Consistent Across the Board
Gravure is alive and well—that's how Charles Mace, vice president of sales and marketing, beverage packaging, at Zumbiel Packaging (www.zumbiel.com) puts it. And, that comes from someone who admittedly has figured gravure to fade away. "Even we have predicted the demise of gravure over the years," he says. "But it's still a preferred method for beverage packaging, and that's the good news for gravure."For Zumbiel, gravure printing continues to be a very viable option for its customers. With this process being used extensively in the beverage packaging industry, having the capability to print with the repeatability gravure offers is critical. But, Zumbiel has been able to do something else with gravure that not many printers have managed—using gravure to print short-run jobs.
Zumbiel Packaging (Cincinnati, OH) has been around in one form or another since 1843. Its business was primarily dry goods at its inception, but eventually transitioned to making boxes for the dry goods. It has been in the Zumbiel family since 1876. Today, cousins Tom Zumbiel Jr., Mike Zumbiel, Ed Zumbiel, and Joe Norton join Tom Zumbiel Sr., and Bob Zumbiel in operating the business.
A folding carton printer, the company comprises two divisions: beverage (including beer, soft drinks, energy drinks, and teas) and consumer products (with small boxes, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals). Its 11 (three gravure) presses are located in two facilities. The widest gravure press the company owns is 48˝. Two of the presses are Champlaigne-manufactured, and the third is a Zerand press. Zumbiel can print up to 8 colors on webs up to 67˝ wide or sheets up to 55˝ (on its litho press).
The printer recently moved into a new 320,000-sq. ft. facility for its beverage business. It finished moving all its equipment to the new facility in June 2007. Expanding into such a facility also demonstrates the health of the company. "This is exciting. In an industry where people are consolidating and shutting down, we built a brand new facility," says Mace. The new facility has a modern workflow, according to Tom Zumbiel, marketing director, Beverage Division, with receiving at one end, manufacturing in the middle, and shipping at the other end. "It's exactly like logic would tell you," indicates Zumbiel. "We're not inhibited by legacies."