Merlin Printing Improves Vintage Machine Productivity with CONNECT

Melville, NY – 12 June 2020 –– SpencerMetrics® is pleased to announce that Merlin Printing Inc. has recently celebrated one year using CONNECT® installed and operational on their two legacy 1990’s Heidelberg web-offset printing presses. During the spring of 2019, Merlin deployed CONNECT with AUTOMATER™, a system that addressed their immediate need for automating data collection and analytics from their production machines.

Merlin’s output demand was growing, and so was management’s need for an easy, reliable solution to collect machine activity and shop floor data. Their manual data collection methods had become incredibly inefficient and outdated. Merlin began searching for a tool to give them access to accurate job cost data and analytics in order to better understand and control their make-ready waste and the true cost of production for their numerous job versioning requirements. With a majority of production volume produced from the two printing presses, they needed to find a solution that would eliminate the labor intensive and inaccurate manual methods and to automate data gathering from these legacy printing press that cannot communicate digitally.

CONNECT automated and digitized Merlin’s production data collection augmented with real-time shop floor monitoring, and in-depth analytics. Operators now enjoy the convenience and the breakthrough ease-of-use of the CONNECT shop floor data collection module; while management appreciates the increased visibility that allows for press and operator performance tracking, and detailed analyses of real-time metrics.

“The system provides us with a simple way to collect and analyze data, as well as to continuously improve print shop operations”, says Charles Lewis, Merlin’s VP of Production Operations. With CONNECT, ​Merlin now compares repeat jobs, understands the different costs of each version, tracks labor efficiency and waste week-to-week, understands the reasons for variations, and gets more production output in fewer hours.

Within the first year of deploying and using CONNECT and making small yet lasting improvements, Merlin has successfully increased actual Printing time and Productivity, reduced Make-Ready (Setup) Time and associated Waste. The cost savings in Labor Time and Media Waste reduction have delivered an ROI that exceeded their expectations.

Detailed results of Merlin’s success is available on:

“We were impressed with the AUTOMATER technology…they not only promised but delivered fast and reliably. CONNECT is easy to use and is already providing more value than we expected. AUTOMATER really brings our legacy big iron into the new age of production tracking. With real-time visibility we can focus on improving our and our clients’ costs”, says Steven Vid, ​President at Merlin Printing.

To learn how CONNECT and AUTOMATER can deliver remote production monitoring from any device, Register for our latest Live Webinar or Schedule an online demo.

About Merlin Printing Inc.

​Merlin Printing is a full-service commercial printer located in Long Island, New York. In addition to producing weekly papers and shoppers to many local businesses for over 50 years, Merlin also offers a comprehensive set of marketing solutions including design, print production, and mailing – including business cards, billboards, labels, weekly newspapers and shoppers, etc. Located just minutes from Midtown Manhattan they serve a wide range of customers throughout the East Coast.

​Merlin runs a busy print shop, often three shifts per day, six days a week, for some 50 weeks throughout the year. Their production floor includes a pair of conventional web-offset presses, Xerox digital production printers, wide format, and more.

About SpencerMetrics LLC 

Dedicated to serving user needs in modern production printing through innovative software solutions and services, SpencerMetrics provides automated data capture, monitoring, and analysis for operational insight and cost reduction through the patented CONNECT system. 

CONNECT automatically captures and analyzes multi-vendor equipment and accurate shop floor data. AUTOMATER brings legacy conventional presses, finishing, and mailing equipment into the solution. The focus on people and processes enables immediate visibility into operations, while its cloud-based architecture enables the sharing of resources and best practices across geographies. Analytics track production metrics and KPIs for continuous improvement, reduce downtime waste with Lean Six Sigma, improve asset utilization, and maximize productivity to lower costs. 

SpencerMetrics LLC was previously part of SpencerLab, a division of Spencer & Associates Publishing, Ltd. Since 1989, SpencerLab independent testing has earned an international reputation for expertise in benchmarking color print quality, consumable yield/cost-per-print, reliability, usability, as well as productivity for a wide variety of printing technologies. SpencerLab also provides focus group management, benchmark test software/hardware, and custom consulting. To learn more, please visit