Carrollton, Ga. - For Printed Specialties Inc., meeting expectations is the golden rule of business. When it comes to buying equipment for the $10 million folding carton printer, it is imperative that the technology perform as advertised.
"You don't want to buy something and have it not do what the vendor said it could do," said Greg Smith, president.
Smith pointed to his company's experience with its first Mitsubishi press as an instance where every expectation was fulfilled.
"Printed Specialties is not a large company, so we rely quite a bit on our vendors," Smith said. "We expect a lot from companies we do business with. The Diamond 3000LX does everything Mitsubishi promised. It has performed up to all expectations since day one."
The Diamond 3000LX is a 40-inch model that accommodates stock ranging from 0.0016 inches to 0.040 inches. Printed Specialties' press features six printing units, full UV interdeck dryers, extended delivery and anilox UV coater.
"Six units with coater is really the optimal configuration for our needs," Smith explained. "Most of our work is four process colors plus one PMS color and sometimes a varnish and a dull or gloss coating."
Founded in 1911 by Smith's great-grandfather, Printed Specialties produces folding cartons for many markets, including software, health and beauty, pharmaceutical, specialty food and entertainment. The printer operates a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and a 40,000-square-foot warehouse facility staffed by a total of 50 employees. The Diamond 3000LX shares the pressroom floor with two six-color presses - a 40-inch and a 28-inch machine - from another manufacturer.
"Prior to making any investment in equipment, we research products as thoroughly as we can to find the best fit for our business," Smith said. "Mitsubishi technology has a strong reputation in the folding carton industry. Mitsubishi referred us to other printers that use the Diamond 3000LX. They highly recommended the press. It prints a very sharp dot. We couldn't be happier with the results."
The Diamond 3000LX was put into full operation last June. Among the goals Printed Specialties set for the Diamond 3000LX was the ability to give its customers more product offerings in a shorter space of time without increasing costs. Fast job changeovers, automated makeready systems, CIP4 connectivity to prepress and closed-loop color control contribute to quicker turnarounds for jobs run on the press.
"The average carton printer typically can turn around a project in 10 to 12 working days," Smith stated. "Our lead times are consistently faster than that. We've reduced our turnarounds to seven working days."
Smith estimated that printing capacity has increased by one-third as a result of installing the Diamond 3000LX. With greater throughput per hour, Printed Specialties can deliver finished projects faster, trim expenses and improve its per-job profit margin.
"We are definitely more productive," Smith said. "We actually were able to eliminate one shift per day. We currently operate two shifts, five days a week."
Printed Specialties prints on coated and uncoated paperboard, plastics, foil and metallized polyester film, among other packaging-related materials from 80-pound text to 32-point board. Before the printer installed the Diamond 3000LX, UV coatings were applied offline. Now all UV jobs are completed inline in one pass.
"Having inline UV capabilities has solved two problems," Smith said. "We save time running jobs through the press only once, and jobs that otherwise would have used aqueous coatings can receive UV coatings instead. The harder UV coatings help prevent scuffing on carton surfaces."