Lehigh Celebrates Enhanced Capabilities

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, 22.75×38˝ 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 240×240 dpi variable duplex printing.

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