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  • 09 Sep 2012

Your short-run packaging friend

Island Pro Digital president Kurt Kubik talks to David Pittman about the company and its role in supporting the market for short-run packaging.
New York State-based Island Pro Digital is expanding its short-run packaging capabilities as a result of customer demand.
The company was formed by Kurt Kubik (pictured, left), a former pre-press operator with over 20 years of experience in the print industry, and his son Kyle (pictured, right).
It's a full-service media fabrication company that specializes in digital, offset and wide format printing, and undertakes work for other trade and commercial print shops looking to outsource short-run packaging work, including cartons and boxes.
Nearly all the packaging work Island Pro Digital carries out is from trade customers looking for an economical way to deliver short-run printed packaging to their clients.
By passing the work on to Island Pro Digital they are able to supply clients looking to diversify their product portfolio and packaging requirements.
Taking on the role of a sub-contractor can prove tricky, Kubik explains. ‘I know a lot of the packaging houses from my days as a pre-press operator, and encourage them to give me their short-run packaging work.
‘Some are understandably very protective over their customer lists, and are hesitant at first to share that information with a third-party.
‘Many realize the benefits outweigh the potential costs when they understand that the client is going to go out and look for someone that can do it, who might offer to do the longer run work as well, so you end up losing the business altogether.’
As well as pre-press and package printing services, Island Pro Digital also carries out variable data printing and prototyping, produces hangtags, posters, point of sale displays and tradeshow displays, and has the capacity to do screen printing and embroidery for apparel. Digital audio and video production services are another string to its bow.
However, it is packaging where Kurt Kubik sees future gains for the company. 'We are being rebranded as a short-run packaging and prototyping solution for all industries. We’re able to produce quantities ranging from 1 to 100,000 pieces.’
Formed in December 2009 with a workforce of seven, the company has grown quickly to a staff of 13 and recently moved from its previous 5,550 sq ft facility in Islandia, New York to a new 10,000 sq ft home in Hauppauge, New York.
While using only around three-quarters of its size to begin with, the new facility future-proofs Island Pro Digital and give the business the capacity to continue expanding.
Kubik says: ‘We built our reputation on delivering short-run, high-quality work.
‘When we first opened our doors our customers were primarily within New York State but thanks to our virtual presence we were able to expand our customer base to other states such as California and New Hampshire.’
It operates an array of equipment to provide its services, from a Heidelberg Quickmaster DI and a wide format press to various die cutting and lamination machines.
Kubik wants to see the company keep expanding, both in terms of the amount and types of job it can handle.
This will see the company invest in new technologies and processes, as well as continue to maximize the equipment it already has.
‘We’re able to think outside our capabilities, and to take our existing equipment and re-imagine its original purpose.
He adds: ‘I’m passionate about what we do. We’re good at it and work hard.
‘Packaging houses trust us because they know we’re not going to go after their clients and similarly they know they can trust us to deliver a high quality product at the end.
‘We’re focused on high-quality, short-run work, and handle boxes and packaging jobs on almost a daily basis, but have the potential to do even more.'
The possibilities for growth are coupled with an increasing need for its services across the printing industry, although potential customers may not know of Island Pro Digital.
Kubik says: ‘To make growth happen, we need to get our name spread further in the industry, as I feel like we’re the biggest kept secret out there.’
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