US-based flexible packaging specialist LMI has partnered with All Printing Resources (APR) to improve its flexo print quality by switching to MacDermid plates and track the inventory with APR’s SupplySentry RFID management system.
Located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, LMI Packaging has been supplying the flexible packaging industry for more than half a century across several end-use segments, including food, beverage, health and beauty, household products, and pet care.
Having recently ventured into pressure-sensitive application formats, the company sought a closer partnership with a plate supplier who would offer the technical service it needed. After evaluating multiple suppliers, the company decided to switch to the MacDermid range of flexo plates provided by APR.
‘It was all about APR’s service culture. It just seemed like whenever we needed something, APR was there, and it continues to be here when we need it. They’re so knowledgeable in so many areas,’ commented Christine Busch, LMI’s creative services manager. ‘We use Esko products and the other plate suppliers we were looking at didn’t have the people in-house who really know the software well and would ultimately have had to send us to somebody else for support, whereas APR was here within a few hours if we needed them to be, and they know everything about the Esko product line and helped us upgrade our CDI system.’
During the supplier evaluation process, LMI faced a few challenges with its existing plates and reaching the high-definition levels required for some of its flexo applications.
‘APR delivered some plates for us to trial, and we were able to get the pop with some of our applications that we really needed,’ added Busch. ‘We’ve had a lot of success with the flat dots once we upgraded our CDI system. It’s a better print. I always say that with a round dot, you can smash the plates down on the press as hard as you can, and you’ll still get that halo look. With a flat dot, it’s flat, so you can’t really push that dot down, and it has helped us to eliminate haloing. Partnering with APR has also brought our plate costs down.’
LMI has also invested in APR’s SupplySentry RFID inventory management system. Installed last year, it is tracking everything the creative services department uses, including papers, plate materials, towels, stickybacks, tapes, and ink for desktop printers.
‘Before installing APR’s SupplySentry, we always had somebody ordering materials but didn’t know when the last box of a certain material was gone,’ said Busch. ‘We were in a place where we had to spend the money to rush orders of tape, stickyback, or doctor blades because somebody used the last box and the person who orders materials wasn’t aware of that.’