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Gateway Press chases milestones with Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LS

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Louisville, Ky. -- The old adage that records are made to be broken probably never included consideration of press runs. Nevertheless, Gateway Press, Inc. continues to log higher and higher personal bests in the pressroom.

Not more than a couple months after a new Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LS sheetfed press went into operation last May, the 60-year-old commercial printer produced 113,000 impressions in a single eight-hour shift. That feat smashed the previous shift record of 94,000 impressions set on the six-color, 40-inch press.

Proving once again that records are only a challenge away from being history, the Diamond 3000LS recently printed 114,600 impressions in eight hours.

"The Mitsubishi press is extremely fast and efficient," said Dennis McGee, vice president of manufacturing. "It operates comfortably all day long. We can push the speed limit."

Since its founding in 1950, Gateway Press has grown from a four-person shop into one of Kentucky's largest printing companies, with 176 employees and annual sales of $35 million. Its 170,000-square-foot facility is staffed around the clock, five days a week. A varied lineup of printing presses includes the Diamond 3000LS and an eight-color Diamond 3000R convertible perfector, as well as a four-unit heatset web press and two eight-unit heatset web presses.

Government contracts are a major source of revenues for Gateway Press. The company earned the highest rating as a U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) printer based on its quality, reliability and competitive pricing, and consistently ranks with the top GPO printers. For the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Gateway Press prints highway maps, tax forms, park brochures and invitations to the governor's Kentucky Derby breakfast.

Although Gateway Press counts the federal government and several state governments among its best clients, the company thrives in the high-end commercial printing arena. Magazines, catalogs, books and brochures are mainstays of Gateway Press' multicolor printed materials.

Speed and accuracy keep the production schedule filled, and that is where the Diamond 3000LS excels, according to McGee.

"We will direct certain work to the Diamond 3000LS," McGee noted. "Any jobs where rapid throughput is a requirement or the jobs are very color critical and demand the tightest register will run on that press."

For small-quantity jobs where peak running speed isn't always essential, SimulChanger affords a noticeable improvement in makeready times. The fully automated plate-changing system removes old plates and mounts new ones at all printing units simultaneously in just over one minute. Gateway Press routinely accomplishes 10- to 12-minute makereadies on the Diamond 3000LS thanks to SimulChanger.

"With the economy the way it is, we have seen a lot of jobs lately between 1,000 and 5,000 pieces," McGee pointed out. "We are diverse in the work we do. We may run a four-color job and change over to six colors, followed by a three-color job. The faster we get to that first saleable sheet, the more we save in paper, time and money."

In addition to enabling super-fast plate changes, SimulChanger takes the human element out of registration on press, McGee added.

"Mounting, clamping and tensioning of the new plates are entirely automated," he explained. "Plates are in perfect register."

The color management systems on the press also contribute heavily to achieving and maintaining precise color throughout the run.

"The press is equipped with the Mitsubishi ColorLink CIP4 server and X-Rite IntelliTrax auto-scanning system," McGee said. "IntelliTrax automatically scans the color bar of a press sheet in seconds. It processes the color measurement information and makes all the color changes to match the density values you set. The press gets up to acceptable color faster. It's a smart system, so the more it is used, the more it learns and the quicker it makes the color moves. That saves time and reduces material waste."

Gateway Press has high hopes for the Diamond 3000LS.
"The productivity and print quality are fantastic," McGee said. "The press has done a great job for us. We hope that the production record we set can be broken more than once. In the meantime, we expect to continue to achieve high production numbers. I would advise anyone who is looking to purchase a press to consider Mitsubishi first."




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