G7 Expertise Improves Packaging Production at Elif
Elif is a global leader and trusted partner in personal and home care flexible packaging in Europe and the MEA region, providing solutions for the food, beverage, and pet care industries. With services viewed as a benchmark in flexible packaging through an innovative management approach, the company also works to create value in the spirit of leadership through diversity and integrity, with a clear awareness of its responsibility in this space.
The company began in 1972 and encompasses two world-class plants with state-of-the-art machinery in Istanbul and Cairo, over 1,600 employees produce flexible packaging that is used in more than 200 production sites in over 50 countries. Elif has grown into one of the largest facilities in Turkey with a combined revenue of $200M annually. Being a model manufacturer in the flexible packaging industry on a global scale, Elif works closely with customers to innovate for their success and to reach their sustainability expectations. Elif’s concrete goal is to develop packaging that is 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.
Elif customers include leading global brands such as Procter & Gamble (P&G), Henkel, Ontex, Kimberly-Clark, Drylock Technologies, Walgreens, and more. Given the company’s high-profile clientele and need to produce consistent, exemplary printed products, the company hired industry veteran Derek Peacock as Group Design and Print Quality Senior Operations Manager.
Peacock was tasked to elevate the quality of work produced for its global customers and overall operations. Prior to his role at Elif, Peacock was an on-site category manager at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Belgium. From his time in packaging, he came to know Elif as part of the P&G print and packaging supply chain. “At Elif, we are always looking for new ways to increase print quality and continue to raise the bar in customer satisfaction,” said Peacock. “I began hearing the term ‘G7’ more and more and became intrigued as it pertained to how greatly it can affect color quality and consistency.”
In the realm of G7 and standards-based certification and training, Idealliance is the global leader for printing and graphic arts operations across the entire industry supply chain. Idealliance is a membership-based association and division of PRINTING United Alliance – the most comprehensive printing and graphic arts association in North America.
After meeting with Idealliance Europe Managing Director Alan Lawlor to learn more about G7 and its benefits, Peacock decided it was time to evaluate the potential for G7 to transform the way Elif worked. From there, Peacock traveled to Antwerp for training with color management guru and Idealliance G7 trainer, Ron Ellis. No other companies in Turkey had embraced G7 just yet and Elif, being the highly regarded, progressive and cutting edge company it is, wanted to be the first.
“We got so much out of the training from Idealliance with Ron Ellis and immediately saw the benefits and how we could implement into our processes at Elif,” said Peacock. “Under the tutelage of Ellis and Idealliance, we passed the certification exams with flying colors (no pun intended) and became G7 Experts. Once we completed the certification training, we presented the concept of standardization and value of G7 to our executive management team, and they were immediately on board. Our goal now is to have the entire facility certified. That’s how confident we are in the value of Idealliance G7 certification.”
From Novice to G7 Training Host Site
In March, Elif hosted the event "Training for G7 Expert and Professional Certification Live Online" in collaboration with Idealliance Europe on March 15. The multi-day training focused on G7-based print and packaging applications, and G7 integration, maintenance, and process control across all print and proofing applications through cutting-edge, online learning. Attendees received extensive practical hands-on demonstration, discussion, and collaboration to earn certification as G7 Experts.
“Idealliance and Elif collaborated to host an online training session which gave not just our design team but staff across the entire workflow process the opportunity to become qualified, trained experts. The training has been very intense and hard-working but has shown maximum effect for my team and the rest of the students. Hosting this special has made Elif a great partner to Idealliance Europe principles.”
Improving Quality While Saving Time: The Elif Way
The G7 methodology has allowed Elif to implement ISO printing standards and additional metrics; it has allowed for the team to ensure similar neutral appearance across multiple devices; align all process, substrates, and inks; target gray balance and tonality; all important to meeting the demands of leading global brands. Color quality and consistency has significantly increased since implementing G7 at the facility.
In addition to consistency, Elif has been able to greatly improve quality and reap the benefits of significantly reduced turnaround times. “One of brands we work with, for example, does job approvals online. What was taking 30 minutes to an hour to review/approve now takes only 10-15 minutes. It’s incredible. We are hitting the job correctly the first time. I even asked the client in this case if he could tell which was the proof and which was the print sample, and he couldn’t. It was that spot on.”
Given Elif’s prominence and leadership in the region, the company has become one of the largest entities with G7-certified staff in one location through its entire processes. What originally began as just an ethereal concept, Peacock has now become an expert. “Two short years ago, I had no idea what G7 was,” he said. “Now if someone asks me about G7, I can talk to them for hours and hours about it and the benefit of implementing G7 into their processes. We are constantly telling our customers about G7 and the vast benefits they’ll see.”
Peacock says that, in speaking about sustainability for the future, his team greatly believes that G7 will offer an incredible advantage. As customers tend to worry about color and designs being affected as it pertains to PCR materials, as well as the recyclability factor, he sees G7 as a ‘green stamp’ for the future as we take a closer look at substrates
“To put it simply, G7 has simplified our proof-to-press process,” Peacock concludes. “The methodologies we’ve been able to achieve with Idealliance and G7 certification will allow Elif to continue as a leading packaging supplier for years to come."
Idealliance is part of the PRINTING United Alliance family, the most comprehensive printing and graphic arts association in North America. For more information about Idealliance G7 and other standards-based certification and training, visit: www.idealliance.org. Follow Idealliance on Linkedin. For more information about Elif and its G7-certified operations, visit: https://elif.com/. Follow Elif on Linkedin.