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New Mitsubishi UV Sheetfed Press Puts UpFront in the 'Lap of Luxury' Items

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

MINNEAPOLIS -- The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and very well at UpFront. From its mission-centric website address - www.alwayslead.com - to a business model that integrates file development, printing, mailing and fulfillment, UpFront ups the ante on the "one-stop shopping" concept. A new Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LX sheetfed press with ultraviolet (UV) printing and coating capabilities fits perfectly into UpFront's growth strategy. It is similar to the press Mitsubishi demonstrated at Graph Expo & Converting Expo 2006. Installed in August, the six-color, 40-inch press prints on .002-inch paper to .040-inch carton stock. It also accommodates vinyls, styrene, polyesters and static-cling substrates. The UV process shortens production times, because the product is dry and can be finished more quickly than with conventional printing. "We produce food packaging and collateral for luxury brands," said Chris Hamrin, president. "We also print a lot of credit cards and gift cards. This press will allow us to expand our range of plastic products and enable us to do more of certain projects, such as durable point-of-purchase materials." Based in Minneapolis, UpFront has jumped from a home-based startup in 1994 to one of the fastest-growing printing companies in the United States. UpFront offers the Twin Cities' biggest agencies and corporations everything from sophisticated color management to sheetfed printing to direct mail services. Husband-and-wife team Chris and Tricia Hamrin founded the company. Tricia focuses on client services and human resources, while Chris oversees sales and staying on the cutting edge of production technology. Other business services, such as on-demand and variable data printing, fulfillment and results tracking, enable UpFront to become an indispensable member of its clients' teams. Annual sales increased from $400,000 in 1995 to $10 million in 2006. "UpFront is a well-rounded company that tries to consistently give our clients better results at a lower cost," said Dan Dahlberg, production manager. "All areas of our business are growing because of the streamlined capabilities. Clients find it refreshing that they can work directly with file development and then see their projects go 'magically' into production." The pressroom houses a total of six presses, including a six-color Ryobi with coater and an HP Indigo color digital press. The new Mitsubishi press joined a six-color Diamond 3000S with aqueous coater that UpFront added in 2004. The Diamond 3000S handles a stock range from .0016 inches to .024 inches. "Our experience with the first Mitsubishi press was simply wonderful," Chris Hamrin stated. "When it comes to production equipment, no news is good news. We have not heard any complaints from the operators. There has been no unscheduled downtime. We are thrilled to have installed another Mitsubishi press." UpFront utilizes Kodak Staccato stochastic screening to produce artifact-free images that exhibit fine detail. With such flawless quality, the company has targeted luxury and fashion collateral as an area of growth. "Many of our clients are extremely design conscious," Hamrin said. "UV printing produces beautiful, perfect results on high-quality uncoated paper. Any collateral or packaging for high-end fashions or other luxury brands that deserves this look will benefit from UV in a way conventional printing cannot achieve. We anticipate huge growth of these jobs thanks to our UV capabilities."




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