KP Corp. Invests in Unique Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 PressFebruary 8, 2013
KP’s emphasis on cost efficiency not only is good business, but also is a fundamental requirement in supplying a market where enormous sums are spent on research and development and on M&A activity. “The key players are always looking at cost reduction strategies to raise the needed cash,” Olszewski explained. “In symbiotic relationships such as this, businesses work with fewer strategic suppliers in smarter ways to obtain cash to fund growth. Suppliers like KP benefit from additional volumes stemming from that growth. This is the sustainable business model.”
KP’s cost efficiency approach is timely in an environment of rising costs. “We estimate that our clients will see their costs rise this year as a consequence of regulatory requirements, taxation, and healthcare reform,” Olszewski added. “One example is the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax starting in 2013. There is significant value to our clients and to us in finding cost savings and increasing the quality of the products we produce for them.”
The modular design of Heidelberg presses enables users like KP Corp. to create a wide range of customer-specific configurations that are not only economical, but that also ensure the highest level of quality.
“You typically gain manufacturing efficiencies with a custom press configuration,” Bates concurred. For example, KP already has taken steps to standardize on sheet size and paper to save money on the IFU documents (Information for Users) it produces. However, with the new Heidelberg CutStar system, “We’ll also gain the ability to customize sheet size in order to skip the cutting department altogether and go direct to the folder, passing the savings on to our clients.”
Obsessed with Quality
Quality—a key requirement in the world of medical device packaging—is a business imperative for KP Corp.
“The medical device segment is subject to strict quality requirements, up to and including sterilization of the materials we supply,” Bates said. “The materials we print are subject to the same level of scrutiny as the medical devices themselves. Clients expect our products to be zero-defect. Random sampling doesn’t cut it.”
Because KP is ISO 9001:2008-certified and Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)-compliant, the company is accustomed to operating at very high quality levels. Elements of KP’s comprehensive quality program already include audited standard operating procedures; standardized life sciences and medical device ISO training; continuous improvement programs; documented line clearance at every stage of production; internal and client-driven audits and benchmarks; in addition to a variety of in-line, quality alert and end-of-line inspection processes.
KP is applying the latest technology and automation to further improve its quality program. The addition of Heidelberg’s award-winning Prinect Inspection Control PDF inline sheet inspection system adds an elevated level of product security by enabling the company to quantify and document its quality results in a completely transparent and traceable way for reporting back to its clients.
Prinect Inspection Control PDF is based on two high-resolution grayscale line scan cameras that reliably detect and capture minute defects inline, in real time, by comparing every printed sheet with a digital reference (at 15,000 sheets-per-hour). Nonconforming materials are flagged, alerted to the operator, and recorded in the system. This ensures that all printed sheets meet strict customer and regulatory requirements.
KP’s new equipment configuration, featuring the Speedmaster XL 106, also will be used to produce a wide variety of healthcare-related, insurance and financial products. The company will send its press operators to Heidelberg’s Tech Center in Kennesaw, GA for pre-installation training later this month.Installation of the new press is set to begin in March, with completion slated to coincide with the unveiling of the plant-wide upgrade during a grand opening celebration and client open house in May.