by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : May 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES THE ROAD TO SUCCESS Technology drives motivation and likewise, healthy customer relationships and continued orders. Nonetheless, United Engravers’ success rests on the performance of its employees. The average employee tenure is 14 years, and has seen substantial growth in that time. “Our employees look forward to change,” said President Peter C. Cappas. “We encourage input from employees on ways to be a better company. “We have good employees with good ideas…we listen.” The company promotes employees from within, not only for open positions, but for special projects as well. For example, Production Art Manager Jim Ellis has been an employee of the company for 23 years. Although he was hired in the art department, it was understood that Ellis had a background in carpentry. Ellis provided his opinion to help complete several internal construction jobs fi rst, before his personal carpentry skills were utilized. “Several years after I started working with United, I was asked to complete some smaller construction projects,” said Ellis. But when the company had the opportunity to purchase an adjoining offi ce, it needed a plan to expand quickly. United was growing, and needed more space to operate. Ellis, along with several of his sons, developed a design for the new workplace. “I went at this project full-time,” said Ellis. “It was such extensive work that we needed a year to complete everything start-tofi nish.” Renovation began in the newly purchased two-story build- ing. The second fl oor was knocked down, creating high ceilings and making room for large windows. Contemporary offi ces and desks replaced dull cubicles that once occupied the building. The spacious room allows better opportunity for organization and workfl ow. A conference room with customized artwork stands next to the main lobby. Upon entering the building, visitors are welcomed by a modern glass reception desk and company logo mounted on the wall. Although Ellis managed the construction tasks, United con- sulted with interior design fi rm Rieke Offi ce Interiors for the decoration and furniture of the new offi ces. Creative Design Manager Kathy Brazzale worked closely with the Elgin-based company. The customer service department before (left) and after (right) the expansion. “We wanted an atmosphere to encourage creativity and teamwork,” said Brazzale. “Previously, the two art departments (Production Art and Creative Design) were isolated. We work as one unit now, and the new environment is more aesthetically pleasing; we have half-walls instead of full walls; it unites us.” Designs in fresh colors of cool blue and lime green cover the walls, as well as accent decorations which hang in various locations in the art department. Each area has a diff erent feel; the account managers and salespeople operate with backgrounds painted in comfortable gray-blue and tan walls, with unique features such as exposed brick. After the fi rst phase of expansion was complete—combining the two offi ce buildings and renovating both—another new project took its place. The company switched its focus to the plant and production staff . In the past, pre-mounters shared rooms containing several cylinders, however the expansion allowed them to move into their own individual offi ces. Each of the seven mounter-proofers now has its own place to be stored. Current expansion is focused on the room housing the new 52in. by 110in. dual manifold system, with accompanying shadowbox. What was once the art department—and afterwards a storage unit—is now home to the biggest liquid platemaking machine ever produced. Walls and second-story fl oors were removed to make way for its size. Designating employees to be key decision-makers in big projects is a way to maintain the teamwork-driven attitude. Employees take personal responsibility for their departments, while permitting management to focus on the larger scale. The success of the company comes by way of group focus. “I started managing all of the construction that had to be done at United,” said Ellis. “If I can do it, I make it happen. If I can’t, then I am in charge of contracting out for the work to be completed. I have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I like having those challenges and knowing it’s up to me.” INVESTING INCREASES WORKFLOW When United fi rst opened for business, it utilized a labor-intensive rubber die engraving process. Employees spent tedious hours working on generic designs. As jobs became increasingly intricate and workfl ow multiplied, the company had to fi nd a better way to output plates. It purchased small liquid and sheet www. f le xography. org MAY 2009 FLEXO 47