- Record-setting 2017 posting a 25% sales volume increase, seeking to surpass that number in 2018
- An additional new industry-leading Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 arrived this summer
- Existing Rapida 106 is more than 20% more productive than non-Koenig & Bauer being removed and handles a much wider ranges of substrates with ease
- Increasing its customer base with value-added specialty and challenging print jobs
While some printers rely on basic conventional print jobs, others set themselves apart by answering the daily challenges put forth by their design and brand customers and rewarding them with high quality award-winning projects. Crossmark Graphics, a 60-employee, woman-owned firm, which provides printing on plastics, packaging, point-of-purchase, lenticular and direct mail, in addition to a range of commercial work, falls into the latter category. This WI-based firm, founded by Jim Dobrzynski Sr in 1987, prides itself on becoming a trusted partner—not simply a supplier---to customers in the pharmaceutical, retail, automotive and technology markets. It has found tremendous growth opportunities with this business model leading to a record 2017 sales year and seeking to surpass that number in 2018.
“Our goal is to make magic on paper or whatever unique substrate we’re using,” says Jim Dobrzynski Sr. “Every day, we’re faced with new challenging jobs that utilize different techniques. It’s our mandate to use individually adapted processes for whatever we’re producing: lenticular greeting cards, promotional giveaways, or food packaging. Our success is based on being a solution-oriented customer-centric business.”
Having just marked its 30 year anniversary, Crossmark is celebrating a record-setting 2017, posting a sales increase of 25%. Orders are flowing into the business this year at a fast rate and sales, says Dobrzynski, could easily surpass last year’s high mark. To keep up with this sales explosion, the industry-leading firm is supporting its exceptional growth with the additional firepower of a new Koenig & Bauer press to its 65,000 sq ft facility, which was installed in late summer.
“Eighteen months ago, we installed our first Koenig & Bauer Rapida press, renowned for many industry-leading technologies for automation, quality and speed, and being able to handle paper, plastic film substrates and board up to 40 point,” says Dobrzynski. “It’s become our workhorse running two shifts a day Monday through Thursday and one shift on Friday. To keep up with our extraordinary demand, we signed a new contract for a second Rapida 106 41-inch six-color press to run in tandem with our existing Koenig & Bauer. It couldn’t get here fast enough. Why did we choose Koenig & Bauer once again? Because our existing Rapida 106 is more than 20% more productive than the non-Koenig & Bauer press that we’re removing from our facility and that press is less than five years old. Plus, our customers actually ask to have their jobs printed on the Rapida 106 due to its exceptional high quality.”
To squeeze even more efficiency from its workflow, Crossmark is taking advantage of Koenig & Bauer’s innovative technology and incorporating its DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed, and fully automated plate changing system on the incoming Rapida 106 press. This system will boost production at Crossmark, making it even more efficient and profitable, as well as furthering faster turnaround, and increasing output. Ultrafast makeready will be enjoyed due to simultaneous plate changing, and inline color measurements and fully automated register will safeguard quality, and maximum production speed of 18,000 sheets per hour will be accomplished.
To ensure that is customers receive quality compliant execution, Crossmark has also invested in Koenig & Bauer’s QualiTronic ColorControl for inline color control with touchscreen. This system measures every sheet for constant print quality over the whole length of a run. Another highlight of the press is its energy-saving environmentally-friendly VariDry Blue IR/hot-air dryer system.
Both Rapida 106 presses offer 35 ink keys that support a variety of inks—including conventional, LED and UV inks, and include inline gloss, matte, spot varnish and UV varnish finishing options. But Dobrzynski notes that LED-UV drying technology on both presses truly enhances the overall workflow performance.
“There are a number of benefits to using LED UV drying,” he says. ”There’s no heat or odor, and it allows for sustainable production practices by reducing energy consumption. It also gives us the ability for greater color fidelity and more gorgeous results all the while preventing against distortion. And its is better for the environment.”
With a fine mix of different daily work, Crossmark’s employees are constantly challenged. Since the blend of jobs incorporates a range of broad substrates, Crossmark chose to have its new Rapida 106 equipped with the lightweight, plastic, and board packages. One of its most popular areas is lenticular, in which the firm uses a very fine 150 lpi lens. No other presses in the market produce the quality that these Koenig & Bauer presses do with this most challenging volume of work variety.
The backbone at Crossmark Graphics, emphasizes Dobrzynski, is its employees. “Throughout our entire workforce, our employees are easy to deal with, care about our customers’ needs, stand behind their work, and believe in fostering strong customer relationships. It’s a tremendous team effort. ”
It’s that team, especially those in the pressroom, that was highly anticipating the arrival of its second Rapida 106 on its pressroom floor. Dobrzynski rests assured that investing with Koenig & Bauer will provide a new press that is reliable and productive, helping its clients produce exceptional print material using the latest innovations, and will solve Crossmark’s capacity situation.
Steve Korn, Director of National and Key Accounts for Koenig & Bauer, also commented, "We applaud Crossmark Graphics on its second Koenig & Bauer capital equipment investment in as many years. Featuring our step-change printing and drying technology this capital investment will pay dividends for many years to come by providing Crossmark Graphics with an even more significant competitive edge in their marketplace. The 41.73-inch wide and 29.13 inches around Rapida 106 press, known industry-wide as the 'Makeready Champion' will enable Crossmark Graphics to provide the highest quality offset printing and immediate drying with ease, and now with two like kind presses provide the headroom to capture even more new clients. Accompanied by a high-level Koenig & Bauer technology kit, this second new press will once again prove to be a keystone for even more growth for the second generation owners at Crossmark Graphics. Koenig & Bauer is genuinely excited to partner with Crossmark Graphics once again as they are so customer centric, run such a great business, and above all else are such wonderful people."
Founded in 1987 by James Dobrzynski Sr., Crossmark Graphics is led today by daughter Tammy Rechner, president and CEO, assisted by sons Jay, vice president of operations; Mark, vice president of sales; and Brian, production manager. Since its founding the 60-employee company has grown to include customers across the U.S. with an emphasis on pharmaceutical and retail work. It offers a full spectrum of services from pre-press and printing, through mailing and fulfillment. In its quest to provide its customers with continuing high quality and consistency in printed products and services, the firm has achieved qualification as a G7 Master printer. The G7 process utilizes existing ISO 12647 Standards as the basis for quality printing. This process makes it possible to achieve a proof to press as well as a press-to-press match with a greater degree of consistency and predictability than ever before.