Printer Opens Its DoorsJune 2002
WAYMART, PA—A commercial printing tree has been planted in this community tucked inside the northeastern portion of the state. The upshoot is North Eastern Graphics.
The company was born when Henry Becker, owner of Interstate Litho on Long Island, NY, purchased certain assets of Lenz & Riecker, Totowa, NJ, which had filed for bankruptcy. Becker acquired all of the equipment assets, as well as the 56,000-square-foot facility in Waymart. The Totowa facility was not included.
North Eastern Graphics is technically open for business, but Jason Deron, the company's vice president of sales, points out that there are currently just 15 employees conducting limited work. That is expected to change in a hurry. The company recently received a $1.95 million grant from the Pennsylvania State Department of Community and Economical Development to augment its plans to add new equipment and employ between 100 and 125 people within three years, including ex-Lenz & Riecker workers.
Deron notes that the new company, which will produce both sheetfed and web offset work with its two-shift operation (eventually 24 hours a day), will toss its hat into the competitive New York Metro financial printing arena. Waymart is two hours' driving distance from Manhattan, he says.
"There is some competition out there for financial work," says Deron, who notes the company will also tackle commercial printing. "In the 1980s, everyone was on Varick Street (in Manhattan). In the mid- to late-'80s, everyone moved into New Jersey. We're just taking it to the next step."
North Eastern Graphics is starting out with one- and two-color MAN Roland sheetfed presses. On the web side, the company has a four-unit Solna press with sheeter and combination folder. There are also two two-unit Hantschos and a single-unit Hantscho with sheeter.
The Hantschos give North Eastern an edge with its A4 European cutoff size. A number of financial research reports are printed in the United States with the A4 cutoff, but they're predominantly sheetfed. "That gives us a little niche there," Deron states.
The company recently added a 15-pocket saddle stitcher with two cover feeders, which was acquired at auction. A state-of-the-art ink-jetting system was added that can ink-jet in-line on the stitcher.
While the company does not currently have computer-to-plate technology, Deron expects it will be acquired within a year.
The facility itself is geared toward catalog and book manufacturing, he adds, and North Eastern will also be active in warehousing and distribution there. The company tentatively plans to add a 40,000-square-foot addition to accommodate increased distribution and fulfillment for its publishing customers.
"Our new owner takes this challenge very seriously," Deron says of Becker. "It is a full-service shop that does everything in-house.
"It's been a long process getting everything situated—it took about three months to move all the equipment here," he adds. "But we're getting ready to ramp up.