Cover Story--Wide-Open Opportunities
Coating Excellence International produces photo-quality images with water-based inks on W&H flexo presses.
COATING EXCELLENCE INTERNATIONAL (CEI, Wrightstown, Wis.) started out in life in 1997 as an extrusion company, focusing on poly-coating and poly-laminating paper substrates using a 105" Egan Davis Standard high-speed extruder. It wasn't long, however, before the company expanded into the printing business, installing a new 8-color Windmoeller & Hoelscher flexographic press in January of 2000. Later that same year, CEI doubled its capacity, adding another 105" Egan extruder, a second Windmoeller & Hoelscher press, and support equipment. The company has continued to expand its facilities, adding two additional Windmoeller & Hoelscher presses this year, along with an adhesive coater and laminator.
Bringing printing in-house
CEI serves a wide variety of markets, including ream wrap, food packaging, flexible packaging, industrial, and release markets. The company originally got into package printing to support its ream wrapper business. According to Mike Nowak, president of CEI, their original thinking was to make the base product and outsource the printing. They quickly discovered, however, that they needed to control the total quality of the product; and to meet their own stringent quality standards, they decided to do the printing in-house. This also helped meet a key need to provide their customers with quick turnaround and superior service, which Nowak says, are key elements for CEI's continued business success.
The four Windmoeller & Hoelscher 50" Astroflex presses have more than met CEI's needs, says Nowak. "We print very high-quality products for the retail market and the W&H presses provide excellent quality to meet this need," he states. "We also print logo-type printing for the commercial market, and the heavy-duty W&H presses let us produce these more commodity-type products at very high speeds to keep our costs down."
Some of CEI's higher end products require photograph-quality images. These products are used for packaging high-quality, high-priced reams of paper on the retail shelf. According to Nowak, much of the ream wrap that contains a photo on the wrapping at stores such as Office Depot and Staples is printed by CEI.