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Mondi Jackson has been rotogravure printing for many years. But not too long ago, when it was serious about expanding more into flexo, it needed someone to come in and take its operations to the next level. The task was left to James Giannini, a packaging printing veteran.
“Flexo in this building was new to Mondi, so I was brought in here trying to get the traction with a lot of new work coming in,” says Giannini, a 23-year veteran of the packaging industry. “I came in and assessed the situation. Basically, we kind of rebuilt the foundation all over again. We started changing a lot of stuff to really dial it in.”
Giannini, who works as the print manager at Mondi Jackson, oversees five presses and a team of about 90 workers. He also oversees the ink department, the cylinder department and the pre-press department. He started off printing rotogravure in 1995 and then got into flexo printing in 2003. When he arrived at Mondi Jackson, the team already had the roto division down pat. It was the flexo printing that needed some TLC.
“I walked into a group of guys that had the roto side under control,” Giannini says. “It made it really easy to focus on reshaping the flexo side. I had free reign from the people above me to do what I needed to do and test what I needed to test to get things to where we needed them to be. I had a lot of support here that you don’t get at a lot of places.”
Giannini says the flexo process was too standardized and the profiles weren’t ideal. He worked with separators to make platemaking more consistent, changed out photopolymers, redid line screens on anilox rolls, tweaked solvent blends and changed blades, among other improvements. He also worked hard in training workers on flexo.
“There were a lot of guys here that were very new to flexo,” he says. “It was a lot of developing guys that had printed roto and kind of helping them along the way of learning.”
Giannini’s hard work has more than paid off. He says that customers who visit the site routinely praise the pressroom for its cleanliness. Giannini is also hailed by his peers for going above and beyond to meet customer requirements.
“We’ll work to 3, 4 o’clock in the morning doing job after job, just trying to get stuff done for the customers,” Giannini says. “My phone is 24/7. If they need me, I have no problem coming here in the middle of the night. We have a good synergy here, everyone works really well together. It’s a very unique place as far as that goes. There are a lot of strong bonds here, especially between the departments, the managers, the upper level. You have a lot of production guys here that came up through the ranks and really understand the process fully. They all get it. When there’s a problem, it’s all hands on deck. It’s nice to be in that kind of an environment.”