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FLEXO Magazine : August 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES a whole different set of challenges, that need to be addressed (cold water and paper are not the ideal match). Lastly, the labels need to be extremely scuff resistant, so special attention is needed to make sure that the labels will not scuff as they jiggle around in the abrasive boxes during shipping. Many wineries are very environ- mentally conscious. They are seri- ously involved in organic and sus- tainable practices and are request- ing that their suppliers also take steps to protect our environment. Fortunately, Paragon has been on the cutting edge of environmental re- sponsibility from the start. All print- ing waste (setup and waste matrix) is recycled. Its wastewater is fi ltered in the facility, so that all heavy metals and pigments are removed from the water. The company’s wastewater is constantly tested by independent labs and always comes back cleaner than the tap water coming into the building. Paragon also practices en- ergy conservation, which has won awards and accolades from the local energy supplier. As an extra special environmental benefi t, the fi rm offers a program to its customers allowing them to return waste liner to Paragon to be recycled, free of charge. All of these extreme demands make Paragon better at what it does. This is shown by the many awards it has won and the many label orders that it has taken away from offset houses. Paragon must not only excel at traditional fl exography, but also must be able to offer the best when it comes to foiling, embossing, and rotary screen printing. In many cases, the company’s customers are selling their product via the label (market tests have shown that 80 percent of fi rst time wine purchases are made because of the label) and are constantly experimenting with any technique or design that will grab the consumer’s attention. The needs of the customers have pushed Paragon to constantly improve and push the limits of what fl exo can do. Paragon is very fortunate to have a unique offl ine laser ma - chine that allows for extreme die cuts on the interior and exterior of a label. The laser cutter is a proprietary machine that is giving Paragon a unique niche in the wine label fi eld. The laser process 76 F LEXO makes a label stand out and is quick- ly grabbing the attention of some of the fi nest wineries in the country. By cutting out an interior design on the label, it gives the wine bottle a whole new added texture and dimension. This process is slow and fairly ex- pensive, but wineries are seeing the “shelf appeal” that the laser cut label adds, and are placing these unique labels on their higher end wines. As more and more laser cut labels get out on the shelf, Paragon is seeing a swell of interest in the process. Prestigious design fi rms are also catching onto the process and are starting to design labels that promise to be monumental to the industry. AWARD-WORTHY PROCESS Paragon is very proud that its work has been honored with numer- ous FTA Excellence in Flexography awards. The company’s fi rst year in the competition was 2004. Since then, it has won 20 awards, includ- ing fi ve medals in 2006 and seven in 2008. The company won Best of Show in 2006, a signifi cant achieve - ment. Gary Cane, Paragon’s general manager, commented, “I enter this competition for several reasons; it adds credibility to our operation, it’s a valuable tool for sales, and it’s a huge morale booster for the produc- tion team. I am very fortunate to have a great team of very talented pressmen.” Cane continued, “We are dedi- A gold-winning label in FTA’s 2008 awards competition, submitted by Paragon Label. cated to Mark Andy presses and are winning major awards on machines that are not only American made, but cost about half as much as many ‘fancier’ presses. This proves that it’s the personnel that make the differ- ence, not just the equipment.” Approximately 20 labels are submitted for competition every year. Cane makes sure that all of the pressmen are aware of this and that they note any jobs that are unusual or challenging. Before it is time to enter the competition, Cane will get together with his team and narrow down what labels are truly the best, and then submit them to FTA. As for the present and near future, the company plans on in- vesting more and more into the latest technologies while keeping in mind that the best equipment can only succeed with the best personnel running it. Its purchase of a Mark Andy LP3000 refl ects AUGUS T 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008