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Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses Celebrates 25th Anniversary

April 2009
LINCOLNSHIRE, IL—April 30, 2009—Twenty-five years ago, Apple Inc. introduced the original Macintosh computer, Terms of Endearment took home the Oscar for Best Picture and the Colts departed Baltimore in the dead of night.

It also was 25 years ago that Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses’ present identity was forged. Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A., Inc.), the North American sales unit for printing presses manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., is celebrating a quarter of a century of innovations in 2009.

“Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses has changed and grown tremendously since 1984,” said Marke Baker, president. “There have been new faces, new facilities, new products, new opportunities and, of course, new challenges. We owe our success and longevity to our customers, our employees and other industry partners. Without them, we would not be celebrating this landmark year. This milestone offers an excellent occasion to assess our progress and reinforce our strengths.”

Humble beginnings
Today, MLP U.S.A. markets Mitsubishi sheetfed, commercial heatset web and newspaper presses to printing companies from Canada to Central America. Some of the leading commercial, carton, label, book, publication, catalog and newspaper printers depend on MLP U.S.A. for equipment solutions.

Although MLP U.S.A. lays claim to one of the graphic arts industry’s richest traditions of innovation, its start in the U.S. market was fairly modest. The forerunner of the current company began as a small sales office in Chicago in 1977. Over the next several years, the fledgling organization grew to seven employees and $9 million in revenues.

The operation ultimately outgrew its Chicago location, and, in 1984, Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses North America, as it was then called, expanded to the suburb of Arlington Heights with W.F. “Ric” Buchanan as its president. MLP U.S.A., Inc. formally became a U.S. corporation in April 1991.

Promoting from within
Buchanan headed up MLP U.S.A. until his retirement in 2002. He was succeeded by K.G. Katayama, then a 25-year veteran of the printing equipment industry who had held a number of management posts with parent company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. After his appointment concluded in 2006, he assumed another strategic assignment with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan.

When the board of directors tapped Baker to lead the company, he already had worked for MLP U.S.A. for 18 years. A member of the executive staff since 2002, Baker had served as vice president of customer service, web products specialist, web installation manager and national service manager for web and newspaper presses. He began his printing industry career in 1980 in the Engineering and Maintenance Department at book publisher Foote & Davies, Inc. in Atlanta He spent eight years with Foote & Davies, eventually becoming department manager.
 

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