World’s longest 41-inch press up and running
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Press release from the issuing companyWith the world’s longest 41-inch press up and running, customers are excited about what the new manroland press can do for them
Measuring an eye-popping 127 feet, it would cover most of the famous ‘Green Monster’ at nearby Fenway Park in Boston, and it’s longer than the home court of the world champion Boston Celtics. Since Packaging Graphics in Pawtucket, RI, unveiled its new 17-unit, custom-designed manroland foiling press earlier this year, the company is now finding ways to drive greater print production for its customers.
A division of The MATLET Group, the largest minority owned commercial printing company in the U.S., Packaging Graphics is regarded as an industry leader in printed blister cards, folding cartons, stretch pack cards, and blister and clamshell packaging among other things. One of the largest employers in Pawtucket with over 200 people, the printer is an award-winning, one-stop provider for highly visible and unique products whose customers attract plenty of attention.
Company President Nick Carafa said the press is steadily producing more work each month as his pressmen have become more accustomed to it. The reason why Packaging Graphics selected manroland for their new press was simple.
“We were looking for a unique configuration so we interviewed every press manufacturer and manroland was the only one who could engineer this type of press,” Carafa said. “Our group visited their Print Technology Center near Chicago when we attended Graph Expo in 2006, and we later went to Germany to test the foiling system. We realized that the vendor would invest significant time to design and fabricate the press so after we narrowed the field of contenders, we travelled back to Germany before making the final decision. That trip convinced us to move ahead with this project with manroland.”
Three year plan becomes reality in 90 days
Plant manager Brad Hankin and pressroom manager Patrick Gilmartin led the design team responsible for the configuration of the ROLAND 700 Ultima press with In-line Foiler Prindor. The end result was something that has never been designed before. It prints up to 10 colors and is equipped with a perfector, multiple coating units and interstation UV lamps. Multiple coatings can be achieved per form and Packaging Graphics personnel can split the coaters by product line.
The installation process required several months of preparation for Packaging Graphics end and three months to complete once the press arrived in Pawtucket.
Carafa said it took two shifts, including weekends, to assemble the press and have it ready to meet the aggressive deadlines. Conducting the in-line foiling test runs were next and they were successful.
“The manroland team was very professional and courteous. They gave us a schedule of how the installation would take place and they were extremely efficient in seeing it through. Once we completed the foiling tests, we had the press online by the end of January.”
The 17-unit press is an impressive sight, engulfing half of the space in the room where it operates at the 300,000 square-foot Rhode Island facility. Carafa said that to protect customer confidentiality for special projects and new product launches, they erected a security screen around the press. This lends a bit of mystique to the plant visit when customers or prospects see it for the first time.
“We work with customers who are looking for high end printing. It’s all about them and making their packaging standout in the marketplace,” explained Carafa, who spent the first two of his seven years at Packaging Graphics as the company’s Controller. A former GM with Quebecor, Carafa said foiling is playing a major role in the strategy of his customers by taking custom designs and enhancing the quality of the finished product.
“Typically foiling is requested for the promotional launch of a product or the point-of-purchase materials,” Carafa said. “The new press, with its unique configuration and capabilities, provides effective custom solutions for our customers. It gives us so many more options for what we do, including a feature unique to manroland-quality printing directly over the foil.”
Chances are good you’ve seen their high profile work. The recent Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA, sponsored by the PGA, featured ball boxes with custom printing which Packaging Graphics has done for the last several years.
Packaging Graphics has many long standing relationships and their top customers have been with them for over 15 years. They do retail package design, folding cartons, displays and thermoforming for many Fortune 100 companies. They also handle plenty of 4-color or more offset printing for many home and personal care products, including categories such as razor blades, deodorant and dental floss, as well as high impact, impulse buy products.
Benefits multiply, savings add up
Carafa said one of the strategies in purchasing the new manroland press was to el-iminate multiple passes so the printer could reduce production time. The major savings that were calculated in its original ROI projections are being realized.
“We have found a way to be more productive and efficient with this press. With the kind of backside printing we handle, we could lay down our ink, dry it and flip the sheet much quicker. It gives us the flexibility to do 8-over-2 or even 10-over-0. Not only have we have eliminated passes on the new press, but we have significantly reduced both make ready times and the amount of waste,” Carafa said.
“The make ready capability the ROLAND 700 Ultima press has gives us more production value and tremendous savings in terms of time and costs. Conservatively, we now save 75 percent of the time we spent before on our makereadies. “
This kind of speed not only makes the operation more efficient and profitable, it also allows Packaging Graphics to manage spikes in customer demands with the excess capacity provided by the new press.
“We can match anything with this press,” continued Carafa. “We can print on lower cost substrates and produce high quality work. The same applies with recycled board. Not many people can do it because of the dust that is created by the grain, but we use a pre-coater that allows us to trap the debris into the board and give it a standardized white base. The final product gives the same appearance of a virgin board.”
Carafa says the flexibility of the new ROLAND 700 Ultima press will also make a difference in how Packaging Graphics succeeds in pleasing current customers and winning over new ones in the near future.
“This press truly puts us ahead of the technology curve. The customers who have seen it are impressed by the size and capability and are excited. They understand its value and what it can do for their products. Three years after we began this project, it is providing us with plenty of innovative solutions for our customers.”
manroland Inc., a division of manroland AG, is the world’s second largest printing systems manufacturer and the world’s market leader in web offset. manroland employs almost 8,700 people and has annual sales of some Euro 1.7 billion, with an export share of almost 80 percent. Web and sheetfed offset presses provide solutions for publishing, commercial and packaging printing. For more information, visit www.manroland.us.com.
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