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Offset Printing: Friend to All

Boxes may not have changed too drastically over the years, but the way they are customized to promote, display, and advertise their contents has seen dramatic advances. Accurate Box Co. has stayed ahead of the technological curve for more than 60 years in order to provide customers with the very best in the design and printing of litho-laminated packaging.

Founded in 1944 by Henry E. Hirsh, Accurate Box still is a family-run business, and its dedication to customer service — a company goal from the earliest days — has been matched only by a dedication to environmental responsibility and employee safety and satisfaction. With a 279,000-sq-ft production facility and warehouse in Paterson, NJ, Accurate Box has the flexibility to implement high quality, six- and seven-color printing on KBA presses, die-cutting and laminating on Bobst equipment, as well as finishing, warehousing, and shipping functions for customers coast to coast.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our efficiencies, lead times, and the quality of our products, and that's why we seek relationships with vendors that have products and systems that can help us reach those goals,” says Lisa Hirsh, a third-generation member of the founding family and now president of the company. “Having everything under our own roof and being able to control all processes from here makes a big difference to our customer base.”

Those customers include a wide range of well-known snack and beverage brand manufacturers, in addition to sporting goods and other consumer products. The company can manufacture and print virtually any kind of litho-laminated box packaging — from handle-top boxes to dispenser boxes and everything in between. In addition, Accurate Box can design, manufacture, and print the countertop and floor displays in which those product boxes are marketed at the point of sale.

Investigating the Possibilities

With everything it needs under one roof, Accurate Box can design the artwork for brand packaging, make the plates that hold the designs, print the designs directly on the product boxes regardless of shape or size, and ship the boxes — in any quantity — to its customers' distribution centers, no matter where they are and no matter how fast they must get there. Furthermore, with a goal to use its printing capabilities as a competitive edge, Accurate Box does not shy away from investigating technological possibilities that still are largely untested in the packaging industry.

“We wanted to push the envelope, so we set out to provide our customers with graphic reproductions at 240-line screen,” explains Joe Pagani, plant manager. “With Agfa's assistance, we made some adjustments and tweaked the system and ultimately reached that objective. Currently I don't know of any company producing litho-laminate cartons that can offer the print quality and detail found at 240-line screen. That makes us a little different from everyone else in this business.”

Accurate Box added Agfa's :Amigo thermal platemaking system in the fall of 2006 and saw an immediate improvement in turnaround times. Equally important to Hirsh and her staff was the fact that :Amigo is a low-chemistry system. It's based on Agfa's ThermoFuse technology, which uses millions of individual, heat-sensitive thermoplastic pearls that are melted and fused together to form a bond to the substrate in the exposed areas. In the unexposed areas, the pearls are removed by a mild alkaline solution.

Surpassing Expectations

Pagani says the :Amigo system surpassed his expectations. “It's the finest offset plate I've ever used. By eliminating the need for an oven to bake plates, we save on energy and eliminate the pollution associated with it. We're already saving thousands of dollars per year. The plates have made us much more efficient by improving our throughput.” In addition, Pagani notes, the team is able to get plates to press quickly because there is no need for cool-down time, and remakes due to flaws on the plates have virtually been eliminated.

“We have enjoyed a good relationship with Agfa. Platemaking is just one of the areas in which they excel and have the most expertise, and with their help. Accurate Box hopes to make even more improvements in the future,” says Hirsh.

Continuous Improvement

With such a broad product line at Accurate Box, continuous improvement is both a goal and a necessity in order to maintain such high customer satisfaction. The company prides itself on providing the most comprehensive selection of packaging with accurate, brilliant color graphics reproduction at line screens of 175 dpi or better. It also offers a wide variety of materials, including strong, corrugated stock that provides the rigidity necessary to display products in the same packages in which they are shipped. Fast turnaround is always assured.

Digital files are accepted on disc or via ftp through the Accurate Box website, eliminating last-minute problems. In addition to Agfa's :Amigo platemaking solution featuring an Agfa VLF CtP system, Accurate Box uses Agfa's :Sherpa 62 digital printing system, which is designed to be compatible with a wide range of media substrates.

With the :Amigo system, Pagani says, “We print cleaner, sharper images, regardless of the stocks on which we're printing. At any given time, 20 to 25 orders in different stages of production are processing through the plant. They are all unique with respect to order quantity, colors, sizes, finishing requirements, and more. We have many goals, and our customers are all aware of one of our most important — to produce the highest quality products at the most attractive prices. That's why we're very enthusiastic about our [Agfa] platemaking system.”

For over half a century Accurate Box says it consistently has reached its goals with every job that goes through the plant. That represents a lot of jobs — and an equally high number of satisfied customers.

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