Hale Hawkins, CEO of Lewisburg Printing Co. in Lewisburg, Tenn., installed a seven-color Mitsubishi Diamond V3000LX sheetfed press with UV curing capabilities to support the family-owned firm’s growth strategy.
Lewisburg Printing Co., a family-owned firm specializing in commercial projects and label production, has acquired its second Mitsubishi sheetfed press in less than two years. The seven-color Diamond V3000LX with Grafix ultraviolet (UV) curing system will support Lewisburg Printing’s growth strategy by providing its customers with exceptional quality and quicker turnarounds on a wider variety of products.
Installation of the new 29-1/2 x 41-11/32-inch machine began in August at Lewisburg Printing’s manufacturing facility in Lewisburg, Tenn. It will replace two 40-inch Mitsubishi presses that had delivered many years of faithful service. One of the older presses is a six-color model from 2000, while the other, a seven-color, dates back to 1995. Both are equipped with aqueous coaters.
“We printed many millions of impressions on those two presses,” remarked Hale Hawkins, CEO. “We are confident the Diamond V3000LX will generate as much production — or even more — as the two combined. All of automated features on the press will allow us to produce faster makereadies and maintain consistent color throughout the press run.”
Hawkins’ family has owned Lewisburg Printing for four generations. The company’s focus has broadened since its founding in 1898 from the newspaper business to commercial printing to label printing. After buying Brandeau Printing in 2004, Lewisburg Printing moved that firm’s large-format equipment from Nashville to Lewisburg the following year. Lewisburg Printing sold its newspaper interests in 2005.
Packaging-related work has become the driving force in Lewisburg Printing’s business trajectory. With 97 employees and 160,000 square feet of space spread out over multiple production and storage facilities located nearby each other, Lewisburg Printing provides cut and stack labels, top sheets for corrugated packaging, short-run and digital printing. Point-of-purchase displays and a growing portfolio of large-format projects complement the menu of offerings. Company revenues have increased 40 percent since 2005.
Lewisburg Printing is a longtime user of Mitsubishi sheetfed presses. In 2011, the printer installed a 56-inch Diamond 6000LX, also with UV printing capabilities.
“We have had great success with Mitsubishi presses,” Hawkins said. “They run reliably day after day. Our press operators have trained on them, and our maintenance personnel know how to service them. Starting with a different make of press would be like starting over from scratch.”
The Diamond V3000LX is ideal for the high-end commercial work and labels that have earned Lewisburg Printing loyal customers. The press easily accommodates paper, plastic and board ranging from 0.016 inches to 0.040 inches thick.
“We typically run 60-pound litho paper up to 40-point board, so the wider stock range will come in extremely handy,” Hawkins said. “Using UV printing on the top sheets for the corrugated industry, as well as being able to print on plastics in this sheet size will open doors with some customers.”
The press features automatic blanket and cylinder washers and incorporates Mitsubishi’s latest advancements in color, register and impression controls. The SimulChanger plate changing system changes all seven plates in approximately one minute. Makereadies on new jobs and reprints are very fast thanks to the built-in automation and the X-Rite IntelliTrax auto scanning system.
Hawkins said the larger sheet size will create efficiencies in scheduling and materials usage.
“Everyone tries to push the size limit on 28 x 40-inch work,” he explained. “Switching to 29-1/2 x 41-11/32-inch sheets will help maximize the use of sheet space to output larger quantities. In addition, jobs that ordinarily would move up to the 56-inch press can be run on the Diamond V3000LX.”