Strategic Investment is NCL’s Key to Success

NCL Graphic Specialties provides an array of labels, flexible packaging, and specialized marketing materials.

Richard K. Mueller, NCL's chairman and founder

NCL uses three POLAR 115 XT label systems with Autocut that align and unload cut label stacks automatically. Each cutting system has network capabilities and can receive cutting programs automatically from prepress.

NCL Graphic Specialties plays to win in a rapidly changing label market.

Let the record show that NCL Graphic Specialties transformed the challenging market conditions of the past several years into a series of well-planned business opportunities. Headquartered in Waukesha, Wis., and with a sister plant located in Menomonee Falls, Wis., the company’s habit of capital investment, coupled with its diverse capabilities, strong product offerings, and tradition of innovation, have positioned it uniquely well to grow and thrive as the recovery takes hold.

Established in 1947 and dedicated to label production since 1963, the privately owned label specialist produces more than 14 billion labels and assorted packaging components annually for some of the largest consumer product companies and promotional entities in the country.

Offset-printed, cut-and-stack paper labels for the food, pet, frozen pizza, and beverage industries account for roughly half (7 billion) of NCL’s annual volume. The other half is focused on in-pack, on-pack, and near-pack promotions, pressure-sensitive primary labels, as well as games, sweepstakes, overwrap coupons, and specialized marketing materials. In addition, the company’s recently fledged roll-fed flexible packaging business (short-to-medium run) aims to take advantage of the fast-growing market for frozen foods and microwaveable products. NCL also provides promotional game security, game administration, warehousing, and shipping.

Not this, but that

The company has no digital output capacity and no plans to acquire it, said President and CEO Steve Klopp: “It doesn’t fit our product lines and our customers aren’t demanding it,” he says.

What NCL does offer customers are a number of unique advantages, beginning with the harmonious marriage of roll-fed web offset, sheetfed offset, and flexo capacity in one company. NCL’s 143,000-square-foot Waukesha facility houses an array of sheetfed and heatset web presses, together with bindery, miniature folding, overwrap, and custom printing services. In Menomonee Falls, a $3 million, 63,000-square-foot production facility—built at the height of the recession in 2010 and opened in in August 2011—houses NCL’s flexo operation, anchored by a fleet of 12-color flexographic presses ranging from 10˝ to 17˝ wide. The Menomonee site also boasts an additional 64,000 square feet of space for future expansion.

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