Over the last 10 years, Adams Litho’s percentage of sales in packaging has been skyrocketing. With expectations that packaging sales will continue to increase in the next several years, Adams Litho, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, invested in several Heidelberg machines — a Speedmaster CD 102-6+L, a Diana Easy 115, a Easymatrix 106 CS, and Versafire EP in order to offer their customers the highest quality packages for any run length.
According to Wyatt Hogue, President of Adams Litho, “Packaging is growing – it’s not going away. You go into any store, and it’s all about which package stands out on the shelf. It’s crucial to our company that we are able to provide what is needed to produce unique and higher end packages to our customers.”
Flexible Press for Large Variety of Substrates
In order to print the highest quality packages for their customers, Adams Litho chose the best-selling 6-color Speedmaster CD 102 with UV capabilities — their third CD press — for its flexible processing of a large variety of jobs and materials.
“The CDs have always been a great fit for us,” said Hogue. “Currently, our newest CD 102 is sitting next to our 2008 Speedmaster CD 102-6+L; however, our new press has UV capabilities, which allows us to print on uncoated paper and different non-porous substrates. We run UV 100% of the time, 24 hours a day, five days a weeks, and our operators have loved running it.”
Running at speeds up to 15,000 sheets an hour, the Speedmaster CD 102 is the world’s most popular range of machines in the 70◊100 cm format. Delivering up to 40 million impressions per year, the easy-to-use CD 102 offers short makeready times and an attractive price/performance ratio — maximizing the profit potential of its output.
The Folder-Gluer that Grows with Adams Litho
Even though Adams Litho had the capabilities of printing high-end packages on their CD 102, the company was outsourcing their folding-gluing. According to Hogue, “We outsourced to great vendors, but this caused us to lose time and control. In order to make sure that we are offering our customers the best, we knew that we needed to bring a folder-gluer in-house. We visited many vendors to pick out our folder gluer. However, once we saw the Diana Easy 115 at Print Media Center Atlanta, we knew that the Diana was right for us.”
Built on the solid foundation of Diana technology, the Diana Easy allows easy entry into the folding carton market as the machine can grow with Adams Litho’s requirements — whether they need field upgrades for rear folding, inline ejection, central carriers or higher speeds. Like the other Diana models, the Diana Easy offers a high degree of operator friendliness, such as feed belts, which can be changed in less than a minute as no shafts have to be pulled and allows you to run stretch sensitive surfaces. Another support mechanism on the machine is Digiset, a software that suggests the position of each carrier, even for the first makeready, after the operator enters the key carton dimensions.
According to Hogue, “it’s the perfect model for us. As this is our first folder-gluer, we really wanted a machine that was easy to learn and to love for our operators. Our goal is to fill this Diana Easy up to maximum capacity and buy another one – it’s going to be a huge segment for us.”
High Precision Diecutter to Expand Productivity
“After the Diana purchase, we looked at our print shop, and we noticed that we still weren’t reaching our full potential. We had a press and a folder-gluer that were going to be able to expand our capacity; however, our diecutter was holding us back,” said Hogue.
By replacing their older diecutter with the Easymatrix 106 CS, Adams Litho was able to increase their productivity by over 100%. The Easymatrix runs at speeds of up to 7,700 sheets per hour and gives Adams Litho even shorter makeready times thanks to the intuitive touchscreen interface, along with the motorized cutting pressure adjustment and quick-lock technology for dies and stripping tools. With a full 41” format and non-stop functionality in the feeder and delivery, longer runs can be processed efficiently.
“We can’t have a bottleneck here at Adams Litho. All of our machines need to be performing at industry-leading speeds and with the highest quality. With our Easymatrix on board, we no longer have a weak link in our print shop,” said Hogue.
Digital Press Perfect for Packaging
For short run commercial and packaging work, Adams Litho chose the Versafire EP due to its ability to support 24 point stock plus a variety of synthetics. According to Hogue, “If someone needs a very small run of a package, we can actually put it on the Versafire and run 500 packages. Before, we were limited in how heavy of the substrate we could use, so these capabilities are a huge deal for us.”
Printing with an image resolution of 4,800 x 2,400 dpi and a new toner formula, the Versafire EP is able to impress all of their customers, while also maintaining high throughput and reliable production. According to Hogue, “We looked at a variety of digital presses, and when we got the samples back from each one, the Versafire’s samples definitely stood out amongst the rest.”
Service We Depend On
As a complete Heidelberg shop, Adams Litho also has several Stahlfolder and POLAR cutters in their print shop and also uses Prinect to help drive their workflow. As a partner of Heidelberg for decades, Adams Litho continues to choose Heidelberg for their service and dependability.
“When working in the printing industry, you have to know that you are going to be down, but you need to find a vendor that is going to get you back up and running as fast as possible. If I have a service call this afternoon, Heidelberg will be here tomorrow morning with a part already on order,” said Hogue. “We strive to give our customers the best service, and we look for that in a vendor. Heidelberg definitely does that for us.”