robust digital fleet, our customers are still demanding the longer runs, uncompromising quality, and specialty finishes that only offset printing offers.” Having purchased a new CD 102 with UV curing in 2019 to produce magazines, brochures, catalogs, and direct mail pieces for its primarily higher education, manufacturing, and government customers, Davis Direct continues to look for investments in technology that will help meet its customers’ needs not only now but also into the future. While the company’s new press helped play a role in its recent growth, there were moments during last year’s labor shortage when Vaughan and his team struggled with how they were going to finish all of their printed sheets. Davis Direct, who was previously equipped with three aging B 30 buckle folders, folds upwards of 2,000,000 sheets per month during its peak season. According to Vaughan, “It’s a lot of lifting and fanning and catching and being able to pile everything on a pallet. We were simply wearing people out with the manual folders.” Needing a more automated solution for its 12-, 16-, and 32-page signatures, Davis Direct recently installed a Stahlfolder KH 82 – replacing two of its older folders. 

Folding 12,000 sheets per hour and equipped with enhanced automation features like easy-to-use touchscreen control, automated roller settings, and a standardized makeready process, the KH 82 has drastically improved the throughput at Davis Direct. “I wish I had bought this folder a year ago,” said Vaughan. “It’s a perfect marriage – the speed and productivity of the CD 102 combined with the speed and productivity of the KH 82.” The improved productivity and automation mean that one person can now accomplish what used to take two operators; they also allow the operator more time to concentrate on the quality of the fold rather than the just the physical aspects of running the machine. With less bottlenecks and more staff available in finishing, Vaughan says the KH 82 will help the company, “target more work that suits us, and more work will be suitable for us. We can take on larger runs than ever before, and I don’t have to be afraid of what it means for the bindery department.”

While the company’s folder is now consistently running at top speeds, there was a large learning curve changing from a traditional buckle folder to a combination folder like the KH 82. During the initial start-up, Davis Direct received excellent training and support from both the HEIDELBERG service and product management teams. “One of the biggest reasons we bought from HEIDELBERG and continue to buy from HEIDELBERG,” said Vaughan, “is the support we know we will get whenever we purchase a machine.” As he looks for ways to keep his company moving forward, Vaughan says HEIDELBERG will continue to play an intricate role in the company’s future. “We’ve never sat down after a purchase from HEIDELBERG and said, ‘this was maybe not the right decision.’ We’ve had those conversations after we’ve purchased equipment from other people. HEIDELBERG means quality, and I’ve never experienced anything that would contradict that.” 

About Davis Direct

Davis Direct is a unique hub for marketing production and delivery – strategically managing the production, storage, tracking and distribution of materials for professional marketers. Building on more than 80 years of experience, Davis Direct has designed its own holistic and seamless approach for the marketing industry. Technological advancements keep the company, which is widely known for its stellar customer service, in sync with its clients. As Davis Direct progresses within the industry, it will never forget the two fundamental principles that it was founded upon: quality and integrity. These guiding principles define how the team at Davis Direct interacts every day with one another and with its clients. With its vision aligned, the true strength of Davis Direct is demonstrated in client goals delivered: on target and on time.