- June 30, 2005, Nsenga Byrd Thompson Associate Editor
With more than 500 people at manufacturing sites and design and sales centers across North America, Specialized Packaging Group (SPG), headquartered in Hamden, CT, designs and manufactures folding cartons and packaging machinery for the consumer products industry.
SPG was formed in 1983 by Carlton L. Highsmith, president and CEO, as a packaging design and engineering company. Through a series of strategic acquisitions and new plant constructions, the company has grown to become the 10th largest manufacturer of paperboard packaging in the US and the largest minority-owned paperboard manufacturer in North America.
Hybrid Printing Technology
It is the philosophy of SPG that no single printing/converting technology is suitable for all end-use applications, which is why the company strives to establish distinct, diverse, world-class centers of printing and converting excellence. The company believes its expansive print capabilities allow it to offer a variety of options to its customers to help meet their strategic goals.
Print capabilities include a wide web Bobst Lemanic for rotogravure printing (featuring in-line laminating capabilities), a Komori sheetfed offset press, and a Bobst Lemanic 650 UV flexo press. Recently SPG added its most complex printing technology, a high-definition primographic print system.
Originally developed by Arpeco Engineering, a div. of Precision Automation Co., the primographic system is a roll-fed hybrid of flexo and letterpress printing, capable of UV and aqueous printing up to 200-line screen. One of the advantages of the press is its ability to handle reverse print, foil transfer, emboss/deboss, and cut/crease all in-line. The system uses ten print stations and a modular in-line cutting, creasing, and embossing system to successfully manage the entire converting process.
SPG says the high-definition primographic process produces better graphic reproduction and color control than traditional flexo systems, and the converting technology allows for more accurate print-to-cut tolerances and better precision in embossing/debossing. The single-pass design allows the system to reduce lead-times and provide lower costs while producing higher fidelity cartons than traditional print technologies.
Built on the Arpeco primographic print platform and substantially re-engineered, SPG’s press is said to offer the most modern technology in UV curing systems. The design allows SPG to continue to implement "value-added" processes to meet market demands.
"This technology is an important step in the continued development of SPG’s innovative printing and converting capabilities," says Highsmith. "We remain committed to investment in technologies that help our current and future customers find high-quality, lower-cost solutions to their packaging needs. Our primography technology investment is aligned to that strategy."
SPG’s commitment to diversified printing solutions has contributed to its reign as one of paperboard packaging’s major players. In 2004 the company was named Minority Supplier of the Year by S.C. Johnson and earned the same distinction from Procter and Gamble in 2003.
Black Enterprise, the leading African-American business publication in the US, has listed SPG as one of the nation's top 100 minority-owned businesses for more than ten years, and DiversityBusiness.com recognizes SPG as one of the Top 100 diversity-owned suppliers in the US and the largest minority-owned business in Connecticut.
Specialized Packaging Group
3190 Whitney Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518