Vertically-integrated manufacturer of custom printed flexible packaging foresees additional automation, greater efficiency and capacity
February 5, 2019
In today’s flexible packaging market, there are two main drivers influencing brands and their customers: a demand for both sustainability and more sophisticated colorful branding. Sustainability is a key trend especially for manufacturers of food and retail products. New mandates from government and major retailers are driving the demand for eco-friendly alternatives to non-recyclable multilayer stand-up pouches and films. Manufacturers are also being asked to produce recyclable multi-layer pouches and films with sophisticated colorful artwork in a cost-effective manner.
It is in this environment that Great American Packaging, a vertically-integrated manufacturer of custom printed flexible packaging, is being asked to extrude, print, and convert top notch branded products for businesses in a wide range of styles and sizes. Founded more than 50 years ago, the well-known firm has placed a premium on expanding its deep ties with its existing customers as well as focusing on new customer growth.
This path has proven very fruitful. “We have grown and evolved exponentially in recent years,” says Greg Gurewitz, GAP’s CEO. “Our firm has added technologically advanced equipment, steadily enhanced our workforce, and set our sights on new and exciting products. It is this evolution that has allowed us to a serve a larger, more complex customer base, while still caring for the loyal and dedicated customers who got us here. In the last eight years, we have grown an astounding 75%.”
To meet its ever-evolving consumer demand, Great American Packaging decided to purchase a new Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica EVO-XD eight-color press. Bruce Carter, GAP’s president, explains that the decision grew from the firm’s need for extra capacity due to its high growth, an ability to process print, to improve quality in terms of better control and error detection, and to become more cost competitive.
“We are excited about the opportunities the new Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica EVO-XD press will bring to Great American Packaging,” says Carter. “The new capabilities and increase in productivity it brings will be key in delivering success in our production environment. The new press will give us the tools and resources to grow into new markets we have not yet been able to penetrate. The EVO-XD will bring us greater efficiency and productivity through increased printing widths, faster printing speeds, quicker changeovers, better quality control and process print capabilities. This competitive advantage will allow us to produce recyclable multi-layer pouches and films with sophisticated artwork in a cost-effective way.”
The Flexotecnica EVO-XD eight-color press will be the main workhorse press for Great American Packaging. It will increase the six-color custom printed products currently being produced to eight colors as well as allow the firm to create multi-color images in both process and spot color to meet the demands of all of its customers and the ever-increasing demand for sophisticated images and branding. Art and decoration on flexible packaging is one of the key differentiators in the market place today. The management team at Great American Packaging has set goals to provide better, more highly decorated products for its customers and consumers.
Great American’s press operators are eager to take advantage of the high level of automation on the EVO-XD, which include optical error detection, automated viscosity control, auto washup, auto impression setting, servo control, memory of all-important job settings, automatic splicing, and automatic tension control.
“When we compared the major flexographic press manufacturers, we found Koenig & Bauer to offer the right combination of build quality, company size, technology, and commitment to the U.S. market, sales support and value to make it the right choice for our company,” says Gurewitz. “They offered superior reliability paired with a sleek and functional design. We were especially won over by the cutting-edge support systems for maintenance and repair. Interactive glasses allow our print operators to connect with a Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica technician and give them a real-time view of our equipment.”
Founded more than 50 years ago in Los Angeles, Great American Packaging is a family-owned-and-operated, multi-million-dollar company with multiple extruders, printing presses and converting equipment. It is located in the heart of the city’s manufacturing district in a 40,000-square-foot facility. While the firm now operates as a mature, sizable company, its core beliefs in customer collaboration, problem solving and industry-best standards drive Great American Packaging’s operations at every level, every day.