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Courier Corp. adding its third LITHOMAN IV in three years in a $21 million expansion

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

North Chelmsford, MA, - "With our first MAN Roland press performing superbly and a second one to begin operation this month, we still have further to go to meet the growing demand we foresee in the education market," says Courier Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James F. Conway III. "This third LITHOMAN, identical to the first two, will enable us to capture a larger share of that market growth." Citing growing demand for four-color textbooks, Courier Corporation is acquiring its third LITHOMAN IV web press from MAN Roland in three years. Scheduled for a fall 2006 installation, the new press will be the keystone of a $21 million expansion of the company's Kendallville, Indiana facility. One of America's leading book manufacturers and specialty publishers, Courier has been an avid investor in MAN Roland technology in recent years. Six months after its first LITHOMAN IV began operation, they ordered their second LITHOMAN, citing a rise in textbook production opportunities. That press is set to start producing before the end of the year. Like its earlier positioned Kendallville companions, the new press will feature a web width of 57.48 inches and a 22.75 inch cutoff. Its printing units will feed a MAN Roland PFI-3/2 2:3:3 jaw folding system. And like all new LITHOMAN presses, its Shaftless AC Drive System will promote easier web-ups and smoother, more consistent operation. According to market projections, that productivity will be available to meet the capacity needs. "Industry analysts suggest that nationwide textbook demand is still at an early stage in a multi-year growth cycle," Conway adds. "Along with that demand is a continuing shift to sophisticated four-color production for books at every grade level, as teachers reach out to students amidst the distractions of video and online media. The result is an escalating need, not just for capacity, but for the specific kinds of capacity Courier has been cultivating for the last several years." Fast makereadies are an important part of that capacity solution. The new LITHOMAN will be operated from MAN Roland's printnet PECOM extended control system that includes the automation modules ProductionManager, PresetManager and PrepressLink. The package forms the basis of a Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) network that allows Courier press crews to preset upcoming jobs while current work is running in order to maximize press uptime. Courier's latest round of investment follows closely on last month's acquisition of Moore Langen, an Indianapolis-based printer known throughout the industry for high-end book covers. Together, the two undertakings represent a commitment of more than $35 million to the future of the education market. "Between overall market growth, share gains with key customers, and our ability to compete on a broader range of work, we are confident that demand for this third new press will justify our investment," Conway says. "MAN Roland has been a valuable contributor to the growth of our textbook and trade business. We are pleased to extend our collaboration to this new round of opportunities." Vincent Lapinski, COO of Web Operations at MAN Roland, points to the importance of developing technology that has the capability to meet market demands. " We at MAN Roland work closely with our customers to ensure we can advance their businesses in meaningful and profitable ways," he observes. "That is evident at Courier Corporation, where a commitment for one LITHOMAN expanded to two, then three, in the course of just 36 months. MAN Roland is proud to be a partner in Courier's continuing success."




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