- May 31, 2006, Nsenga Byrd Thompson, Associate Editor
With manufacturing and corporate headquarters located in central Ohio, MFM Building Products has focused on developing, testing, and producing specialty sealing materials for more than 40 years.
The company began in the mid-1960s as Mineral Fiber Mfg., creating products used for wrapping underground pipes and eventually expanding this technology to develop sealing and waterproofing products for use within the general construction industry.
Today MFM produces self-adhesive products for residential and commercial weatherproofing. These products are printed and laminated, many for private-label customers, and often carry company logos and product identification numbers that MFM prints using flexographic and inkjet printers.
Converting equipment—much of it manufactured or modified in-house—includes Diagraph inkjet printers and Erhardt + Leimer web guides.
But according to Tony Williams, maintenance manager at MFM, the print quality of its flexographic press fell short of expectations. Realizing he had to improve flexo capabilities, Williams launched an Internet search to find potential replacements for the under-performing press. Fate brought him to Bell-Mark.
“I hadn’t worked with Bell-Mark before, so I started talking with representatives with the company,” recalls Williams. “Bell-Mark took a tour of our plant and looked at what we wanted to do. We [discussed] our printing problems, and they introduced us to their printer. They gave us a lot of samples of projects other customers had done using their machine. They were extremely helpful.”
Williams says MFM was impressed and decided to bring in Bell-Mark’s customized free-standing flexo press with an enclosed doctor blade assembly for laminating operations.
“Being able to print these products is a big part of our business. Bell-Mark saw what we were doing, looked at the kind of drying times we had and what our contact points were, and specified the lines. They took everything into consideration and set us up with a printer they thought would work best for us.”
Williams says the printer delivered as promised.
“They customized the actual roll diameter that the print pad is attached to, since we already had several different print pads in stock. We really increased our printing dramatically. We probably have had about a 200 to 300 percent increase in the amount of printing that we’ve done since we installed the Bell-Mark 2004.”
Williams reports the printer is versatile and runs in-line with other converting equipment. “The Bell-Mark has allowed us to upgrade to some of the more vibrant-colored, dye-based inks, and it’s also increased our quality of print dramatically. The machine has a lot better capabilities of following our web speeds, keeping up with our production rates, and still maintaining print quality while doing this.
“We can route through the printing area or route around it through the idler rolls. That allows us to maintain the printer in position and in alignment constantly.”
With the Bell-Mark now an important fixture within its operation, MFM print capabilities meet Williams’ high expectations. “With our old flexographic printer, our printing quality wasn’t exactly what we thought we could achieve. The Bell-Mark printer took us up to the next level. Ink consumption went way down, print quality is way up, and evaporation and [other details] are pretty much minimized.”
MFM Building Products
525 Orange Street
Cochocton, OH 43812
Erhardt + Leimer—erhardt-leimer-us.com
Diagraph, an ITW company—diagraph.com