Prairie State Labels Sees Quick Payback on Viscosity Control

MIDDLEBORO, MA | Brookfield Engineering Laboratories Inc. has provided a multi-station viscosity control solution to Prairie State Group, a custom printer and laminator of flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive labels near Chicago, IL. Prairie State is a completely self-contained operation that includes state-of-the-art design capabilities, prepress functions, digital platemaking, laminating, and printing.

Prairie State's equipment gives the company the luxury of handling all aspects of customer jobs in house and ensuring that their work is of the highest quality, cost competitive, and delivered on time without having to rely on outside sources. Their mission is to offer the highest level of customer satisfaction by efficiently providing industry-leading quality, innovation, and cost-effective packaging solutions to their clients.

For this reason, the company has chosen Brookfield Engineering, in cooperation with Sun Chemical, as strategic partners and has installed Brookfield’s AST-100 MultiPlo Viscosity Control System. Sun Chemical worked with Brookfield to supply a multistation ink viscosity control system to allow higher efficiency when running their inks on Prairie States’ PCMC (Paper Converting Machine Co.) Evolution and Revolution presses. PCMC regularly uses the Brookfield AST-100 for viscosity control on its presses. The collaborative products provided by these companies have given PSG a great running operation.

Because these presses were not originally supplied with viscosity controls, Brookfield’s experienced sales and service team was able to customize a system that integrated seamlessly. “Other than Brookfield’s superior products, we also demanded a strategic partner who could help us find a custom solution,” said Dan Doherty, executive VP of operations and principal at Prairie State Group. “Brookfield helped get us up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible, and they have gone above and beyond in supporting us. In less than one year, we have experienced a positive return on investment and will be able to increase our efficiency and productivity going forward with Brookfield on our side.

“In printing, the name of the game is to keep the presses running” Doherty said. “By using Brookfield’s viscometers and partnering with Sun Chemical, we have been able to reduce our ink costs with consistent runs. Very tight control of viscosity dramatically increases the mileage of the ink. Eliminating the need for most of our manual cup measurements also saves us money. It used to take almost one half hour just to measure and adjust the full eight stations. With the new control systemF that time is used elsewhere, while completely automating our process and maintaining ink consistency.

“Our operators tell us, 'Finally, we can now open the presses up and let them run at full speed.' The consistency we get from Brookfield’s AST is also critically important when it comes to color matching for our clients brands. We are using viscometers on 15 stations and couldn’t be happier with Brookfield. They have made an immediate impact on our return on investment within the first year.”

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