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Northwest Mailing Launches Print Division with Mitsubishi Press

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

CHICAGO -- Northwest Mailing Service has added value to its mail distribution services by always investing in advanced technologies. The business tagline, "Beyond Mailing," is a declaration that Northwest Mailing offers more than the typical mailing house.

The Chicago-based company has made a large capital investment to further expand its production capabilities and add even more value to its clients' direct mail projects. Northwest Mailing installed a six-color Mitsubishi Diamond 3000S and equipped the 40-inch sheetfed press with an inline aqueous coater, closed-loop color control system and Diamond Color Navigator color adjustment system.

"Our goal is to create a Total Package Solution (one-stop shop) so our clients do not have to coordinate between multiple vendors," explained Tom Dawson, vice president of sales. "Because we do so much mailing of printed work, having Northwest Mailing also print their direct marketing materials will save our clients money and get their projects in the mail quicker than the competition. We are now able to design, print, address, fold and mail products."

Complementary strengths
Established in the 1950s, the family-owned company operates around the clock, six days a week, with over 250 full- and part-time employees.

Key performance indicators over the past five years point to significant growth, according to Dawson.

"We expanded our production facility from approximately 130,000 square feet to 260,000 square feet," he said. "Mail volume has increased from 309 million pieces to 662 million pieces, and sales volume has doubled."

Northwest Mailing's diverse client list contains over 200 names. Multicolor sheetfed offset printing is a strong complement to the company's core capabilities -- finishing and mailing -- which include inkjet and laser imaging services. Focused mainly on business-to-consumer materials, its three areas of emphasis consist of finishing direct mail packages for the trade; warehousing, mailing and fulfillment for agency clients that specialize in direct mail; and servicing individual customers in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, insurance and hardware.

"Topnotch technology and people ensure that our clients are never disappointed with the products coming off the equipment or the service being given," said Pete Mikos, manager of print operations. "In the sheetfed department, we now have the best technology as well. Mitsubishi was very aggressive in the package of solutions they offered. We already had a high opinion of Mitsubishi technology based on experience in other production environments. We felt comfortable with what we were seeing and hearing."

Unique features
The Diamond 3000S boasts features that are not available on any other press in Northwest Mailing's market area.

"This is the first press in the Midwest to feature Diamond Color Navigator," Mikos, pointed out. "You can run the press almost entirely from one touch screen. Color Navigator will probably eliminate the need for the color console."

Utilizing Diamond Color Navigator, operators automatically fine-tune colors by increasing or decreasing ink density and making color balance adjustments at all units simultaneously through touch monitor input. Diamond Color Navigator also simplifies remote-controlled operations related to adjustments, such as register, water fountain and ink fountain rotation speed and ductor roller on/off timing.

"One feature that is especially valuable is being able to isolate and identify targeted areas within the print sheet where a client wants the color adjusted a certain way," Mikos said.

To provide consistent color, the Diamond 3000S takes advantage of the X-Rite IntelliTrax auto-scanning system.

"IntelliTrax records and remembers where the color changes occurred and maintains the adjustments throughout the production run," Mikos said. "Since Color Navigator also offers spectrophotometry, we can match practically any color."

Opting for an anilox coater, Northwest Mailing applies flood and spot coatings to printed sheets.

"We can use gloss, dull, satin, pearlescent -- virtually any type of aqueous coating," Mikos said.

Total solution
The Diamond 3000S is geared toward printing booklets, postcards, brochures, flyers, buck slips and other materials.

"We certainly can sell commercial printing as a standalone service, but the primary objective is a total solution from concept to completion," Dawson said. "Many printers and mailers are closing their doors, and the ones that remain strong offer a solution rather than individual products and services. This press is an important part of our long-term strategy."

"This may seem like a bold move during these challenging economic times," Mikos added, "but the management of Northwest Mailing realized that stepping up to the crisis was the logical move. Our clients have a way to achieve cost savings and avoid relying on multiple vendors to get the job done."




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