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Color It Green

Integrated color management capabilities enhance prepress packaging workflows.

January 2012 By Jean-Marie Hershey
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Color management plays a key role in the economic future of packaging printing businesses confronting increasingly stringent quality demands from customers and growing pressure to slash their time to market.

Absent the seamless digital integration of production resources at the prepress stage (as well as in the pressroom), however, color presettings on the press must be reset for each job in order to achieve the desired result. However, results achieved this way cannot be standardized or repeated without adding time, labor, and cost, placing the company at what can be a competitive disadvantage.

Package-printing companies aiming to stay competitive must demonstrate their ability to print high-quality products at attractive prices using standardized methods. Consistent color quality across different runs and matching approved print sheets are musts.

Shrinking time-to-market

Carded Graphics is an award-winning folding carton manufacturing and packaging company. Its 120,00-square-foot facility in Staunton, Va. provides quality folding cartons and packaging to some of the world's largest food, pharmaceutical, and beverage manufacturers and suppliers, with food packaging representing 80 percent of the company's total business. Most recently, the company installed a UV-capable HP Scitex FB700 digital printer for prototyping and short-run packaging, a new market for Carded Graphics.

"We also do some short-run package printing on the offset side—down to as few as 1,000 cartons, but it's really not our sweet spot," explains Murry Pitts, president and CEO. "We play in the market between the large-integrated packaging firms and the medium-sized packaging printer. Our whole platform is built on speed-to-market. We guarantee an estimate in 24 hours, a sample in 48, and we're off to the races."

The company claims double-digit growth in every year for the past five years as proof that its long-standing commitment to internal process control continues to bear fruit with increased profits and customer loyalty. Consistent with this operating philosophy, the company has its own designer and a full array of prepress and graphic design capabilities.

"We do everything internally except make a die," Pitts says. "We make our own corrugated boxes. We have our own prepress; we sheet our own paperboard. We have all new equipment in every department in order to control our processes and shrink our time-to-market. Customers don't give you much lead time these days. When time-to-market is everything, being able to control all your internal workings is key."

 

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