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Indiana Direct Mail Specialist Improves Productivity With Wide Range Of Heidelberg Consumables

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga., February 17, 2005 - Lithographic Communications, LLC, a Munster, Ind.-based general commercial printer, reports that by using high-quality, value-added Heidelberg consumables, it has improved productivity and reduced its labor and material costs. Lithographic Communications, a Heidelberg equipment and consumables customer for more than two years, uses Heidelberg Saphira Violet aluminum plates and chemistry with the Heidelberg Prosetter 74 and Raptor Pro S 68 plate processor it installed in April of 2004. The company values the Prosetter 74 for its consistency, ease of use, durability and speed. The shop made the switch to computer-to-metal plate (CTP) in early 2004. "We were able to make the switch to CTP from conventional film and plates almost immediately upon completion of the installation of our Prosetter," said Marty Lakatos, prepress manager for the company, located just outside of Chicago. "The process is much more efficient from a labor standpoint, plus the plates are sharper, more accurate and reliable." "We used to have three full-time employees to handle stripping, plating, and proofing. Imposition and film output was done by our three prepress design specialists from within the application programs," said Lakatos. "Heidelberg’s Prosetter system has enabled us to eliminate two stripping positions, and the remaining four employees were cross-trained to handle imposition (using Heidelberg's SignaStation software), proofing and plating. With the Prosetter, we can produce plates faster, achieve better register and bring the inks up on press much faster and produce a higher quality product. Productivity is way up." The Prosetter produces between 500 and 750 Saphira Violet plates per month for Lithographic’s six offset presses, including a four-color Heidelberg Printmaster 74 four-color perfector with prepress interface. "Our labor time decreased by about 30 percent, with much less overtime," Lakatos said. "Our one-shift prepress operation can easily accommodate our two-shift pressroom, and we can handle rush jobs much more efficiently." In addition, "Proofing materials (ink and proofing paper) are less expensive than traditional color keys and Matchprints, and no chemistry or processors are needed," Lakatos said. The Saphira Violet plate is a positive-working, aluminum offset plate specifically developed for Heidelberg’s Prosetter line of CTP devices equipped with violet laser diodes. Yielding up to 350,000 impressions under normal press conditions, the plates are ideal for high-quality commercial printing at a resolution of 250 lines per inch (lpi), providing extremely fast roll-up and consistency. Lithographic, according to Lakatos, has increased the resolution for all its presses, including its two high-speed webs. With its new plating capabilities, it regularly prints at resolutions from 200 to 300 lpi. Moreover, said Lakatos, "The Saphira plate prices are competitive with traditional plates; we have completely eliminated the cost of film and film chemistry." Lithographic also trusts Heidelberg Saphira Proofing Paper for use in its Hewlett-Packard Deskjet 5500 inkjet proofer, which it purchased from Heidelberg as part of the Prosetter 74 platesetter package. The Raptor Pro 68 S plate processor includes neutralizing system that takes the Saphira Violet Pro Developer and Finisher and rinse water, adds Procam NS5 Neutralizing Solution and passes them through a three-stage filtering system. A side benefit Lithographic experienced was the decreased amount of waste material in both the prepress department and the pressroom. "Inherent with film is a lot of waste," Lakatos said. "Since film has little recycling value, it has become difficult to find anyone to take it off our hands. On the other hand, used aluminum plates are easily recycled, and many companies are eager to collect our scrap." Paper scrap has also been reduced by quicker make-ready and ink-up, Lakatos said. Other consumables in use at Lithographic Communications include Heidelberg Perfect Dot blankets, wash-up cloths, fountain foils, Super Blue nets, Perfect Pak Packing Sheets, suckers, as well as Heidelberg slitter and perfing blades. "The support and service we receive from Heidelberg has been phenomenal," Lakatos continued. "Any time we have a question or need some guidance, they are right there, ready with a response to help increase our productivity and efficiency. We know we can call on Heidelberg representatives at any time and they’ll help us find an answer." Lithographic Communications, LLC has 48 employees and annual sales of more than $5.5 million. The family-owned general commercial printer company specializes in direct mail advertising printing and data processing/mailing services for a varied customer base.