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FLEXO Magazine : April 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES Early in the company's history, David claimed that it took some time to break some employees' bad habits. ttAt first, our pressmen would ask me questions like, tDo you want me to be a janitor or do you want me to print labels?' And I would always say, tYes.' I've never seen anything quality pro- duced in squalor." This mentality is a two-way street. Jay stated that the building the firm currently occupies was designed so that there is a proper amount of airflow, reducing the smell of chemicals. The ceiling is lower in the pressroom, too, to reduce the amount of environment that needs to be controlled. The result is a more pleasant working environment. ttO ur pressroom personnel take a lot of pride in what they do," said Jay. ttAlI the equipment has the operator's name on it. It's all part of the pride package." ttQuality control is not a title or department, it's a core compe- tency," declared John. uY ou can't out print the quality of your en- vironment. Presses we bought 10 years ago look as good as they did when we bought them." David noted that the first press he purchased in 1994 still runs as well-if not better-than it did 14 years ago. ttMany people - APR I L 2008 FLEXO While the Shotz energy drink is only two ounces, the graphic elements are huge. The brand owner is very specific about the colors that represent each respective flavor. Additionally, being able to create the same visual value of the sun rays, per item (color), was critical. As you know, the same screen values do not exhibit the same results with such a wide variety of differ- ent colors. Printing the rainbow hologram "Z" in register to the art design and brand name was challenging. Wanting to optimize the product with a 3D image, the brand owner chose to add a multi-dimensional "domed" effect directly on top of the hologram. The challenge is making the domed hologram shrink in proportion to the natural shrink characteristics of the film, with respect to the properties of the container. -John McDowell think that our national and global awards come off the newer presses," he said. ttBut the fourth of our six world awards came off the oldest press in the house. Press tech- nologies are important, but they are just one component." LEAN AND LIMBER Flexibility and efficiency are an essential part of the corporate culture at McDowell Label. This is showcased by the firm's deci- sion to invest in presses that are modular in design, and so can be configured for nearly any job. But David and his team take those concepts one step further and incorporate aspects of Lean Manufacturing into their workflow. ttWe take certain aspects that work for us," said David. uIf we only ran pressure sensitive, then we could do more, especially in respect to reducing inventory. But we run flexible packaging and non-PS items. We've got our work cells set up by press and finishing. There isn't a rewinder at the end of every press because not every job needs to be rewound. But every press is capable of running something that needs to be rewound." John professed that Lean principals are part of the core com- petency of everyone in the pressroom. The goal: keep every press running as often as possible. One way this is achieved is by build- www.f I exog ra p hy.o rg