Union Tools Discovers how NPP
Expertise and New Technology Make First Piece Approval Easy.
of Quality and Price Caused Apprehension
Weyerhaeuser in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a long time customer of
NPP, received an inquiry from a new account, Union Tools, for supplying
corrugated packaging for an important new retail project. Since
the product required a large format package size, the economics
and graphic impact were of prime importance in considering the appropriate
material and converting process. A comprehensive consultation with
Matt Levenhaegan, Weyerhaeuser's Account Manager, influenced the
customer's brand manager to pursue having the package direct printed
the graphic art files for the package printing were received from
the customer's design agency, it was discovered that they were prepared
for four color offset printing using process inks to build the desired
spectrum of colors in the final graphic design. Weyerhaeuser expressed
doubts about whether the design could be modified to be direct printed.
Union Tools became concerned that, if they had to change to a litho-labeled
carton, their package cost would be increased. They also were apprehensive
about allowing any modifications to the desired graphic design in
order to accommodate Weyerhaeuser's printing limitations and capabilities.
Everyone was seriously concerned that reworking the graphics would
add cost and possibly delay the project beyond the committed deadline.
At this point, Weyerhaeuser contacted Joe Bacon, their NPP account
representative, and got him directly involved with their customer
and the design agency.
New Technology Come Into Play
NPP's graphic production team proceeded to revise the graphics for
printability based on their historic data, experience and knowledge
involving Weyerhaeuser's flexographic printing equipment. A delicate
balance was needed to maintain the graphic appeal as designed, while
still remaining within the production capabilities of the printer.
When the graphics were adjusted for printability and the ink colors
were revised from the traditional CMYK process ink sets to four
specific flexographic PMS spot color matches, the resulting graphic
impact was not acceptable to the client and the designer. Working
closely with Weyerhaeuser's printing team, Union Tools' brand manager
and the design agency, NPP proposed that, by adding a fifth spot
color, the desired impact could be restored and the graphics would
still remain within the direct printing limitations of Weyerhaeuser's
After the reviewing and approving the final contract
color proof of the modified design by the printing team, the customer
and the design agency, a print production date was scheduled by
Weyerhaeuser that would meet the customer's committed deadline.
NPP produced and delivered a set of CushionCore
plates - its newest technology - in time for print production. Union
Tools' brand manager requested to be presside for sign off approval
on the actual printed package for graphics and color.
Results: Registration and Color Approval
in a Fraction of the Time
For the press approval at Weyerhaeuser,
the initial press set-up, registration and color approval process
required less than 45 minutes to obtain a successful sign-off by
the customer. The press crew expressed with enthusiasm, "We
have never had a set of plates set-up and come to color as quick
as this. There was no make-ready required. Ink release was excellent.
I wish every customer's press approval was this easy!"
More importantly, the brand manager for Union Tools
expressed his personal satisfaction, "We were nervous that
our desired graphic look could be achieved with post print. NPP
helped us understand the printer's capabilities and what our expectations
should be. Our 'First Piece' approval process was easier than anticipated,
the graphics were as we envisioned. Union Tools is extremely happy
with our first experience with NPP and Weyerhaeuser. They met our
needs and expectations."
Project Bottom Line:
- On-time delivery of the customer's packaging
despite reworking graphics.
- Weyerhaeuser's success with their direct-printed
corrugated process kept their customer's project within the planned
- Minimum press set-up time required during
approval resulted in increased print productivity, reduced waste
and created a positive impression for a new customer.
- Maximum printed graphic impact was retained
by Weyerhaeuser's direct-print process when compared to their
customer's original design for offset print.
- Confidence was established in Weyerhaeuser's
ability to successfully satisfy Union Tool's packaging needs for
The combination of a dedicated partnership,
sincere trust and the close working relationship between Weyerhaeuser
and NPP was the key for successfully achieving the challenging goals
for this packaging project. The extremely satisfied new customer
is rewarding Weyerhaeuser and NPP with new upcoming packaging projects.
However, now they know to involve both companies in the development
and design of the printing in the initial stages to ensure that
their maximum graphic impact, economy and timing needs are met.
"We have never had a set of plates set-up and
come to color as quick as this. There was no make-ready required. Ink
release was excellent. I wish every customer's press approval was this
-- Press Crew
"NPP helped us understand the printer's capabilities
and what our expectations should be. Our 'First Piece' approval process
was easier than anticipated, the graphics were as we envisioned. Union
Tools is extremely happy with our first experience with NPP and Weyerhaeuser.
They met our needs and expectations."
-- Brand Manager