- March 01, 2001, Claudia Hine, Senior Editor
For the small, family-owned firm of Schultz Bros. USA, located in Addison, IL, pivotal moments have taken the firm to the next business level.
Five years ago brothers Edward and Michael Schultz bought a 7-in. Mark Andy 830 three-color, central impression press and set up a label printing operation in Ed's garage in Lisle, IL. Nine months later, long-run orders for very small rolls were increasing, forcing the company to add a turret rewinder to the operation.
“It wouldn't fit into my garage,” says Ed. “It was a little tall and would have gone through one of my daughter's bedrooms or something, so that's when we decided to come out to Addison and make a go of it here.”
The KTI MR13 turret rewinder is housed easily in the company's 3,000-sq-ft space in an industrial park where Schultz Bros. runs 18 hours a day during the week with two shifts. Ed serves as president; Mike is VP. The company provides labels to the healthcare market and also does work for other printers.
Backlog of Orders Leads to Purchase
Another pivotal moment in the company's history came last year. Ed Schultz explains: “We were working seven days a week for three or four months at a time. It was obvious that we were just getting buried with work, so that's when we started looking at used equipment, but we weren't very happy with what was out there. We heard about the Mark Andy Scout, we went and took a look at it, and we bought it.”
In fact, Schultz Bros. bought the very first Scout that Mark Andy sold.
Some converters might be hesitant to buy the first new model of anything, but Schultz says, “I was comfortable with Mark Andy. I knew there could be some problems going in with the first one, so we were kind of prepared for the little things that were going to go wrong, but we had an overall confidence in Mark Andy that they would make it right if it wasn't.”
The Scout is a 10-in. press that Schultz calls “affordable.” He notes, “With some of the used equipment that's out there, it was not a big jump at all to buy the Scout instead. It puts you into a new press without anybody else's problems.”
The need for six print decks was a critical part of the decision to buy a new press, and the Scout can be equipped with up to eight print stations. “We absolutely had to have that capability, because it's a must for the other printers we work for,” Schultz explains. “The other big thing was the turn bar; we do a lot of stuff two-sides, and the ability to move the turn bar to any station was a big part of our decision.”
The company runs a great deal of paper and some films. On a typical job, for example, it prints 1-mil polyester and laminates 1-mil polypropylene to it, then die-cuts, perforates, and winds it into a tape, all in-line. Speeds vary from 75 to 300 fpm; 133-line screens are typical.
Substrate suppliers include Rotary Paper Manifold, Eagle Converting, MACtac, Spinnaker Coating, and FLEXcon. Schultz Bros. uses all water-based inks, which are supplied by Arcar Graphics. Action Rotary Die supplies die tooling.
Long Runs, Short Press
Schultz expects the investment in the Scout will bring new business. “With the type of equipment we had, we couldn't compete for long-run process work. This equipment will help us get into long runs and be able to do it efficiently.”
He adds that the press has paid off already. The Scout is a fairly short press, Schultz says, so “setup and waste is actually less than with the [Mark Andy] 2200. As far as makereadies, they're fairly simple, and it's pretty easy to wash up. You can take a whole cassette out and drop it right in the sink.”
As far as new-model glitches, Schultz says there were a few, but as expected, “Mark Andy responded to everything. They were here within a day with the parts. They were on the phone with us on a daily basis. They wanted to make sure everything was right, so they were very attentive to what was going on.”
In fact, Schultz says his company was selling labels produced on the Scout just two days after the press was dropped off at the plant.
Future plans call for adding another turret rewinder, which Schultz says is his number one priority. As far as new markets, “What we want to do is look at more of the high-end labels. That's probably what we'll focus on next. But right now we still have a lot of work to catch up on, and people are asking us for more and more, so we're thinking of going to another shift.”
It sounds as though another pivotal moment has arrived for this family-owned firm.
Schultz Bros. USA Inc.
1001 Republic, #11
Addison, IL 60101
Mark Andy Inc., Chesterfield, MO; 636/532-4433; markandy.com
KTI/Keene Technology, South Beloit, IL; 815/624-8989; keenetech.com
Rotary Paper Manifold, Schiller Pk., IL; 847/678-9095
Eagle Converting, Lombard, IL; 630/495-8870
MACtac, Stow, OH; 330/688-1111; mactac.com
Spinnaker Coating, Troy, OH; 937/332-6500; spinnakercoating.com
FLEXcon Co., Spencer, MA; 508/885-8200; flexcon.com
Arcar Graphics, West Chicago, IL; 630/231-7313; arcar.com
Action Rotary Die, Addison, IL; 630/628-6830