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Superior Printing Ink Cuts Ribbon On New Varnish Plant

Press release from the issuing company

HAMDEN, Connecticut, January 6, 2006 -- Superior Printing Ink Co., Inc. cut the ribbon on its automated varnish manufacturing plant, a 12,000 square foot addition to the company’s 35,000 square foot, ISO 9001:2000-registered central manufacturing facility (CMF) in Hamden, Connecticut. A $4 million investment made to ensure future growth, the fully operational plant greatly increases the level of automation in the company’s manufacture of lithographic printing ink and gives Superior Printing Ink the most advanced sheetfed ink production facility in North America. Jeffrey I. Simons, chairman, chief executive officer and president, said, "The automated varnish plant opens the way to further growth through a variety of new efficiencies. The company will save significantly on the costs of freight, drums, and labor, while reducing waste released to the environment. Automated weighing and transfer, bulk storage and the ability to produce larger batches will allow us to reduce costs, increase consistency batch to batch, and improve the quality of our ink. In addition, the plant will triple our varnish manufacturing capacity, allowing us to support increased sales not only of ink but of varnish that we sell directly to printers." Previously, the company’s varnish plant was located in Newark, New Jersey, necessitating transport of the varnish in drums by truck to the CMF in Hamden, where it was added manually to the pigment used to manufacture ink. Currently, after being manufactured in the new facility in a process that now requires only two workers rather than eight, the varnish is pumped directly from two compartmental 12,000-gallon storage tanks into weighing vessels in the CMF. Superior Printing Ink undertook a five-year R&D process to reduce a large number of varnishes made for specific applications and presses to several highly versatile varnishes that could be used for the same purposes, thus allowing for bulk storage. "The efficiencies provided by our new varnish plant will benefit both our customers and the environment," said Harvey R. Brice, managing director. "The plant puts us on a higher plateau in the industry and provides the independence and flexibility we need to become more competitive." With the completion of the varnish plant, the Superior Printing Ink complex in Hamden totals 78,000 square feet. Adjacent to the varnish plant and CMF is another facility containing a 30,000 square foot warehouse distribution center. From there some 40,000 pounds a day of ink produced at the CMF are shipped to 25 branches around the country, which operate as separate full-service lithographic ink manufacturing facilities. This facility also includes the Northeast Customer Service Center, currently handling about 190 orders a day from customers in the Northeast region, and an associated specials manufacturing facility. Equipped with a custom-built automated dosing machine that can dispense up to 30 colors and additives, the specials manufacturing facility uses up to 35,000 pounds a month of blending bases produced in the CMF to produce about 60 batches a day of custom color ink for customers in the Northeast. In 2006, the CMF is expected to use 4 million pounds of the total 5.5 million pounds of varnish production to produce 8.8 million pounds of ink and ink concentrates. "This is an approximate 10% increase in production," said Stanley R. Hittman, executive vice president. "With the efficiencies offered by the new varnish plant, we expect to see similar increases over the next four to five years." "The addition of the automated varnish plant makes this a world-class printing ink manufacturing facility," said Simons. "We are now positioned to compete more effectively not only in the U.S. but around the world."

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