Offering leading-edge packaging solutions has made London, Ontario-based Jones Packaging one of the premier printers in Canada for more than 130 years.
Jones Packaging is internationally recognized for its expertise in printed packaging, contract packaging, medication dispensing and delivery products. The company is a healthcare focused organization that prints everything from folding cartons, labels, leaflets, pouching, blister packaging, vial filling and secondary packaging to a wide range of specialized dispensing and compliance products for pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care.
DuPontTM Cyrel® FAST was the plate of choice for Jones Packaging over the past eight years. While they were satisfied with the performance of FAST and viewed their supplier as a long-time trusted partner, increasing demands of the pharma business required superior reproduction of smaller type and details that the plate could not address.
For these types of jobs, Jones Packaging utilized specialized, outside suppliers with the technology to produce flexo plates that met higher standards. James Lee, Director, Technology and Innovation for the company, realized this technology could be brought in-house to provide them with better control of production and costs. As a result, a search began to find a prepress supplier to assist the company with this objective.
Lee did not want to make a significant capital investment in imaging equipment and technology that would make DuPont FAST work better. He believed there was a material that would deliver better performance without this kind of investment. Lee was aware that Anderson & Vreeland offered water-wash technology with the potential to achieve much better quality at the right price point. It was important to review any and all the options the industry had to offer to find the best plate material and supplier.
Jones Packaging tested plates from five different companies including Anderson & Vreeland (Cosmolight). “It was pretty clear, rather quickly that the water-wash technology offered by A&V was a better way of achieving the quality objective,” said Lee. However, the scope of the evaluation process went far beyond printing plate quality. “Quality and price were important factors, but of greater importance was the support level offered by the plate supplier,” noted Lee.
After an evaluation process that lasted almost six months, Jones Packaging selected Cosmolight water-wash plates, offered by Anderson & Vreeland. “Our decision was based on many factors,” said Lee. “Our incumbent supplier was a long-time trusted partner, however, they could not provide the level of service we needed through their distribution channel and I felt that Anderson & Vreeland did,” noted Lee.
Jones Packaging purchased a 25” x 30” Orbital X plate processor and a Whirl-A-Way filtration system from A&V Canada. Jessica Harkins, Technologies Manager for A&V, and Martin Schofield, Technical Sales Representative for A&V Canada, worked closely with Jones’ personnel during the installation.
A&V’s technical support and ability to transition from the prepress department to the pressroom was something new for Jones Packaging. “We were so incredibly impressed with A&V when the installation was done,” said Lee. “They supplied us with scientific data detailing what our plate setter was doing, created curves that met the requirements we wanted to achieve, and provide feedback as to what was actually happening on press. The level of reporting was incredibly professional. Anderson & Vreeland did not just sell us a better plate material. They validated that it was a better plate material during the installation process. We weren’t expecting that, because we have never seen that,” said Lee.
Jones Packaging personnel were impressed with the support provided by A&V that went beyond the installation of plate processing equipment. “As an example, right now as we speak, I have staff participating in an Anderson & Vreeland webinar,” said Lee, who was referring to Anderson & Vreeland’s Technical Tip Webinar Series; the first of which featured tips on how to improve flexo plate production.
Results speak volumes
Jones Packaging is pleased with their decision. Judging by feedback from press operators, the fine type is crystal clear and screens print better: nice, crisp and clean. Randy Allen, Web Department Supervisor for Jones Packaging, noted “The plates are printing higher-quality dots and screens than we ever had before. We are holding 1 pt. type with greater clarity and consistency than we even thought was possible.”Melissa King, Lead Platemaker for Jones Packaging, is also pleased with Cosmolight plates. “We use plates multiple times and Cosmolight cleans up better, and you don’t have to clean them as often during a press run. The fact that our press operators say ‘Cosmolight plates transfer ink better’ and ‘hold detail better’ are impressive statements,” added King.
Lee said “I haven’t had a single person say a negative comment about Cosmolight plates.” Lee asked his pressroom manager about the switch to Cosmolight plates. In addition to improved ink transfer and performance, they don’t have to fight with plates anymore. Some adjustments were required, but those adjustments are all positive, making it faster and easier to set up while getting the quality standard they target. In fact, they are hitting those targets much easier.
Life is good when you have satisfied customers like Jones Packaging. I’d like to thank James Lee, Melissa King and Randy Allen for speaking about their transition to water-wash platemaking. I’d also like to thank everyone at Jones Packaging for your business and placing your trust in Anderson & Vreeland.