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FLEXO Magazine : September 2010
Plants & Processes to be a very important part of our business. ASL is more than labels. We are a high end specialty printer.” After reviewing the results of the research, the company opted to integrate its history with a focus on expanding capa- bilities. A decision was made to maintain its heritage, while simultaneously looking into the future. As such, the acronym ASL was incorporated into the new name—ASL Print FX! The latter part draws from the company ’s formula for success, which it calls HDFX: a combination of customized technology and creativity that the company brings to its customers. “A good package is a combination of compelling design and very good print,” says Blumel. But don’t be fooled; the company isn’t looking to price itself out of the market. When customers express concern over cost, ASL strives to understand and respect a given budget, and present options that are both within that range and yet still offer outside-the- box solutions. It’s a formula that has been working. After collaborating with ASL on a project, Jennifer Dionne, brand manager at McCormick said in a recent case study, “We have seen sales growth, an influx of new users and increased frequency of use. While it is a more expensive label, it has paid out for us and been a real success.” Technology & Training Today, ASL Print FX offers brand owners high end decora- tion capability in labels and packaging, promotional print and envelope manufacturing. Their customized portfolio of technology incorporates special effects such as textures, foil, laminations, multiple panels and scratch and reveal. The company aims to use high end customized technology to protect the brand that is emerging today. MacLean declared that he has no desire to produce “copycat imitation packag- ing.” T he solution is to incorporate dynamic technology, work with substrate and ink manufacturers, and provide both overt and covert product to protect image. This requires collabora- tion upfront. At the same time, though, it does not mean that everything has to be more expensive. MacLean reinforced that the driving force in ASL’s success is its manufacturing and print capability, with an emphasis on special effects. “T hat, coupled with innovation, allows us to provide innovative print solutions.” He says the real value is in added value. “If we can’t enhance, promote or protect your products, then we are probably not the right guys.” To ensure that everyone gets the most out of every job, ASL works closely with designers to make sure they understand the expanding capabilities of flexographic printing. “Design- ers have been amazed by what is possible from flexo four-color process, special effects, etc., ” s ays Ma- cLean. “As printers, we have got to be proud of what flexo presents. Designers are constantly striving to learn what is possible and what is at the forefront. ” Blumel adds, “We collaborate with the designer early in the process and show them what is possible. It could be as simple as creating contrast in the de- sign with a combination of matte and gloss varnishes. Not everything needs to be complex, with silkscreens and foils. ” To accomplish this, MacLean says the focus falls on adopting good technology. Today, ASL Print FX runs 15 presses out of its two plants in Ontario, Canada and North Carolina. But that’s not the only factor. MacLean says, “Great technology is important. But that is only one ingredient; it is really your press operators and their capabilities and their ability to customize that counts. It is not just the iron on the floor.” “ Employees are No. 1, ” says MacLean. “ If we take care of employees, they will take care of the custom- ers and prospects.” ASL holds town hall meetings every few months to keep employees informed of new developments. It also puts on training sessions run by the staff and outside suppliers —some specific to certain groups, yet always open to everyone “The more people understand the business, the fewer issues there are in the company. Communication is everything. It doesn’t take much for a particular job to go sideways. We want everyone to understand what happens within our four walls. ” “I don’t think a day goes by where we don’t have a designer, marketer, customer, agency in our facility,” says MacLean. “ We strive to give our clients and pros- pects a good experience and we want them to learn more about what we do. Bottom line is that we are different and we focus on making our clients brands look good.” n asl employees collaborate on a project. collaboration creates better ideas and provides better results. Stop at Booth 1417 to register to win a terrific door prize! LabelExpo Americas 2010 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Sept. 14th - 16th. We will have the following units on site: PK Parts Washing Systems PK Rotary Screen Cleaning Systems FW Anilox Roll Cleaning Systems PW Plate Wash Systems Make sure not to miss out on the following units being demonstrated at the show: PW 45 Plate Washer FW Handy XLA Phone: 888-493-5396 Fax: 888-543-5396 Flexo Wash LLC firstname.lastname@example.org 30 FLEXO september 2010 www.flexography.org FLX_Sept2010_mech.indd 30 8/31/10 5:41 PM