Lithocraft Co.: UV Cures Need for Growth
Navarro notes there were a number of advantages in selecting the new Rapida, including on-the-fly color control that helps reduce press makeready time and startup waste. While there was a slight learning curve along the way, Lithocraft has enjoyed a sharp uptick in productivity, thanks in large part to the UV offering.
The packaging mojo has been slower to come, however; Cosgrove says Lithocraft is still trying to find its niche in the packaging market. The executive team is confident it will be able to identify and perform in scenarios that call for high-quality, low-volume packaging.
“We’ve learned to work a little bit more with different substrates,” Navarro points out. “That’s the key for cosmetics or food-type products.
“I was experienced on the UV end, so the transition hasn’t been too great other than having to learn what makes the press go, chemistry-wise,” he adds. “In our state, it’s pretty challenging because of the chemistry limitations that we face.”
New printing processes are important to help Lithocraft maintain stride with what its competition is offering, but the company relies on strong customer service just as much to maintain a point of differentiation in the marketplace. “New technologies and workflows are making it incredibly easy to bypass the relationship aspect of our business,” Cosgrove says.
“Despite that, we foster a culture where everybody here understands the value of knowing customers and their unique demands, and we make it ‘Job One’ to meet those demands. It sounds kind of corny, but most of our clients have been with us more than 10 years. It’s a hard concept to market to prospects, but once we get new clients in the door, they stay with us.”
Future equipment acquisitions are likely to come on the bindery end, where the printer is looking to add joggers and automated material handling equipment. Its fleet of delivery vehicles will also need some upgrading, and Navarro says Lithocraft is aiming to become more efficient and greener in its choices.