Q and A with Ed Nusslein of McLean Packaging
A big congrats on the Best of Show win, from the looks of that job it must have taken teamwork to accomplish such a task.
Before we talk about the details of the Crayola job, could you tell me a bit about what makes Mclean Packaging different?
We at McLean Packaging are always striving to separate ourselves from our competition. It starts with exceptional service and our ability to offer total cost solutions to our customers. Our ownership leads the way and it is because of their foresight and willingness to challenge the conventional methods that is really making the difference. Their commitment to be the best is contagious and it keeps our employees engaged. We take pride in the work that we do and we are not afraid to try new things. We are trying reset the bar in our approach to high-end printing directly onto corrugated, as well as with our multi-piece glue solutions. It’s a great time to be working at McLean Packaging!
You do have a variety of converting equipment on your floor today but the best of show job was produced on the Gopfert, is your typical work on this press similar?
We have a good mixture of line and four color process work. As a result of McLean Packaging’s printing capabilities, we are partnering with our customers to take advantage of our press by enhancing their graphics and improving their overall aesthetic for their brands without increasing the costs they would endure if they were to make the switch to lithography. If it is four color process, we are going to push the graphics to the limit.
What made this job special and challenging?
This job was very special and challenging because it was originally was supposed to be printed as litho. Crayola has been a great customer of McLean Packaging for many years now and they trusted that we could direct print this item. The artwork had many colors, including their signature yellow color, as well as product shots and traps that were 1/128”. Due to the complexity of the artwork, we felt the best way to control the print was to make this a four color process job. No spot colors. When we made that decision, there was a moment of silence because we realized that we were taking the biggest leap in our capabilities and it would require help from all of our suppliers to make it successful.
What process did you go through to tackle the challenges and deliver such a great product?
There was a great amount of time and effort upfront at the pre-press level and then on press as well. We knew we had ventured into unchartered water and we would need to lean on our suppliers and industry experts to ensure success. It was not easy, but we all worked together to make it happen. John Burgess of Pamarco, along with representatives from our print plate, ink, and dryer vendors were on press during the production run. Their expertise and guidance throughout the process was paramount. I feel that we all learned a great deal that day and it has propelled us forward into a more competent and confident printer as a result. The relationships and ability to collaborate with our suppliers has always been a key part of our growth as a company.
Pamarco has been servicing your anilox needs for many years now, and we value you as a customer. Can you tell me what you expect from a supplier in general and, more specifically, from an anilox supplier?
We are looking for great products and equally great service from our suppliers. We also look to our suppliers to help us grow our business through the use of their products. Pamarco has been a great supplier to McLean Packaging over the years. Pamarco listened to our printing needs and helped us make the right decisions on how we could be successful. When we have questions about their products or if we are just seeking advice, Pamarco is very responsive and knowledgeable.
Technology advancement in this industry is often said to move slowly, but when I look at the accomplishments of Mclean Packaging its seems far from slow. What do you see as your biggest challenges going into the future and how do you think we as suppliers can help?
We feel that the advancements of technology have finally been realized in our industry. You can see it through the products being produced and the lead times and demands of our customers being reduced. We are a constantly growing and evolving industry that must be able to quickly react to our customer’s packaging needs. E-commerce and digital seem to dominate the discussions within our industry right now. We need our suppliers to understand our needs as a company, and introduce new and innovative solutions to advance our products so that we can continue to stay at the forefront for our customers as their supplier of choice.
With a background of working in the print industry since 2000, Ed Nusslein has been with McLean Packaging for over five years. Over the past two of those years, rather than focusing on competitions, even though the company has won in the past, McLean has been honing new processes and equipment with the goal of consistently printing at very high line screens. McLean has also pursued a significant increase in printer and supplier collaborations, knowing that thorough understanding would be necessary for their upcoming project. The company has poured itself into communication with suppliers and self-improvement over the past two years, with great results to show for it.
Interview with :Ed Nusslein of © McLean Packaging Corporation
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