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Lehigh Celebrates Enhanced Capabilities

December 2001
CHICAGO—The management team and employees at Broadview, IL-based Lehigh Direct are swimming with activity as of late. So, to celebrate its new capabilities, the printer hosted an elegant party at the Shedd Aquarium on October 29, which was attended by nearly 500 customers, prospective clients and supplier partners of both the direct marketing company and publishing components division.

Co-hosted by Heidelberg Web Systems, the event was held during the annual DMA convention. With the understandably somber mood following the post-September 11 terrorist attacks, it was also refreshing to see Lehigh's exuberance over its position and commitment to the marketplace.

Lehigh's excitement centers around its new six-color, 22.75x38˝ Heidelberg M-600 heatset web press that features a customized in-line finishing system, as well as sophisticated Scitex variable imaging and personalization capabilities. The complete press system represented an investment of more than $10 million for the direct marketing and magazine insert printer.

"We've customized the web press to link its extraordinary print quality with in-line finishing and high-speed personalization in a tremendously efficient print production line," notes Paul Palmer, president of Lehigh Direct. "It's an innovation that will open new opportunities for our customers to implement one-to-one direct marketing strategies using affordable and upscale color printed communications and personalization."

The full-size one-to-one M-600 has a prepress gateway with CIP3 technology that uses digital files to preset the ink keys for faster makereadies and less paper waste. In addition, it features a fully automated, closed-loop color control system, as well as an identical blanket cylinder and plate cylinder dimension configuration.

With five plow towers and up to six ribbon decks, high-speed finishing capabilities on the new press include operations such as multiple diecutting, pattern gluing, perforating, slitting and channel scoring. For in-line personalization of direct marketing materials, the M-600 also has an imaging tower with a Scitex Dijit system capable of providing up to a 16-head configuration for 240x240 dpi variable duplex printing.

The new Heidelberg joins seven other web presses at the Lehigh Direct plant—all with in-line finishing capabilities. As a result, the facility can print, form and stuff an envelope with direct marketing messages, order forms, etc., completely in-line. And Lehigh can produce several different pop-up formats in-line.

Lehigh Direct also employs CreoScitex platesetters and a Prinergy front-end system for a complete PDF-based CTP workflow.

In-line Finishing Advantage
Raymond Frick, CEO and president of The Lehigh Press, comments that the new M-600 is his company's latest move to fulfill its commitment to provide customers with the resources to create direct marketing products with extraordinary impact, including Lehigh's unique in-line finishing capabilities. "We now offer our customers a broader value proposition through advanced technology and production capabilities," he says.

The gala function at the Shedd Aquarium also featured the drawing of three oriental rugs as part of Lehigh's traditional "Magic Carpet" giveaway and Scottish bag pipers, who welcomed the guests.

As Lehigh Direct's banner hanging at the Shedd Aquarium proclaimed: "Every move we make is for and about the precious customer," it appears this printer knows how to impress its clientele by paying close attention to every detail—including how to host a gala reception.
 

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