BIRMINGHAM, Ala. April 09, 2008 -- Craftsman Printing, Inc. has operated Mitsubishi sheetfed presses for two-thirds of its business life. Established more than 30 years ago, the family-owned commercial printer purchased a six-color, 28-inch model in 1986 and has been producing award-winning color materials on Mitsubishi presses ever since.
"Our suppliers are just as important to our success as our customers," said Jim Glenn, president. "Without reliable suppliers, we can?t support our customers. Mitsubishi has always been an excellent partner. We have never regretted our decision to buy that first press."
Craftsman Printing chose a four-color Diamond 3000R convertible perfector with aqueous tower coater as its fourth Mitsubishi press. It replaced a 1989-vintage six-color, 40-inch Mitsubishi.
The pressroom houses another six-color, 40-inch Mitsubishi. A two-color, 40-inch press, a four-color, 20-inch perfector and an eight-unit UV half-web press round out the stable of printing equipment.
"Approximately 90 percent of our business is sheetfed production, and the Mitsubishi presses are our workhorses," Glenn stated.
Craftsman Printing began in 1976 "with used equipment and nothing bigger than a duplicator," according to Glenn. Today, the full-service printer occupies 76,000 square feet of manufacturing space and employs 64 people. As with many mid-size print shops, revenues have grown modestly in recent years, and Glenn is budgeting for $10 million in 2008, up from the previous year.
"We anticipate a lot of new work because of the Diamond 3000R," Glenn stated. "Increased printing efficiency was one of our main justifications for the purchase."
Sales collateral, advertisements and training materials for manufacturers located within a 100-mile radius make up a big part of Craftsman Printing?s work. The web press typically is used for digest-size and letter-size direct mail, such as bill inserts.
"At this point in time, the four-color perfector was a better fit for us than a six-color straight press," Glenn said. "Being able to print two-over-two in one pass reduces our production time on two-color jobs by one-half. Most of the run lengths on full-color jobs are short enough that makeready times and efficiency with the raw materials play a major role. Reducing makereadies and changeovers on the press are huge benefits."
To that end, Craftsman Printing outfitted the Diamond 3000R with an X-Rite densitometer for closed-loop color control on press.
"Closed-loop color control has had a significant impact in reducing makeready times, as well as resulting in ink and paper savings," Glenn said.
The Mitsubishi ColorLink CIP4 interface with prepress facilitates a digital ink preset of the Diamond 3000R from prepress data.
Glenn cited the "tremendous savings" that the company experienced on one of the first projects run on the perfector after it was put into operation.
"A customer ordered 38 one-sided posters, each of which had a quantity of 2,500," Glenn recalled. "We could print them two-up on a sheet, so we had to makeready the press for 19 runs of 2,500. We saved close to 2,000 sheets on that first job. That is a huge savings. We are so impressed by the increased efficiency."
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.