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Lewisburg Printing Counting Down to Large-format manroland Press Startup

April 2009
LEWISBURG, TN—04/07/09—They are counting the days at Lewisburg Printing Co. (LPC). The firm is eagerly anticipating having its new 73-inch Roland 900 XXL press fully operational in May and is promoting it on the company website. Company officials expect to start taking on more business with current customers and attracting new clientele while expanding their geographic coverage area, all due to the new capabilities and opportunities this large format manroland press offers.

“Many of our existing customers want to create jobs larger than 63 inches,” said Hale Hawkins, CEO of the fourth generation family owned company, when referring to the maximum sheet size with LPC’s current Roland 800 press. “The new 73-inch press gives us a chance to take on that type of business. Our 6-color ROLAND 900 will arrive with an aqueous coater, but it is equipped so we can convert to UV coating in the future.”

Kirk Kelso, LPC Vice President, Sales, looks forward to adding new customers with this large format capability, including being able to cost-effectively service clients over a wider geographic area. “We’ll be able to be competitive because there are fewer printers who can do all that we can under one roof,” Kelso said.

While LPC’s multifaceted operation serves various markets, litho labels and top sheets for corrugated packaging and retail customers make up a major portion of its large format business. “We’re now looking at more POP, retail signage, shelf strips and similar projects with the efficiencies provided by the ROLAND 900,” Kelso said.

Hawkins first saw the Roland 900 at Drupa in 2008, and was impressed by its run speed, quick makereadies, and the automatic technology involved in manroland’s ColorPilot® technology. When Lewisburg decided to upgrade to new technology, manroland was considered the front-runner even though larger-sheet competitors were being reviewed. Hawkins later spent a week in February at manroland’s plant in Germany, where the new press was being built to learn of further advanced features.

Hawkins indicated the company’s prior experience with manroland over the past five years also played a role in LPC’s decision. The company was founded by his great-grandfather, Thomas Hale Hawkins, in 1898. It published the Marshall Gazette and, subsequently, the Marshall County Shopper and Lewisburg Tribune. Lewisburg Printing Company was created in 1950, when the firm began commercial printing. Since 1989, LPC has added its Cut & Stack Label Division, digital printing capability, a Flexo Printing Division and, with the purchase of Brandau Printing in 2004, its first manroland press, a Roland 800.

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