Temkin Stands Out with the Right Flexo Tools
For more than 35 years, Temkin International has been providing superior flexible packaging products to a wide variety of clients by focusing on the core principles of service, value and distinction. The company got its start as a floral packaging manufacturer and now offers a range of high-quality pouches, bags, sleeves and rigid containers – all with a focus on environmentally responsible manufacturing practices that are good for employees, customers and the community. From package design to finishing and delivery, all services are offered under one roof.
“From day one, when we started in my garage, we have been responding to customer needs and working with them individually to come up with innovative ideas and approaches that make them unique,” says Danny Temkin, president, Temkin International. “We do everything in house and are always looking to the future, but we never take our eye off the realities and demands of the present.”
As a privately-held business founded by Temkin back in 1980, Temkin International now has more than 600 employees at four major facilities around the world in Utah, Florida, Toronto and Colombia. Eight modern flexographic presses are fed by a prepress team of 14 professionals using the latest imaging and plate technologies to deliver outstanding reproduction of color and quality. Executives are not afraid to invest in new technology that enables them to improve the quality of the finished package while boosting productivity and enhancing efficiency.
“Our company culture is rooted in the belief that the customer is the most important part of our business – without our customers we wouldn’t be here,” says John Cowens, director of printing and prepress operations. “We develop long-term relationships by over-delivering on service, whether in the initial design of the package and selection of materials or in our extensive quality-control measures that ensure everything is exactly right before it leaves our facilities. That finished product is a direct reflection on our capabilities and our values.”
About five years ago, the prepress team tested the KODAK FLEXCEL NX system for platemaking and knew right away it was different. Printed results with the plates were consistent and predictable, a significant improvement over the other equipment Temkin had been using. The decision was made to switch and the company has been able to differentiate its services with the higher, consistent and repeatable quality while reducing ink usage and boosting opacity and saturation. Feedback from customers continues to prove that their decision was the right one.
Most recently, Temkin began using more advanced features of the NX system. These new screening patterns leverage the unique capabilities of the system to print more opaque whites, enhance overprints and reverse print, achieve better spot color printing and deliver smooth highlight transitions. The advanced surface patterns use a combination of precise size and spacing to provide optimum ink and airflow that enables smoother ink laydowns, reduced pinholing and higher opacities – and it does all of this with a lower volume of ink compared to traditional digital flexo plate technologies.
One other important benefit of using the system has been the ability to come to color very quickly and consistently, from shift to shift. Because the company operates 24 hours a day, it is critical that each shift be able to produce the same results no matter which operator is at the controls. Cowens notes that the operating window is much larger with this technology, making it easier on the whole team. The team is using the technology for every job, regardless of complexity.
Temkin has definitely seen the biggest advantages in the printing of white ink, a particular challenge for flexo-printed flexible packaging. The system includes five expertly engineered advanced plate surface patterns that expand the patterning set and use the advanced capabilities of imaging technology and the plate to improve ink transfer across a wide range of anilox volumes. Users are able to mix and match the patterns to maximize the appearance of the printed product.
“Our whites are much more opaque, our solids are more vibrant and clear and our process printing is even more competitive with rotogravure,” notes Cowens. “Almost all of our jobs are run at 175 line screen, which allows us to produce results that keep clients happy. And because of the success we are having, we are ready now to push more jobs to 200 line screen or higher.”
The company has embraced the options in screening technology to leverage the best approach for each job, depending on what the emphasis is. The new patterns work to give the press operators more options, so they experiment and test until they find the right one. Temkin has its own prepress services in house, which allows the team to quickly image a plate and run it on press to see if it’s the right combination of screening. If it’s not quite right, the prepress department will make an adjustment and try it again. Having both the prepress and printing capabilities in-house gives Temkin a huge competitive advantage.
In addition to the significant cost savings that come from these new screening patterns, Temkin sees an opportunity to improve its quality and earn more business.
“Reduced ink usage or the ability to change aniloxes is great, but we like the ability to improve opacity and really compete head-on with the rotogravure printers…especially the ones who are competing for business overseas,” Cowens says. “To do that, we need to be as efficient as possible.”
Most customers don’t ask Temkin what technology is being used to produce their jobs, but they have come to expect the high quality, attention to detail and customer service that make the company unique in the market. In addition to the increase in work from existing customers, Temkin is gaining lots of new customers as word spreads about its quality.
With the right tools and an ongoing commitment to staying on the leading edge of technology, the company is poised for even more growth in the years ahead.