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Union Tools Discovers how NPP Expertise and New Technology Make First Piece Approval Easy.

Concerns 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 by Weyerhaeuser.

When 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.

Expertise and
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 press.

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 packaging budget.

  • 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 future.

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.

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"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!"

-- Press Crew
   Weyerhaeuser

 

"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
    Union Tools

 

 

 

 

NPP - Packaging Graphics Specialists
P.O. Box 21278 1415 South Drover Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46221 USA

800-466-9677 or 317-630-2355
Fax 317-630-2358

info@npp-graphics.com