- December 01, 2002, Nsenga Byrd Thompson, Staff Editor
With Glenroy's flexible packaging expertise and Pen & Inc.'s prepress know-how, the two team up for an award-winning association.
What do peas and carrots; a Ferarri and an open stretch of road; and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have in common? They all make great combinations; and in the converting world, good alliances most always yield good products. One company that can testify to this is Glenroy Inc., Menomonee Falls, WI, whose collaboration with prepress house Pen & Inc., Franklin, WI, has helped Glenroy print award-winning packages of vibrant color and high quality.
Glenroy, a family-owned business founded by Roy Jablonka and his parents in 1965, provides flexible packaging rollstock for several industries including cosmetic and personal care; pharmaceutical and medical; industrial; narrow web printers; balloon film for metallized nylon balloons; and thermal laminated film geared toward the graphic arts markets. The company received an Flexible Packaging Assn. Top Packaging Award in 1998, a WorldStar Package Award in 1999, and in 1999 Roy Jablonka was named “Converter of the Year” at CMM (Converting Machinery/
With more than 140 employees, the 128,000-sq-ft facility's exceptionally clean, spacious appearance is home to two Black Clawson extrusion coaters and an Egan extrusion coater; a Paper Converting Machine Co. 51-in. eight-color flexo press and another six-color flexo press (one deck dedicated to gravure coating); seven slitters including two Stanfords, two Camerons, a Dusenbery, and two custom slitters; solvent-based inks supplied by Sun Chemical; and plate mounting equipment that includes two Bieffebi optical mounter proofers.
The one thing that makes Glenroy a standout is its vibrant, high quality flexographic printing. In an effort to maintain its commitment to graphic appeal in its products, Glenroy established a graphics engineering department in 1999 as a solution to the growing problem of organizing and preparing artwork to be printed.
“When I started at Glenroy, the company didn't own a Macintosh computer; all electronic art that came in was assessed from the accompanying printout or the disk was sent to a prepress supplier to have it opened and printed,” says Michael Crownover, graphics manager. “We purchased a computer along with the software needed, and I started previewing files internally. Then we started the graphics engineering department where graphic technician Geoff Van Eimeren and I handle all the artwork including file preview, assessing the job for flexo compatibility, possibly making some design changes, and detailing the ordering of proofs and plates. But for the most part, the more complex adjustments are handled by our outside vendors. So it kind of evolved into the way it is now.”
Crownover says it's quite complex to get all the graphic files in, the proofs made and approved, and plates ready for printing. “It's part of the whole production process. Our part of the process can eat up a lot of time.”
Glenroy uses several quality-driven prepress vendors but passes on a large part of its prepress work to Pen & Inc., a company that has played an important role in Glenroy's production of its award-winning flexible packaging rollstock.
Their collaboration goes back to 1988, almost two years after President Penny Forrest founded Pen & Inc. Providing graphic design, prepress, and analog platemaking, Pen & Inc. takes price in offering customers a variety of graphic art services.
“As far as the services we provide, we like to consider ourselves a ‘one-stop shop,’ from conceptual graphic design, specifically geared towards flexible packaging, all the way to rubber and photopolymer platemaking,” says Alan Jeffcoat, VP of sales and marketing at Pen & Inc.
One secret weapon Pen & Inc. carries in its arsenal is Dalim Software's Litho program for page assembly and imaging. According to Jeffcoat, LiTHO is a high-performance combination of well-known prepress applications for page layout, illustration, and image retouching, making it a desirable tool for anyone working in lithographics. The program can be used for several different types of printing processes, including flexo, and the application is said to enable users to produce modern, plannable, and effective jobs. Pen & Inc. has five stations of the software that it uses for such critical functions as trapping, step and repeat, distortion, and file editing.
Jeffcoat attributes Pen & Inc.'s quality work to its use of Dalim software, as well as other quality graphic arts equipment, which includes four seats of Scitex equipment, three seats of ArtPro, and an upgrade to some of its high-end Artwork Systems equipment.
It's with these quality resources under its roof that Pen & Inc. has been able to provide Glenroy — and other customers — with prepress services that produce eye-catching end products.
Leaving It to the Pros
Although Glenroy has graphics capabilities, the company is content to pass its prepress work to Pen & Inc. and other vendors.
“My boss asked me if we wanted to start getting into doing our own prepress, because some converters were going in-house, but I don't think that's something we would want to get into fully. There is constant change with the technology in that business that would take significant capital purchases,” says Crownover.
“Also, you would have to get some experienced employees right off the bat in order to get up and running. Between the equipment and the trained personnel, it would seem logical that we would have an outside source. It's their business keeping up-to-date and making those improvements. Our vendors buy new equipment and software every year, and they have continual training. To me, that's a whole other business that I wouldn't want to enter,” Crownover adds jokingly.
As with the other vendors Glenroy has used, Pen & Inc. has proven to be up for any task, providing what Crownover describes as “superior customer service.”
“They are extremely diligent in following our specifications and are very prompt with their communication…all the customer service things you can think of in terms of returned phone calls and e-mails. We can fill out a PDF order form and e-mail it to them along with our art files. If the art files are too big to send as an attachment, we can have them stop by and pick up a disk,” says Crownover.
And for a company like Glenroy, which thrives on its commitment to quality products and superior customer service, it would be only fitting they would work with a company that has the same driven commitment.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051;
Pen & Inc., Franklin, WI; 414/421-8262; pen-and-inc.com
Black Clawson Converting Machinery, Fulton, NY; 315/598-7121; blkclawson.com
Bieffebi, Bologna, Italy; +39 51 768580; bieffebi.it
Dalim Software, Kehl, Germany; +49 7851 919655; dalim.com
RG Egan Equipment, Webster, NY; 585/671-0465; rgegan.com
Dusenbery Worldwide, Randolph, NJ; 973/366-7453; dusenbery.com
Elite Cameron, Piscataway, NJ; 732/627-0400; elitecameroninc.com
Paper Converting Machine Co., Green Bay, WI; 920/491-6827; pcmc.com
Stanford Products LLC, Salem, IL; 618/548-2600; stanfordproductsllc.com
Sun Chemical, Ft. Lee, NJ; 201/224-4600; sunchemical.com