From its humble roots of two partners sitting at the kitchen table with $1,000 to invest and opportunities to explore, the company has demonstrated rapid growth over 46 years into a Midwest manufacturing powerhouse. The firm employs over 230 between its 137,000 sq. ft. in Illinois and 105,000 sq. ft. in Michigan, with an eye toward a third facility in the future. That growth has prompted the firm to expand with the addition of a new flexographic press to provide more capacity and additional innovation for its customers. This spring, a new Koenig & Bauer Evo XG Mod 140 press will arrive at its sprawling Carol Stream, Illinois, facility.
“We’re eagerly anticipating our new eight-color Koenig & Bauer Evo XG Mod 140 flexographic press,” says Joe Imburgia, PPI's general manager. “This is a key part of our $10 million spend in the past 18 months. It is giving us a higher speed of 2,000 ft./min. and will significantly increase capacity along with higher productivity. As a service-oriented organization that is facing increased demand, this new press can’t arrive fast enough. It will positively impact everyone at our company — sales, customer service, everyone. We firmly believe in continuously investing in new equipment and are proud to partner once again with Koenig & Bauer.”
PPI’s management team sees Koenig & Bauer as a reliable partner since its partnership started. “We have seen how the organization has grown, especially in the parts and service department,” says Joe. “It gives us great satisfaction to know that we are partnering with a company that is growing and investing to guarantee our success."
Unique to PPI’s press is its in-line spectrophotometer, which takes the firm to a whole new level. It allows PPI to get a valid color measurement all inline and help to manage density and dot gain. The majority of flexographic printers have to wait till the end of the roll to verify those areas, says Joe. His firm, with its dedication to continuous improvement, implemented the technology to better serve its customers.
That service-oriented approach reaches into the delivery of new product solutions and sustainability. Recently it introduced its lamination replacement films that provide a great alternative material to common PE/PET laminations. This film eliminates the need to combine multiple substrates and as a result maintains recyclability while still providing the strength and rigidity necessary for many applications, including pouch packaging. Lamination replacement films are also a tested and proven solution for both HFFS and VFFS applications. The material supports PPI’s full printing capabilities.
“Our PPI team is always focusing on building strong customer relationships through innovation and addressing the changing needs in the packaging space,” says Dan Imburgia, PPI’s general manager of sales. “Our broad flexible packaging customer base includes fresh and frozen food packaging, table-top disposable products, bakery, and fertilizer bags. We’ve just delivered the first commercial orders of our fully recyclable lamination replacement pouches with positive feedback from the market. Our Sparta plant specializes in a variety of packaging films including high performance Oxygen Transmission (OTR) films which helps extend shelf life.”
PPI annually receives a rigorous SQF (Safe Quality Food) certification audit that evaluates if PPI’s systems are functioning properly in order to prevent contamination, helps the company maintain consistency, and provides third-party credibility to its food packaging customers. Both of its locations score extremely high on the SQF audit. This year, one of PPI’s locations achieved the highest possible score of 100%, which they are very proud of, says the firm’s project manager Dominic Imburgia.
The new Koenig & Bauer Evo XG flexographic press will seamlessly join the current Koenig & Bauer flexible packaging presses in Illinois and Michigan. Since all of the Koenig & Bauer presses at PPI will be on a similar platform, management will be closely watching the newest member for its productivity results and then replicate them throughout the facility.
“We are 100% dedicated to constantly improving service, quality, and cost-effectiveness, while reducing our impact on our surroundings,” says Dan. “I can proudly say we’ve stayed true to our father’s vision.”