STRINE PRINTING — THE PRINTER’S CANDY STORE
Jobs for pharmaceutical clients account for a majority of the kitting performed at Strine Printing.September 2006
Dave Kornbau, the company’s vice president of operations, was a popular man while providing a walking tour in early August. His cell phone rang every few minutes. Co-workers handed him press samples here and there. Quick questions received lightning-fast answers. It was like watching an episode of “The West Wing,” the White House drama, only without the constant scowls.
Kornbau paused and gestured toward bulletin board-type displays that adorned the hallway walls. Rich colors and textures were everywhere. Sparkling ceiling mobiles danced in the cool air, their diecut sections twisting in alternating directions. It made the onlooker want to run out and buy the Lego spaceship building block set immediately. The same goes for Crayola crayons, produced by Binney and Smith—the common retail customer has no concept of just how many different Crayola packages exist. But they’re all here.
Facsimiles of NASCAR race car drivers stood shoulder to shoulder in one room, but someone had chopped off poor Tony Stewart’s head and replaced it with their own. Ah, the beauty of large- format printing.
Yet another room acted as a temple of trading cards—baseball, football, basketball…wait, are those Playboy centerfolds on an uncut sheet? As if sports cards weren’t enough, marketers had come up with the idea to take the venerable trading card and make it more appealing. Piles of cards rose high like skyscrapers, or poker chips. A wall of paste white, 800-count boxes housed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cards. (See Bits and Pieces on page 18 for more on Strine’s card printing operation.)
More bulletin boards showcased Strine’s prowess, and soon something became easily apparent…there were no boring black-and-white samples to be found. Surely they had to be there, somewhere. Over in the corner stood a pallet with a short stack of generic diaper boxes, and even they were fascinating.
Two other noteworthy observations: For a printing plant, the place was remarkably clean. Secondly, they must have hidden any dead-eyed-fish employees on staff, for everyone seemed upbeat and interested in their jobs. It was as if Tony Robbins was stroking the Heidelbergs and Susan Powter was spearheading the hand assembly team.
Back in his office, Kornbau permitted himself a slight grin as he gestured toward a Rambo-esque picture of himself on the wall, touting water-pumping munitions. It was taken recently at the company picnic.