Schaumburg, Ill. – Priority Envelope, Inc. did something last year they had never accomplished before: they won a Flexographic Technical Association Excellence in Flexography Silver award last May with their first entry. It was symbolic of the direction the Minnesota based company has been heading in since introducing an impressive capital investment program in 2012. And a successful ink vendor partnership with INX International Ink Co., which began in 2011, is another of the many reasons why business is flourishing.
“Compared to the industry, we experienced a good year in 2017. It’s proof that Direct Mail is coming back strong,” remarked Todd Matuska, Priority Envelope’s VP of Sales and Marketing.
“We have spent $20 million in the last five years with our capital investment program. Investing in new equipment and technology sets us apart from our competition. Priority recognized the growing demand for quality and complex printing, along with faster delivery to the customer. With the investment program, we now have the most technologically advanced envelope facility in the U.S.”
Matuska said one of the instrumental capital projects last October was installation of a fifth W+D 201 CI press, giving Priority the largest fleet of 201 CI presses in North America. Matuska indicated more facility upgrades, including new equipment and software packages, top the list of capital improvements scheduled for this year.
This commitment is testament to how much Priority Envelope has achieved since opening the doors in 1996 with five employees and a pair of Halm Jet presses. Today, the company employs 220 people, with headquarters in Plymouth, MN, a Minneapolis suburb, and facilities in Lenexa, KS and Nevada, IA.
The state-of-the art Iowa plant, the largest of the three locations at 96,000 square-feet, serves as the nerve center for the production of all narrow web flexo printing and converting for U.S. and Canadian customers. This includes high volume and web produced envelopes. Matuska said the customer base consists of printing companies and business-to-business customers.
According to prepress manager Tim Schultz, the newest equipment gives them the capability to print up to four-color custom envelopes at speeds of 1600 per minute. Having one of the largest anilox libraries in the industry is another huge advantage.
“It is one of the most instrumental parts of our process. Without a good and properly maintained anilox roll, quality flexo print is impossible to achieve,” said Schultz, who has worked at Priority for 15 years. “Our anilox range is from 200 cells per inch with a 10.0 bcm for heavy coatings, to 1200 cells per inch with a 1.6 bcm for 175-line process print on coated substrates. We work with our vendors to train our associates and to perform quality audits of the anilox library.”
INX International Ink Co. has served as their ink vendor partner for the last seven years. Using a high strength water-based dispersion ink system, Schultz says Priority Envelope blends their colors using a Novaflow ink dispenser at the Iowa facility.
“INX has been an outstanding partner. They have an excellent reputation in the industry and always are willing to help, especially with their technical support. If we have technical issues, they are very responsive and also offer good training. We work closely together to succeed.”
Schultz says using INXVelope® envelope inks provides additional benefits beyond more consistent color, greater ink stability, and improved printability at the high speeds they run.
“The INX ink dispensing system gives us exceptional consistency and color quality, as well as a good range of densities. The color match is the same every time, on different sizes and substrates and on coated or uncoated stock. By keeping our anilox library clean and up-to-date, we are able to adjust the strength of the ink to enhance colors.”
And the work does attract attention. The silver award recognition in FTA’s Envelope, Line, Uncoated category was especially rewarding, says Matuska.
“We’ve only been an FTA member for three years and it was our first entry in the contest. The piece we submitted was very solid and without flaws. The ink we used played a very large part in how well it looked and in Priority Envelope winning the award.”