The Standard Group Acquires Sales, Select Assets of Epic Litho
The Standard Group, a privately held, enterprise print management and marketing logistics company with primary locations in Reading and Lititz, Pa., has acquired the sales and select assets of Phoenixville, Pa.-based Epic Litho.
With the acquisition of Epic Litho, The Standard Group increases its printing ability to support luxury brands, commercial real estate, higher education, art galleries and auction houses. The acquisition will also help increase its presence in both the New York City and Philadelphia metro markets.
According to Thanh Nguyen, who serves in a marketing and product development capacity at The Standard Group, current plans are to keep the Epic Litho production facility open for about a year before eventually consolidating it into Standard's current operations.
They primarily comprise The Standard Group Print & Technology Center — a 65,000-sq.-ft. facility in Lititz that employs approximately 115 workers — and Standard Group's 60,000-sq.-ft., 35-employee headquarters and pharmaceutical center in Reading, Pa. The Lititz operation houses six-color 40˝ Heidelberg sheetfed offset presses with aqueous coating capabilities, as well as a new seven-color HP Indigo 7900 digital press and a six-color HP Indigo 7500. The Reading headquarters location houses six-color, 40˝ Heidelberg sheetfed offset presses with aqueous coating, a Canon imagePRESS 7010 color digital press, and Canon imagePRESS 1135 and Océ VarioPrint 6000 series monochrome printers.
Epic Litho recently purchased an eight-color, 40˝ Komori sheetfed offset perfector equipped with H-UV curing technology. Nguyen says they are still in the decision-making process whether to to eventually move that press or possibly acquire a new UV press model, and have also been considering LED-UV technology as another option. Nguyen reveals that The Standard Group is also investigating adding production inkjet and wide-format inkjet printing technologies, but wants to make sure they align well with their customer base, which include health care providers, pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers; higher education; and luxury brands; among other verticals.
Scott Reighard, COO of The Standard Group, supports the major benefits that UV printing capabilities provide. “UV printing is really a game changer in our industry. With UV printing, we will be able to print with greater color intensity, better efficiency due to no drying time and greater versatility since no coating is required. Plus, UV printing will be fantastic for printing on uncoated stock and plastics substrates — it will allow us to better serve the higher education and art gallery markets."
Epic Litho is known for pushing the proverbial envelope with print and special effects. “It takes experience, knowledge and a little fearlessness to try something which has never been done in printing,” adds Jim Rowland, president of Epic Litho, who will be joining The Standard Group executive team. “We love partnering with our customers to create that unique look in their print communication." Epic has gained notoriety in the Mid-Atlantic market for its offset printing and finishing special effects capabilities, including the incorporation of unique substrates and metallic inks, and creating soft touch finishes and other embellishments.
From Epic Litho's standpoint, its clients are seeking more enterprise print and turnkey integrated solutions. “By joining with The Standard Group, we will be able to provide our customers with more resources, more expertise and more innovations to help grow their business," Rowland says. This includes The Standard Group's expertise in Web-to-print portals and online storefronts, marketing automation, and automated warehouse and fulfillment capabilities.
For the last decade, The Standard Group has grown organically and strategically through acquisition in Pennsylvania. Three years ago, it acquired TSI Associates, a promotional and events management company in Reading, and Whitmore Printing in Lancaster. Other area acquisitions during the past several years have included Donald Blyler Offset, of Lebanon (in 2011), Veitch Printing and Acorn Press, both of Lancaster (in 2008), and Calloway Network, East Hempfield (in 1996).
However, Scott Vaughn, CEO of The Standard Group, believes this latest acquisition stands as the most far-reaching opportunity for his company. “Epic Litho represents the pinnacle of print quality in our industry. They have consistently won the Neographics Power of Print or Best of Show time and time again. We look forward to incorporating their talented staff into our own."
Combined, The Standard Group and Epic Litho received a total of 37 awards (or 29% of total awards) at the recent 2017 Neographics Power of Print awards celebration, including 22 Best of Category Awards and two candidates for the Best of Show Award. The Standard Group is also G7 Master Printer qualified.