How does a traditional commercial printer, with a sheet-fed offset press, enter the lucrative packaging market? Investing in the right equipment and developing a solid business plan were key for Dale Skinkis, president of Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging. “The market for package printing is shifting with the growth of on-demand production,” he notes. “Serving the on-demand market requires focus upon quality and price. That’s how you get the business.”
The company’s niche is quick prototyping and printing of folding carton retail packaging, from as little as 500 up to 20,000 units, within extremely quick turnarounds. Creating retail packaging typically takes four to six weeks or longer. Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging turns these jobs in as little as 48 hours. The staff at Graphic Edge is so customer-focused that when a packaging opportunity comes in they are able to quickly generate a packaging design and deliver a prototype within hours. “We are constantly studying the market for new and unique packaging designs and then reverse engineering the design to fit our production capabilities”, says Tashina Peplinski, Production Manager, at Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging.
The Gift Box Dilemma
Just 3 weeks before Christmas 2014, a client requested 30,000 gift-wrapped packages with bows on top for a cellular phone promotion. The client was adamant on having the bows on top, but to physically gift wrap 30,000 boxes was going to be very time consuming and expensive. The solution was to create a folding box design to include a die-cut bow on the top and print the “gift wrap” design. Within a day, the customer received a prototype and approved the job. Design, printing, die-cutting, and gluing production occurred in-house and within a few days.
What enabled a traditional commercial printer to enter the packaging market? “Having every process that is needed to complete the job under one roof is key,” states Skinkis. “One of our unique differentiators is that we can run packaging jobs on the same press as our traditional commercial print jobs.”
The Big Secret
In the summer of 2014, Graphic Edge Printing & Packaging installed a RYOBI MHI 755XL-D Packaging Edition Offset Press. The new RYOBI MHI Packaging Edition press features automatic deployment and retraction of transfer drums to accommodate stocks ranging from onionskin to heavy board. It also features a special heavy-duty feeder, as well as an air-guide system to ‘float’ sheets through the 16,000-sph press without marking. RYOBI MHI’s Smart Make-Ready technology drives make-readies down to just six minutes.
“We were pretty sure the RYOBI MHI Packaging Edition press was the one to help us grow our business, but we wanted to see the retractable ‘skeleton drums’ in action—this is the critical technology that enables printing of heavy stock,” said Skinkis. “After seeing the press in the RYOBI MHI factory and running full-out on the printer’s floor we knew this was the press for us—no hesitation, no question. We finalized the order right on the spot.” The press was sold by RYOBI MHI distributor Graphco, located in Cleveland, OH, and its partner, Guaranteed Service and Supplies in West Bend, WI. Graphco is one of six RYOBI MHI exclusive regional distributors who sell offset and digital presses across the U.S. and Canada, as part of Graphic Systems North America (GSNA).
“We see a very bright future for package printing,” Dale Skinkis explained. “We also believe offset can effectively compete with digital printing for a long time to come, especially in the general commercial printing, package printing, and specialty printing realms. With offset, it’s all about great marketing—and great service, and RYOBI MHI gives us the edge we need to excel.”