One Shift and 27 Job Changeovers? That’s a YES at Kiliper Corporation
At Kiliper Corporation, a manufacturer of flexible packaging whose primary products are stretch sleeves, roll-fed labels, and polyethylene bags, they know that the key to success for today’s flexible packaging printing is mastering the art of the short run and quick changeover. That was the driving force behind the company’s heavy investment in an 8c MIRAFLEX II press along with other high-end pre-press equipment, including an automatic mounter, ink dispenser, ink software and a plate washing unit back in 2019.
Kiliper's printing team
Just a year into production on their new machinery, Kiliper was able to run 27 jobs in a single shift. “That day, while not an anomaly, we had a lot of very small runs. We had ink, anilox and plate changes, but not all 8 decks for everyjob,” said Tom Kiliper, co-owner and head of sales.
He added, “We flew that day. Of course, the new machinery played a role in this, but credit is due to our team. We have an excellent team in both our pre-press and press departments who drove this to happen. Days like this happen days in advance when the team has as much notice as possible to prepare for the upcoming press schedule. Our scheduler works hard to create the most efficient job sequence allowing elements of one job to flow into the next with minimal changes.”
Kiliper continued to stress the strength of his pre-press and press departments. “Printing is a skilled trade, although technology has made it easier. You have to have an eye for it, understand the concepts and be able to critically think through a job,” said Kiliper.
The MIRAFLEX II replaced five workhorse presses. “We scrapped every one of our old presses and are only running the W&H, which has picked up all of the work. We are doing all of this with just around 50% of the press’s capacity. We’re not maxed out yet and feel really excited about the future,” added Kiliper.
The company feels very fortunate about the timing of their investment and that their equipment arrived when it did. Like so many others in the industry, 2020 brought on increased demand for their services – a 40% increase to be exact. “I don’t know if we would have been able to handle the demand otherwise.
”Kiliper Corporation is a 26-year-old company run by siblings, Tom Kiliper (sales) and Lindsay Kiliper-Maysent (production). The company’s facility, located in Ames, IA, houses the W&H MIRAFLEX II for printing and also has laminating, slitting and converting departments, all of which have also been heavily invested in over the last year. Areas of application include stretch sleeves, roll fed labels, rollstock and polybags. Kiliper Corporation also offers toll printing services.
Kiliper ended with, “The exciting thing for Lindsay and me is that we still have room to improve and room to grow.”