Pressing Quality Ever Forward
A new Mark Andy LP3000 flexo press helps Western Shield Label build on a foundation of quality work, and reach new heights in efficiency, reliability, and market presence.
By Susan Busch
IT'S NEARING THE end of another hectic business day, and Frank Connelly, president of Gardena, Calif.-based flexo converter Western Shield Label, is recharging with an afternoon cup of coffee. The challenges Connelly and his team have navigated throughout the day—rounding up vendor resources to ensure a client's printed-material needs can be met, and exploring press configurations to arrive at the best way to run a custom job—illustrate the culture of responsiveness and reliability he has worked to build since joining the company in 2001.
It's a culture—and formula for success—Western Shield has refined through both improvements in operating techniques and an upgrade in press technology. Initially, Connelly led the careful honing of production processes to ensure consistent high-quality performance. Now, this converter has further enhanced its quality standards with the purchase of a new 10˝, 10-color Mark Andy LP3000 flexo press.
For the 18-employee company, which Connelly describes as "big enough to have the right capabilities and capacity, and small enough to be flexible and responsive to the market," installation of the LP3000 press marks its transition from a converter on an empowering learning curve to a long-term player in the narrow-web arena.
Quality processes and markets
Located just 10 minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport, Western Shield offers turnkey narrow-web converting capability for labels and small-format packaging—from graphic services and platemaking, to flexo, UV flexo, and combination printing and slitting/rewinding. Its founders were early adopters of UV flexo technology, and Connelly has continued the focus on this process, estimating its use in 70 percent of their work.
While the majority of Western Shield's print jobs are prime labels, other common job types include IRCs (instantly redeemable coupons), re-sealable tabs, pouches, and expanded content labels. On any given day, materials on-press may range from pressure-sensitive paper, film, or foil, to laminated films. Run lengths can vary from 1,000 pieces up to several million.