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Pearl Pressman Liberty Installs 8th Mitsubishi Press

Press release from the issuing company

PHILADELPHIA (December 03, 2008) Pearl Pressman Liberty Communications Group (PPLCG) keeps getting better with age. PPLCG is not only going strong at 103, it's growing stronger. And the longtime Mitsubishi press user is having the time of its corporate life.

PPLCG is in the process of fulfilling its goal of combining all of its operations under one roof. The company also invested in some much-desired press capacity. A highly automated six-color Diamond 3000LX with SimulChanger plate-changing system is PPLCG's eighth Mitsubishi sheetfed press.

"Mitsubishi presses have served us well," said Mike Scott, plant manager. "The Diamond 3000LX offers a lot more variability than standard presses. The makereadies are very fast. The press can handle from 40-pound to 40-point stock. The transfer cylinders and air management systems prevent marks and smudges on the printed sheets."

Established by Manuel A. Pearl and Charles Pressman in 1906, PPLCG has a long and storied history distinguished by innovation and technology. The letterpress shop that Pearl and Pressman founded made the transition to offset printing in 1953 by merging with Liberty Printing and Lithograph Co. The 1960s brought typesetting and expanded bookmaking capabilities in-house. The 1980s saw further expansions into prepress production, finishing, computerization and six-color printing.

Today, PPLCG is a noted producer of high-quality, full-color collateral, corporate reports, advertisements, new-product literature and other time-sensitive materials. Direct mail, stochastic screening, variable data printing and fulfillment round out its many services. In 2005, PPLCG acquired a two-color, 40-inch perfector from another press manufacturer, a Xerox DocuColor 8000 digital press, a Xerox iGen3 110 digital press and various mailing equipment.

PPLCG's geographic focus is primarily in the Mid-Atlantic states. The pharmaceutical and health care industries are its largest business sectors served. In addition, the 120-employee company produces work for institutions of higher learning, design studios and advertising agencies, along with a number of Fortune 500 companies. PPLCG generates approximately $32 million in annual sales.

In recent years, PPLCG's operations have occupied four facilities, located a few blocks apart in an area of Philadelphia that once housed numerous print shops and binderies. The biggest of the four buildings, a 45,000-square-foot plant, has served as the corporate headquarters since 1961. The new plant, which PPLCG completely remodeled, spans 105,000 square feet, with ample space for future equipment acquisitions.

PPLCG's relationship with Mitsubishi dates back to 1985. The printer currently operates four six-color, 40-inch Mitsubishi presses with tower coaters. Over the years, newer models that offered higher running speeds and technological improvements replaced earlier Mitsubishi presses.

"It is definitely much easier when you run similar presses," Scott pointed out.

An area where the Diamond 3000LX differs substantially from previous presses is the fully automated SimulChanger plate-changing system.

"SimulChanger is absolutely unbelievable," Scott stated. "It changes all the plates in a minute. The amount of time we gain when we are printing multiple forms is incredible."

The time savings are not restricted to hanging plates, Scott added.

"The pre-makeready is faster, too," Scott explained. "When one form is running, the new plates are already waiting for the next form. As soon as the press hits the sheet count, the press automatically stops and SimulChanger takes over. SimulChanger removes the old plates and hangs the new plates in one motion, and you are ready for the next job."

X-Rite's IntelliTrax series auto-scanning system is helping reduce makeready times further.

"Color adjustments are completed in half the time," Scott said. "Compared to a normal six-color makeready of an hour or hour and a half, we are able to makeready the new press in 15 minutes to a half-hour because of the SimulChanger and X-Rite system."

On long runs, IntelliTrax enables the press to maintain correct color values throughout the run for consistent color control from start to finish.

To accommodate the increased print production from the new Mitsubishi press, PPLCG purchased a second saddle stitcher for the bindery. The company also plans to buy a jogger aerator for the pressroom. An upgrade to bring greater automation to the computer-to-plate capabilities in the electronic prepress department is in the works as well.

"It's all about providing our customers with better quality in less time," Scott said.

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