BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. - The success of Envision Graphics, LLC is due in part to a commitment to invest in new equipment, allowing the commercial printer to achieve higher efficiency, superior quality and better turnaround times. When Envision Graphics, based in Bloomingdale, Ill., wanted to give its press operators better tools with which to produce quality work, the Mitsubishi Diamond 3000S sheetfed press was the natural choice. The Diamond 3000S began full production in July. The timing of the press installation coincided with Envision Graphics' tenth anniversary this year.
"We have the wherewithal and the commitment to staying on the forefront of new technology," said Kevin Franz, president of the 70-employee firm. "This new Mitsubishi press will provide an added edge in print quality, speed and efficiency."
Envision Graphics outfitted the six-color, 40-inch Diamond 3000S with a Harris & Bruno anilox coating system for higher quality aqueous coatings. The Delta dampening system removes hickeys from printed sheets, preventing printing imperfections. In addition, the press incorporates an X-Rite Intellitrax auto-scanning system, closed-loop color control and CIP3/4 interface between the press control and prepress equipment.
In 2000, Franz and his brother, Greg, bought the assets of Courtesy Litho Arts in nearby Bensenville. The two former print brokers, who had grown up in a printing family, immediately changed the company's name to Envision Graphics. In 2004 they constructed a 50,000-square-foot facility and made their move to Bloomingdale, a western suburb of Chicago, which has served as their home ever since.
Included in the purchase agreement with Courtesy Litho were two six-color, 40-inch Mitsubishis (a model 3F and a Diamond 3000S) and a six-color, 28-inch Mitsubishi 1F. In 2008, Envision Graphics installed a Diamond 3000S UV press equipped with a Harris & Bruno anilox coater and Graphix interdeck curing system. Similar to the just-installed press, it features the X-Rite Intellitrax, closed-loop color control and digital link to prepress.
"We immersed ourselves in research to prepare for that press purchase," Franz recalled. "Our interviews with all the major manufacturers were extremely thorough. In the end, we stayed with Mitsubishi. Obviously, Mitsubishi presses print a sharp dot, but they also have the lowest total cost of ownership. They run and run for years with virtually no extraordinary maintenance."
Envision Graphics tapped Mitsubishi again in 2010, replacing the original 3F. Franz said retiring the 15-year-old press was inevitable, although its long years of durable performance made it a difficult decision.
"The 3F was our flagship press, dating to 1995, and it ran great with 348 million impressions on it," Franz said. "It could maintain top speed all the time. The print quality was still quite good. But it did not have the automated systems available on new presses."
With its 28-inch and three 40-inch Mitsubishi presses, Envision Graphics prints sell sheets, postcards, pocket folders, gift cards, books and a wide range of other commercial products. Its equally diversified client roster boasts 334 names. Envision Graphics utilizes Fujifilm Co-Res screening technology on every job which offers high-definition images and graphics at 250 to 300 lpi. The firm's prepress and bindery departments have also added new equipment in the past year to maintain top notch quality throughout the entire print process.
Before the economic recession hit in December 2007, Envision Graphics had enjoyed consistent annual growth of 10 to 25 percent. Revenues in 2010 are expected to climb back to nearly pre-recession highs of around $16 million, in large part due to the newest Mitsubishi press.
"The press fit right into our workflow," Franz noted. "The people from Mitsubishi had the press up and running jobs in a few short weeks, like they said they would. Operators are familiar with the technology. There is less of a learning curve."
Having identical formats on the 40-inch presses helps eliminate production bottlenecks.
"Different-sized presses can wreak havoc on scheduling if you have to switch machines at the last minute or in the middle of a run," Franz explained. "We don't need to re-plate the job to move over to another press. This is a big advantage to a company like ours that is known for quick turnarounds is key."
Franz added that the print reproduction is undetectable from one press to the next.
"We print a collector catalog that consists of two volumes, with 600 pages and 3,000 copies for each volume," Franz said. "The project is spread across the three 40-inch presses. We are able to do that since Envision Graphics fingerprints our presses. You cannot tell what copies came off of which press."
About MLP USA
MLP U.S.A. Inc. markets multicolor sheetfed and web lithographic presses manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. MLP U.S.A. provides complete sales, parts and service for the entire line of Mitsubishi presses.
For more information, contact MLP U.S.A. in Lincolnshire, Ill.,at (847) 634-9100 or the MLP USA West Coast Headquarters in Ontario, Calif., at (909) 947-5725. Information also can be found at www.mlpusa.com.
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Fax: (847) 634-9109