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Accord Carton set to size-up bigger opportunities with a new ROLAND 900 press

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Alsip, Illinois — Accord Carton, one of the Midwest’s fastest growing packaging printers, is stepping up in size to add bigger opportunities and more profitability to its operation. The company is installing a new 56-inch ROLAND 900 this summer to complement and expand upon its 40-inch production stream. Accord President Robert Codo says that size was only one factor in selecting the six-color-plus-coater press. “We had three different proposals on the table that we carefully examined,” he notes. “We found that MAN Roland offered the best value and best package for the money. We took a lot of things into consideration and the ROLAND 900 came out on top.” The high level of automation available on the ROLAND 900 was one of the tipping points. Accord Carton is equipping its press with MAN Roland’s printnet PressManager networking system. That will let the packaging printer take advantage of the productivity benefits provided by Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). Computer Controlled Inking (CCI) and automatic roller, blanket and back cylinder wash-up are also part of the productivity package on the new press. Beyond the Elves The larger press will fit right into Accord’s super-sized facility. The plant boasts 113,000 sq ft of production and warehouse space. It incorporates a five-story-high pallet storage and retrieval system that is completely automated, right down to its driverless automatically guided vehicles (AGVs). The building was previously home to cookie and cracker maker Keebler, and was acquired by Kellogg in 2003. Accord Carton replaced the elves with some of the industry’s most accomplished prepress, press and finishing technicians. They operate a one-stop-shopping production stream that includes CTP prepress, a growing pressroom and a versatile carton finishing workflow that encompasses windowing, gluing, foil stamping and die cutting. In fact, a 56” Bobst SP142-ER Blanker Die Cutter was installed with an eye toward expanding into the larger press format. “Up to that point our company has focused exclusively on the 40 inch format, but the market is changing.” Codo says. “We’re finding that the larger format really addresses many of the growing challenges of carton and packaging printing. Clients want bigger sizes, and we’re interested in getting more from every sheet we print, so we can pick up more materials savings.” David Peters, a Managing Partner at Accord, sees the acquisition of the large format Bobst as a growth catalyst for the company. “This die cutter was used by and large to service customers who gave us higher volume unprinted work at first,” he says. “This has since changed with added business, and we are finding ourselves printing far too many impressions on our 40-inch press.” That makes the ROLAND 900 a necessity for Accord. A Quality Accord Superior print quality is also a high priority because packaging is typically the point-of-sale reflection of a client’s brand. Accord documents its capabilities in quality control with ISO 9001 certification. “We think our new press will meet and exceed all of the quality specifications we will ever require,” Codo says. “The ROLAND 900 is a fine machine.” With a 13,000 sph output rate, the press is also a fast machine. Accord Carton plans to take maximum advantage of that speed by equipping its ROLAND 900 for continuous operation. “That’s very important to complete longer running jobs efficiently,” Codo explains. “We’re 24/6 now, and we plan to run the larger format initially two shifts a day, five days a week. Then we anticipate lots of growth with this format to reach full capacity.” Accord’s marketing strategy for the new system will focus on the point of sale. “We’ve been holding off hiring a sales representative because we did not have the capacity for another sales person to sell,” Codo explains. “With the arrival of the ROLAND 900, we’ll be seeking an individual or two to move our new capabilities and capacity out into the market.” Peters indicates that the groundwork is already in place: “We have had good success competing in the high volume print market, and are very excited about the new technologies and added capacity the new ROLAND 900 56-inch brings to Accord Carton.” Several of Accord Carton’s existing customers are already showing interest in the new technology. “This press might attract more jobs from some of them,” Codo says. “Plus, I also have a couple of potential customers who would give us work if I had a larger press.” Describing the ROLAND 900 as “lynchpin of our growth plan,” Codo projects that the press is “capable of adding $20 million in sales to my business.” With the success of Accord’s Keebler-created automated pallet warehousing system, which can handle 13,000 pallets, Codo knows the value of thinking big: “We bring in potential customers for plant tours, and they’re always very impressed with the system. It gives our clients a high comfort level of how material is cared for here and how it will arrive at their plants. Nothing gets misplaced. Nothing gets damaged. The quality is automatic.” With the arrival of the ROLAND 900 this summer, Accord will have another quality attraction with which to impress visitors on its facilities tour. “I think they’re going to like what they see,” Codo says.




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