Braintree Printing: Digital Shops Takes Next Steps, Moves into Functional & Industrial Print

Ron Gilboa
Apr 22, 2013

Last Thursday, I met a top Boston-area commercial printer, one with the vision and fortitude to take his business to the next level. The occasion was the company’s open house to highlight its adoption of 3D printing technology as the next step in its evolution as a print service provider.  We saw that technology, and a lot more.

For the event, Jim Corliss, a founder and owner of Braintree Printing, hosted nearly 200 guests at his company’s 17,000 sq. ft. operations, located just inside Route 128, Boston’s technology ring-road. Jim and his partners, Jerry Hogan and Jose Tafur, are veterans of the printing industry, having opened their first Sir speedy in 1982 and Braintree Printing in 2001.

Corliss and teammates have thus been in the trenches for many years and have successfully transitioned Braintree Printing into a full service commercial print operation, one incorporating workflow tools, lots of digital printing, and offset printing and fulfillment services.

Braintree Printing has an especially strong digital printing component, with two Xerox iGen 4s leading the company’s equipment list. While printed documents in conventional formats are the core of what Braintree Printing does, though, the spark of innovation and the desire to outpace the competition is driving Braintree to adopt new technologies, such as 3D printing. These technologies will allow them to maximize sell new services to existing and new customers and to add adjacent applications as well.

Adding new capabilities to Braintree Printing - Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D

The pièce de résistance at the company today is the newly acquired Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D Printer. Here Jim and his fellow owners take a step towards future solutions that will allow them to offer a slew of new applications starting with this entry level model aimed at ABS plastic production, and likely in the future more advanced units for complex 3D production.

Folding Carton - Mohawk’s Dimensional papers.

Other things are happening, though, at this still-evolving print service provider, and packaging is one. Being a full digital shop, Braintree Printing long partnered with Mohawk Paper, a major supplier of digital media. Mohawk was there on Thursday, showing new board media for use in Xerox iGen and other digital printers. With it, Braintree can offer the folding carton application for use in wine bottle packaging, and table tents and carded graphics such as point of purchase signs. The new media, which are part of Mohawk’s Dimensional line, are available in amounts as low as 50 sheets, and are micro perforated and creased, with many designs available for finishing without the need for onsite dies and creasing converting devices which are cost prohibitive for small runs.

In addition to 3D printing and carton printing, Braintree Printing offers subtractive laser based solutions by Universal Laser Systems VLS3.50. Their device allows the creation of engraved products on plastics, metals, and wood. These can be used for signage, architectural, rubber stamps promotional engravings and many more possibilities.

Unique promotional applications created on a Universal Laser Systems VLS3.50

The Braintree Printing leadership team is taking a very astute approach to emerging markets. Their strategy is based on understanding their customers’ needs, many of which are in the engineering space, and the realization that the document space is changing and adding these new services will allow them to keep a competitive edge.

InfoTrends is a firm believer in the continued growth of Industrial and Functional printing solutions. Industrial and functional solutions present significant growth opportunities to print providers who read the tea leaves and keep in tune with their customer needs as well as technological innovation. For a PSP with 30 years’ in the market, digital printing has been a key to his survival and growth. Now, facing electronic displacement and a tighter market, new kinds of digital printing are giving Braintree Printing new options to compete, including applications far from conventional documents.

 

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