MLP USA Inc.

M13 Graphics Installs Mitsubishi Diamond 3000S with UV Curing

Reinvention is a term heard a lot these days, but it is nothing new. Almost from its inception, M13 Graphics, Inc. has leveraged its ability to dream up creative solutions into a unique business model that has resulted in impressive revenue growth.

The online retail design and printing company recently invested in the Diamond 3000S sheetfed press with hybrid ultraviolet (UV) and aqueous coating capabilities. The six-color, 40-inch press is being used to print everything from business cards, postcards and flyers to calendars, pocket folders and membership cards.

“Our experience with Mitsubishi press technology has been very positive,” said Dan Banakis, president. “Mitsubishi offers fast setup and short makeready times. Press operators like the reliability and ease of use. The press handles a great number of production runs in minimum time.”

From its location in Schaumburg, Ill., M13 Graphics provides fast turnarounds on full-color printing to national clients. M13 Graphics has serviced about 20,000 customers and printed several billion impressions.

M13 Graphics started in 1998 as a one-person, freelance design business called DPB Graphix. The name changed to M13 Graphics in 2002, and the emphasis shifted from Web and graphic design to print brokering.

M13 Graphics moved to its fifth and current location in 2007. Through an arrangement with a local printing company, M13 Graphics brought print services under its own roof. M13 Graphics shared manufacturing space and equipment with the other printer, while Banakis began amassing a stable of prepress, printing and finishing systems.

Since 2009, M13 Graphics has operated independently with 44 employees in a 47,000-square-foot facility. The printer bills $7 million in annual sales.

M13 Graphics’ services are primarily sold on the Internet, but it also takes orders on a walk-in basis and over the phone. Customers have several prepriced products to choose from, as well as custom printing services.

M13 Graphics gang runs a wide variety of differently sized products on a single sheet. Online document ordering 24 hours a day streamlines production, enabling the printer to offer cycle times of 24 to 48 hours on many projects.

“It’s fast and economical because many print jobs share the same run,” Banakis said. “Changeovers are quick with minimal makeready waste. We can makeready jobs on the Mitsubishi press in under 100 sheets.”

With UV curing, M13 Graphics does not have to worry about any drying time after the sheets have run through the press. Sheets go right from the delivery to cutting and finishing for the customer.

As a traditional offset printing company, M13 Graphics never cut corners on quality.

“We produce high-ends jobs for ad agencies and brokers that represent well-known companies,” Banakis pointed out. “Customers are quite happy with the quality of our commercial printing.”

M13 Graphics is hopeful that the Diamond 3000S will lead to another growth spurt.

“Our plan is to grow the business significantly this year and next,” Banakis said. “We intend to purchase another 40-inch Mitsubishi press, possibly a perfector or even a tandem.”

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