Although Frankston had reinvested more than $5 million in new equipment over the past five years, its pressroom had become a bottleneck, causing co-owners Norm Bullock and Kyle Eldred to embark on an exhaustive search to find a press that would propel the company's growth for the next 10 years.
"Kyle and I sat down and developed five key criteria that we needed in a new press," Bullock said. "We needed a press that would deliver world-class productivity, quality, and reliability. We also needed a press capable of printing both conventional and UV. Finally, we required a press installation that met our timeline, not the manufacturer's. After numerous on-site visits and detailed industry analysis, we chose the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-6+LX with Prinect Inpress in-line color and register control and AutoPlate Advanced plate-changing."
Installed less than four months ago, the new Speedmaster XL 106 has met or exceeded each criterion on Frankston's must-have list, beginning with an extremely tight installation schedule. "Heidelberg delivered excellent service from the beginning," Bullock said. "Once the new pad was ready, installation was complete in 23 days. This was extremely critical for us, given the volume of work we pushing through an older, less productive press while the installation took place."
Heidelberg's Prinect Inpress Control in-line color and register control was an important factor in the company's choice of press. "Kyle and I really think of ourselves as a service company, so a press capable of delivering world class quality was imperative," Bullock said. "CIP3 technology plus Inpress Control enables us to hit color fast and maintain tight delta E tolerances across the sheet and throughout the run. What has impressed us most, however, is that we can now fold and glue a large carton without worrying about color variance on the panels at the glue seam."
The company still is learning how to run the Speedmaster XL 106 to its considerable capability. "It took a little while to get our arms around the combined benefits of the automation and the 18,000 iph running speed," Bullock said. For example, "We've had to adjust our workflow procedures to handle the output of the Speedmaster XL 106. Otherwise, "You can absolutely drown your facility with work-in-progress. Additionally, installing a new press and driving out productivity required change. We have worked very closely with Heidelberg to arrive at operator performance standards that we can implement, measure, and hold people accountable for."
The addition of UV capability also has enabled Frankston to bring back in-house jobs it formerly outsourced. "That has not only reduced our cost," said Bullock, "but it has also shortened our timeline and taken us into some newer, high-end UV markets we couldn't pursue prior to installing the Speedmaster XL 106."
Highest Standards Apply
Reliable service is the cornerstone of Frankston's reputation for delivering products on spec and on time to its customers. In Heidelberg the company recognized a like-minded supplier. "Heidelberg's service and support certainly didn't end with the successful installation," Bullock said. Instead, "Heidelberg has been very responsive-even proactive-in helping us deal with any post-install issues we've encountered."
With the new press in production just 120 days, "Kyle and I feel we've barely scratched the surface in terms of ways in which the Speedmaster XL 106 will continue to fuel our growth," Bullock said. Not only has Frankston already seen a material impact to its costs, but it is also entering new markets, confident in the working relationship it has forged with Heidelberg.
"We try to align ourselves with strong suppliers who are also great partners," Bullock said. "That's Heidelberg."
Frankston Packaging was founded in 1957 and is a privately held, full-service manufacturer of custom and stock paperboard folding cartons and rigid/set-up boxes, with product distribution throughout North America. Capabilities run the gamut from sheeting, printing, UV coating, die cutting, and windowing; to folding, gluing, tray forming, taping, and special effects such as foil stamping and embossing; to design, prepress, and inventory management services. Frankston is also a proud member of the Independent Carton Group and the Paperboard Packaging Council.