Archive | October, 2008

Dream Machine

12 Oct

In a constant search for better and faster, I found a company that was

an answer to all my hard working days. Because personalized napkins

are the majority of my business, I was looking for a piece of

equipment that would take the place of my existing manual machine
which involves pulling a lever for every print.

This is they type of machine I use now, the Manufacturers name is Kwikprint, and I have 3 different types, they are great machines for just about any hot stamping, but they are manual
I know that there are pneumatic pedal machines available, but I was

looking for something better and faster, and I found something
promising – an automatic napkin hot stamping machine. Basically, you
load up the hopper, set up the print and it will print 2,500 napkins
per hour. “Wow!” I thought, “I can only do 500 per hour manually and
be exhausted!”

It was compact: about 4 ft by 4 ft. It would take a napkin, print it
and kick it out when done. What a sweet thing to see! The machine
was not cheap, so I maxed out my credit cards, cashed in the
retirement fund and ordered it. Anticipation grew with every day and

than the phone call came: “It’s ready, we will be there Monday.”
This is the new machine, I was trying to purchase, Malahide, made and designed by Malahide Hot stamping presses

I made room, purchased a $500.00 compressor – which required even more
room to be made – and patiently awaited the arrival of my magical
machine. Ian was going to deliver it and install it.
When it arrived there was the issue of getting it off the
truck. It nearly broke my back, but I had to be a part of this event.
Finally, after we took the door off, the four of us sweated, pushed,
tilted, carried, slid, and few other things to get it in the door. And
there it was, proudly standing in it’s majestic space.

Ian did his part of putting it together, adjusting,

calibrating, attaching and finally hooking it to a compressor. We put
a printing emblem in and pushed the button. The machine came to life,
hissed and picked up the napkin, hissed again, and stamped it, and
hissed some more when it spit the napkin out. What a wonderful thing!
It printed about a dozen in a blink of an eye, and then things
started going wrong.

At first it started picking up 2 or 3 napkins at a time, so the
installer calibrated and adjusted, and then none at all. So it went
for 2 days. He worked his heart out, drove across town in enormous
traffic (we are near Chicago), picked up parts and whatever else was
needed from local vendors. He tried everything I could imagine and
then some. It just would not perform. We were all baffled why not,
as the company tested it in their manufacturing facility and it worked

I brought out more napkins for testing and no matter what he did, it

would not work. We never figured out why not, except that I was using

2-ply napkins and the machine was tested on 3-ply napkins, which are
heavier and more stable. I even considered changing over my whole
entire business to 3-ply, but after calculating the costs of napkins,

shipping, especially to my international customers, paying 1/3 more in
shipping (which is already out of control) just did not add up.

So, with sad faces and disappointment I went back to quietly pulling
the lever 2,000+ times a day. The machine went back to Canada.
Maybe, soon, they will recreate this machine for my type of napkin.

Unrequited love – but with a machine.

It was a great experience and a wonderful opportunity to work with Ian and Paul Birch, (Paul is the sales Manager), the customer service and professionalism are unsurpassed, and I hope to work with them again in the near future.