Industry trends over the past several years played an influential role in The Standard Group’s most recent press purchase. The packaging specialist, a user of large-format Mitsubishi presses for more than 20 years, diversified production capabilities at its Southern Standard Cartons facility in Louisville, Ky., with the installation in May of a 28-inch Mitsubishi Diamond 1000LS sheetfed press.
“The Standard Group traditionally has been a large-format shop, but we have seen the marketplace change,” said Lou Cortes, president and CEO. “Certain segments of business don’t have high-volume requirements. The marketplace has adapted to changes in the requirements for reduced turnaround times and inventory risk.”
Although Cortes envisions a time when digital print engines may hold the answer to shorter-run package-printing requirements, he believes the technology has not yet matured sufficiently to be a viable alternative to offset.
“After spending time speaking with Mitsubishi, we concluded that the 28-inch press would allow us to cost-effectively service the short-run segment of our customers’ business,” Cortes said.
The Standard Group is a fourth-generation, family-owned firm with 140 employees focused on supply chain solutions in a highly competitive industry. The Jackson Heights, N.Y., headquarters consists of salespeople, customer service personnel, and graphic and structural designers. The Louisville operation's central location is one shipment day from two-thirds of the U.S. population.
One of the nation’s leading independent folding carton converters, The Standard Group delivers cartons for household goods, frozen and dry foods, personal care items and, more recently, pharmaceutical products. The company prints cartons for branded and private label manufacturers. It has catered to the private label industry for years.
Maintaining a technological edge is a must for meeting the high-quality carton needs of clients.
“Mitsubishi manufactures great printing presses for the folding carton market,” said Joe Rebecca, vice president of manufacturing. “They continue to stay technologically advanced enough to compete against their peers in the marketplace. We can print on onion skin paper up to 40-point board. The print quality is among the best in the industry.”
The six-color Diamond 1000LS, equipped with an aqueous coater, shares the pressroom floor at the 225,000-square-foot Louisville plant with an eight-color Diamond V3000LX and a seven-color model 6FC. The 41-inch Diamond V3000LX and 56-inch 6FC both feature ultraviolet printing capabilities.
“Our customers’ portfolios have adapted to this new world we all live in,” Cortes said. “We also see that our customers have opportunities they haven’t been able to attack. Rounding out our press format offering with 56-inch, 41-inch and 28-inch presses gives us the ability to capitalize on existing segments of business and help our customers tackle new opportunities in the market.”
The Diamond 1000LS handles up to 24-point board, suitable for a wide range of packaging and promotional materials.
“The smaller format enables us to continue our growth in the pharmaceutical segment,” Rebecca noted, adding that “it also gives us more scheduling flexibility to better utilize our equipment.”
Operating different presses from the same manufacturer affords a number of other benefits for the printer.
“Our press operators are very comfortable with Mitsubishi technology,” Cortes said. “Having the same family of presses further ensures our ability to produce consistent print quality no matter what we print. The most exciting thing for us is it seems like every week we have an additional opportunity that didn’t present itself before.”