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Excelsior Printing plants seeds for success

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

In business since 1892, Excelsior Printing in North Adams, Mass., has learned to adapt beyond traditional offset printing in order to succeed. Spun out of Crane Paper Company in 2005, management has invested heavily in new services, technology, and its people in order to lay a foundation for growth. Last year, management saw an opportunity and acquired a garden seed packaging subsidiary. The decision led to immediate benefits last month in productivity, quality and environmental sustainability.

The latest addition at Excelsior is a ROLAND 706 6-color press, installed and put into operation in early February by manroland Inc., the world’s second largest printing press manufacturer.  The state-of-the-art and fully automated press not only satisfies management’s wish to benefit from the newest technology, it also supports the company’s ‘green’ and sustainable in-itiatives.  Having the press available for full runs less than a week after in-stallation was completed was a bit of a surprise but not unexpected given the tre-mendous amount of experience both upper management and pressroom per-sonnel possess.

Installation of the press is part of Excelsior’s program to provide virtually all manufacturing and distribution services under one roof, which will improve control of the process for both the company and its clients.

“Part of our expansion strategy is to provide the latest in new technology and that included upgrading our pressroom,” said owner and chairman, David Crane, who was raised in the Berkshires.  “From a customer viewpoint, we were looking for faster turnaround and less material waste for each job we do.  Our production team looked at everything available in the marketplace.  They visited several manufacturers and evaluated 20 different aspects of each press to find the right equipment.  The best choice was the ROLAND 706 press with a coater.”
When Excelsior Printing made the investment decision, it had qualified for state support from a revenue bond program designed to stimulate the growth of jobs in the state.  They were recognized and selected by the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development as one of three “companies to watch” in the state.

“They were chosen for a 2008 Impact Award out of many entrants across the state because of their commitment to the community, the development of local jobs, and investment in technology,” said Joey Giovino of the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development.  “Mr. Crane is an innovative business leader,” added Pamela Malumphy, regional director for the alliance.  “He came to us for advice on how to keep jobs in the state and how to keep Excelsior nimble to react to the changing market for print and related services.  It was rewarding to see one of our local nominated companies win an Impact Award.”

Excelsior’s talent level in the pressroom is high since most have been with the company 15-plus years.  That experience plays well when servicing a wide range of clients in the demanding industries of education, cultural and arts, greeting card and consumer gardening products. The early results with the new press have been impressive. 

“This press is another piece of the puzzle that helps deliver the full spectrum of services our customers’ need, from design concept to short and long run printing, to finishing, mailing or inventory management,” Mr. Crane said.  “The consistency and quality of our printing is improved with the latest color control and electronics on this press.  All the technology and capability we have under one roof also helps meet our customer cost pressures.”

The 6-color press replaced three older models and is housed in a former textile mill.  With its advanced features that help reduce the impact on the environment – such as less paper waste and materials usage – Crane views it as a cornerstone of the company’s sustainability commitment and future plans.  The company found the manroland Inc. concept of CMYK + Green fit well with its vision.  Excelsior is the first and currently the only FSC certified printer in Berkshire County. 

“From an environmental aspect, we are using less paper and chemicals and have reduced shipping since we are now in one building.   As our customers go forward and review their own environmental practices, I think they’ll look at Excelsior for assistance,” Mr. Crane said.

Excelsior’s HP Indigo 5000 digital press capabilities will drive the potential for     hybrid printing from the ROLAND 706.  Crane said this can provide cost effective variable data printing for personalized mailings in the future.

““When you combine it with the latest in print manufacturing, plus our distribution and fulfillment capabilities, we feel confident in our ability to service our growing customer base.”




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