Pel Hughes Printing Makes Transformational Investment in MBO Rollfed Digital Finishing Line

New Orleans, LA – June 12, 2023

MBO America, a leader in advanced post-press finishing equipment, announces that Pel Hughes Printing has purchased a full MBO Rollfed Digital Finishing Line, the second for the company in less than a year. For the New Orleans-based printer and integrated marketing specialist, the investment will drive a fully variable direct mail business that is posting impressive growth.  

Jackie Hughes reviews job specs with MBO finishing line operators Jeff Nunez and Donald Toscano.

“This is a transformational investment for us,” said Jackie Hughes, Owner of Pel Hughes. “Savvy marketers understand the relationship between fully personalized direct mail, high open rates, and better ROI. Our clients began asking us to produce ever longer runs, sometimes runs that exceeded 500,000 pieces. Since a cutsheet toner device couldn’t do it, we invested in a Canon ProStream 1800 inkjet web press in mid-2022,” she said.

MBO’s modular finishing systems offered Pel Hughes the greatest flexibility with finishing options, so the company invested in its first Rollfed Digital Finishing Line. “We produce many different products, from postcards to self-mailers, and letters, so we need a system that allows us to put many products through quickly. MBO is also a great finishing line that keeps up with the high output of the press and maximizes its productivity,” said Brian Hughes, President. “We knew that in 12 months we’d need a second line to keep up with growing demand.”

Highlighted modules in Pel Hughes’ high-performance MBO Rollfed Finishing Lines include the MBO UW23 unwinder, SVC 525C Sheeter, DFT 560 DigiFolder, SBAP 72 ME stacker, DPS60 Dynamic perf/score module, various second and third fold units, and an Airtrim waste removal system. The mobile modules are interchangeable between lines giving added value to both systems. MBO modules can be configured to meet the exact need of nearly any printing operation.

The investment has paid off for Pel Hughes. In 2022 the company posted a 34% increase in revenue over the previous year; compared to 2019, revenue is up 22%. “We feel we’ve barely scratched the surface and expect revenue to increase this year as well. Some work will come from existing clients, but we expect new clients to take advantage of direct mail using data modelling,” said Jackie Hughes.

Efficiencies have also improved. Managers used to have to get together and strategize intensely to make sure they could get 100,000 to 300,000 pieces a week through their former shell model workflow. “Now, sales are not worried and production is not worried. We don’t print shells and we don’t experience any bottlenecks in the finishing line. The headaches of a hybrid workflow had always been a challenge, but not now,” said Brian Hughes.

Easier labor recruiting is an added benefit for the company. It has traditionally been difficult to find new workers and teach them to operate a manual guillotine cutter for example. Now, said Brian Hughes, it’s much easier to attract younger workers who are used to digital devices, and teach them to operate the folding line because it’s touchscreen driven and much easier to operate.

“We’re thrilled to work with Pel Hughes and contribute to their success,” said Lance Martin, Vice President of Marketing, MBO America. “An operation like theirs is a prime example of how successful printers operate today. With the right business model and right technology investment companies can reduce touchpoints, increase efficiency, and achieve impressive growth.”

About Pel Hughes
Pel Hughes Printing is a direct marketing specialist for national clients in the higher education, gaming, political and financial markets. Its service offering include design, static and variable direct mail printing, mailing, hosting storefronts, and working with data and multiple channels to optimize their client’s marketing spend. Based in New Orleans, Pel Hughes is a family owned operation that was founded more than 60 years ago.