When adding new services, expanding a business with new technologies, or just starting out in the industry, print service providers (PSPs) must consider more than the physical hardware. Partnering with a trusted vendor goes a long way. For Kansas City, MO-based Centrix Innovations, its relationship with Durst Image Technology US LLC allowed for the fruition of its short-run package printing operation when it purchased a Durst Rho 750 HS.
Addressing a Need
The building blocks for Centrix were set over two years ago. The business grew out of the needs of its sister companies, Columbia Burlap & Bag and Koch Bag & Supply. Customers requested high-quality packaging and displays, but didn’t want to pay for the high-volume runs that took weeks and months to produce.
In creating Centrix, the goal was to extend the supply chain, with perfectly executed, high-quality packaging, point of purchase (POP) displays, and signage created via short-run digital print. “There is flexibility in digital printing and the machinery we work with allows Centrix to serve a cross section of markets,” shares Marc H. Radasky, CEO, Centrix.
Opening its doors to the public on January 3, 2013, the PSP employs eight people. It sees everyone as a potential customer. Short-run digital finds the business producing work for many industries including advertising agencies and marketing firms, not-for-profits, sports and recreation clubs and teams, the food service industry, and consumer goods groups.
Centrix holds a strong belief in partnerships—essentially seeing the vendor/customer relationship as something more than an exchange of goods. “At Centrix, we know that good quality design requires more than just creativity. Our services are not limited to production. We research, analyze, and collaborate with partners to reflect their vision,” explains Radasky.
A Digital Relationship
The PSP exemplifies its stance on partnership with its own vendors, such as Durst. Prior to the company’s opening, Radasky searched long and hard for the right machinery, making sure the equipment he ultimately chose would be reliable, not quick to breakdown, and offer accurate print quality. He found this in the Durst Rho 750 HS.
“From the beginning, we felt Durst wanted Centrix to succeed. The ease of use of the Durst Rho 750 HS, the quick transition from substrate to substrate, and the customer service made choosing Durst easy,” shares Radasky.
The 80-inch width device is equipped to handle the PSP’s commonly requested short-run quantities, which it considers a one-piece prototype to approximately 1,000 pieces. Centrix relies on Durst’s UV ink to print high-quality, short-run packaging, POP displays, and signage. The ink endures the stress of any environment, whether that particular piece of imagery is found in a grocery store, warehouse, or outdoors.
To complement the Durst Rho 750 HS, the company purchased a Zünd G3 XL-3200 device, automating the finishing aspect of its workflow. It perfectly creases and cuts lines, as well as routs and finishes on acrylic with a work area size of 89x125 inches. According to Radasky, the Zünd device is a necessity.
“At the end of the day, we’re a packaging company. We’re expected to provide the best printed packaging and POP displays we can. It we have second-to-none printing, we have second-to-none finishing,” he continues.
Package print is a broad term that extends from untraditional applications such as pallet skirts to traditional boxes. For example, Centrix recently worked on a project for a Benedictine monastery located in Atchison, KS, a client the PSP’s sister company Koch Bag & Supply has done work with for years. It requested a box that could display its handcrafted soaps, Monastery Scents.
The monastery’s flexographic vendor, a box shop, required a minimum of 2,000 boxes purchased at a time; plus to keep costs down, they limited production runs to one color. For this particular project, the monastery required a small run of 400 pieces. It turned to Centrix knowing the product would be created efficiently, at a lower cost than flexographic print, and at a high quality.
Using the Durst Rho 750 HS, Centrix printed to ECT 32 E flute corrugate mottled white on one side. The inside dimensions of the tray were 16 inches long by ten inches wide by four inches high. The flat piece before folding measured 32.44x33.38 inches.
The monastery was impressed with the finished product. Centrix produced a full-color tray and let them order as a few pieces as necessary. Thanks to digital print, the Benedictine monastery’s inventory costs decreased and they eliminated printing plate and die-cutting charges.
An example of partnering with its customers from inception to completion is best illustrated through Centrix’s recent work for Olio Digital, a first time client. The social media company planned to launch its brand to a national audience at an upcoming trade show and was interested in creating an untraditional booth display for the event.
Switching from its flatbed capabilities to roll, the Durst Rho 750 HS ran Ultraflex Systems, Inc.’s matte banner material to create a custom color-matched table wrap as well as a custom color-matched table skirt, both including the client’s logo and company mascot—which Centrix designed in house.
“We transition from roll-to-roll to corrugate to acrylic without missing a beat,” shares Radasky, which was exactly the case in this job. It also printed on 3A Composites USA’s Fome-Cor to create a 24x36-inch sandwich board, Matra Plast Industries Inc.’s—an Inteplast Group company—Hi-Core corrugate plastic for a 20x20-inch sponsorship sign, and onto half-inch thick clear acrylic for a table top display. All of which were finished on the Zünd G3 XL-3200.
With the five-piece project completed in 15 days, Olio was pleased with the results. “We’re so thrilled with how everything has gone with this job, we can’t wait to work together again and recommend Centrix to other clients we work with,” exclaims Kalele Stock, CEO, Olio.
Do More with Digital
Centrix relies on its Durst Rho 750 HS for short-run package printing and more thanks to the device’s hybrid capabilities. However, digital not only provides versatility in the PSP’s product offerings, but amps up production.
“Everything is faster. We listened to our customers and partners. Wide format digital printing allows us to make their businesses more efficient. They aren’t wasting time, space, and money on purchasing overruns of boxes and POP displays. We give them what they need quickly and with exceptional accuracy,” adds Radasky.