Lehigh Direct Installs Heidelberg M-600 Web Press, Custom Features
Tuesday, October 30, 2001
BROADVIEW, IL, October 29 , 2001 — The Lehigh Press, Inc. has announced the installation at Lehigh Direct, the company's direct marketing printing division, of a new Heidelberg M-600 web press, with a unique configuration that includes an advanced custom in-line finishing system and highly sophisticated Scitex variable imaging and personalization capabilities. Known worldwide for its superb print quality, the M-600 web press and its custom in-line configuration represents an investment of more than $10 million. Lehigh's innovative configuration of the extremely high quality web press with an extensive custom in-line finishing system is thought to be the first of its type designed specifically to deliver a complete spectrum of creative formats for the direct marketing industry with vastly superior color and personalization capabilities. Raymond A. Frick, Chief Executive Officer and President of The Lehigh Press, Inc., stated, "This remarkable installation is the newest step we've taken to fulfill our commitment to provide Lehigh customers with the resources that enable them to create direct marketing products with extraordinary impact. Lehigh now offers our customers a broader value proposition through advanced technology and production capabilities. Major capital investments such as our M-600 with custom in-line finishing and personalization, assure that Lehigh stays well ahead of the curve with outstanding quality and productivity to serve our customers even better, and maintain our continuing strong growth." Paul Palmer, President of Lehigh Direct, noted, "This new installation is a product of our close collaboration with Heidelberg. We've customized the web press to link its extraordinary print quality with in-line finishing and high-speed personalization in a tremendously efficient print production line. It's a production innovation that will open new opportunities for our customers to implement one-to-one direct marketing strategies using affordable upscale quality color printed communications and personalization. Unquestionably, our unique M-600 configuration offers the direct marketing industry an exciting new tool to produce powerful materials for hitting performance targets." The Lehigh M-600 is a 6-color, full-size, 38 X 22_ heatset web offset press with in-line capabilities that enable it to print and finish virtually any type of printed product for high quality promotional direct mail. The press has been specially fitted with the industry's most advanced, fully-automated closed-loop color control system that continuously scans the entire web width during the press run and automatically adjusts ink values to assure consistent color results that meet customer expectations from start-up to completion of the run. A one-to-one press, the blanket cylinder and plate cylinder dimensions of the M-600 are identical, resulting in significantly less dot gain and better register than other types of presses. The press also provides a prepress gateway with CIP3 technology that uses direct-to-plate digital files to automatically pre-set the press for faster make-ready, color run-up and considerably lower paper waste. Lehigh Direct has installed a unique custom-built, extremely flexible in-line imaging and finishing system on its M-600 that offers a spectacular range of product formats. With five plow towers and up to six ribbon decks, its high-speed finishing capabilities include operations such as multiple die-cutting, pattern gluing, perforating, slitting and channel scoring. The system incorporates the latest finishing production technology with advanced tension control and quick make-ready features. For high-speed personalization of direct marketing materials, the Lehigh M-600 also has an imaging tower with a Scitex system capable of providing up to a 16-head configuration for variable duplex imaging. Founded in 1924, The Lehigh Press, Inc. has been a consistent leader in graphic arts industry innovation. Lehigh's operating platform includes four divisions – book components for educational and other publishers, direct marketing materials, digital prepress and pharmaceutical inserts and labels in Puerto Rico. With four manufacturing facilities, The Lehigh Press, Inc. has approximately 500 employees. The Company's sales for 2001 are projected to reach $155 million.