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Longtime Mitsubishi Press User Buford Lewis Co. Expands Substrate Range, Coating Capabilities

Press release from the issuing company

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Buford Lewis Co. has been a fixture in the Nashville printing arena since 1943, when the firm was founded as a letter and mimeograph shop. The award-winning printer has steadily added people, equipment and production capabilities to its 30,000-square-foot facility. Buford Lewis recently has joined the growing number of commercial sheetfed printers adding plastics and packaging to their menu of product offerings. A six-color Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LX, the newest press in a pressroom already dominated by Mitsubishi equipment, represents a first in two areas. It is the first press at Buford Lewis equipped for hybrid energy-curable inks and coatings and the first able to print on heavy packaging board up to 40-point. The 28 x 40-inch Diamond 3000LX is engineered to handle stock ranging from 0.002 inches to 0.040 inches, making it ideal for standard folding cartons, point-of-purchase displays and posters. The ultraviolet (UV) capability gives the 38-employee company greater versatility in surface finishes and flexibility in printing on plastic media. UV significantly shortens the drying time and allows different print techniques and substrates. "This press makes it easier for us to print on thicker board and also foil, different plastic substrates and synthetic paper," said Andy Bowers, president of Buford Lewis. Menus are among the more popular applications that are well suited to plastic substrates. Buford Lewis utilizes Screen's Spekta AM/FM hybrid screening to achieve high-resolution detail on menu items. Short-run commercial projects account for the lion's share of Buford Lewis' print work. In addition to the Diamond 3000LX, the company's sheetfed lineup includes two more 40-inch Mitsubishi presses (a six-color and an eight-color) and three 28-inch Mitsubishi press (a four-color and two six-colors). Buford Lewis also operates 20-inch and smaller presses from other manufacturers. Skeleton transfer cylinders and air-management systems are all standard features of the Diamond 3000LX. Contact-free sheet travel from feeder to delivery produces pages that are free of marks, scratches or smearing. Press operators can quickly switch from paper to board to plastic. "Mitsubishi presses provide better all-around value," Bowers said. "They are great presses. We have had good fortune with Mitsubishi over the years." Mitsubishi Diamond series sheetfed presses are available in a range of sizes, from the 28-inch Diamond 1000 series to the 56-inch Diamond 6000 series, and configurations up to 12 printing units. Fast job makeready, ease of operation and high throughput are hallmarks of the Diamond series. Mitsubishi is at the forefront of the implementation of the Job Definition Format specification, and is working with other vendors toward full integration of Mitsubishi presses into a JDF-enabled workflow.