FTA member Prairie State Group (PSG) realizes the importance of updating technology to better meet customer needs, in addition to providing safe food packaging, evident in a recent upgrade and a certificate obtained by the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute.
A custom printer and laminator of flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive labels, PSG recently added MacDermid’s Lux In-The-Plate M medium durometer plate and Esko’s Pixel+ technology to its plate making, “due to the payoff in the pressroom,” according to Catherine Green of the Technical Solutions Group at All Printing Resources (APR), who was on site for the CDI setup, ITP-M plate optimization and fingerprinting processes.
PSG says the “payoff” that comes with the new installation includes printing better solids, more predictable highlight dots and fades, increased opportunities, meeting customer expectations and more.
With its newly installed technology, PSG moved from conventional digital to flat top dot from MacDermid Graphics Solutions, and Pixel+, installing the Esko 4835. The desire to improve graphic reproduction and meet customer demands helped convince the printer to update its technology.
“We felt the time had come,” PSG explains. “We had been hearing about this technology for several years at FTA-sponsored events, as well as the competing technology from our vendors.”
The company also reported the new plate making equipment has enhanced its Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) workflow, allowing it to hit densities more easily and save time on setups.
“The operators love the ink transfer and highlight dots. We have optimized our new technology in the pressroom and we are embracing the use of grayscale for our color management press side,” according to PSG. The company presented some of the benefits of the technology at the recent PACK EXPO, as well as in its online marketing.
“Customers have noticed improved highlight and fine type quality, and the press operators are happy with the improved print consistency, solid ink densities and elimination of edge void issues,” says Catherine. “We’ve found it to be a winning combination in many scenarios.”
PSG also recently obtained the SQF Certification Edition 8, which recognizes commitment and dedication to providing a safe, quality food packaging product. According to Dan Doherty, executive VP of operations, this was PSG’s sixth SQF audit as a Level 3 Certified facility.
Administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute, SQF is a leading global food safety and quality certification program and management system designed to meet the needs of buyers and suppliers worldwide. Obtaining the certification requires a third-party audit process in addition to an extensive review of policies, procedures and systems. The certification is meant to provide customers and consumers with the peace of mind of knowing the product they are eating comes from a safe, quality source.
Furthermore, this most recent certification obtained by PSG, which has also achieved FIRST Company Certification, is under the new, more stringent Edition 8 for both food safety and food quality.
“SQF Version 8 had a lot of changes to requirements,” says Dan. “Scoring is now two scores instead of one moving forward—one for Food Safety and one for Quality code. We needed to embrace this approach to keep the equivalent to Level 3 Certification we have had the previous five years.”
“PSG becomes one of the first facilities in the world to be certified under this new edition,” said Peter Cicero, SQF registered consultant. “This demonstrates exemplary operations, leadership and employee commitment to achieving such an amazing feat. All should be proud of PSG’s commitment and high priority placed on providing a safe quality packaging product.”