Tower Products, a supplier of pressroom chemistry, has worked diligently to ensure that label printers have been fully stocked with the necessary cleaners to keep their pressrooms running in an optimal fashion.
As many converters saw demand peak during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, ink and substrate suppliers saw their supply chains taxed. Cleaning technology was no exception.
With converters printing labels at a record pace, Tower Products worked overtime to meet demand. Dirty pressroom equipment, such as anilox rolls, can result in overall poor print quality, compromised image resolutions, and increased downtime, all of which cut into profitability. With converters seeing shorter lead times, quality and speed are of the utmost importance.
“Tower’s supply chain was fully intact throughout the pandemic, as most of our chemistry is made on-site,” explains Mark Principato, director of flexographic products and international sales, Tower Products. “The only real setback has been raw material increases due to both pandemic and weather situations across the country.”
Throughout the pandemic, Tower Products noticed increased interest in its Knockout Pressroom Cleaner, which Principato notes “took off” during the pandemic. “We don’t market this product as a disinfectant or something you could use at home,” he says. “It’s a general-purpose cleaner that works great in just about all pressrooms, removing ink and stains from common surfaces. Some customers even clean their floors with it.”
By assessing individual requests, Tower Products specifically formulates its chemistries to meet the personalized needs of the customer. While that was particularly challenging during 2020, the company adjusted to ensure the right products made their way to customers.
“Throughout most of 2020, you weren’t allowed into most facilities,” comments Principato. “You either had to communicate via FaceTime or Zoom, which actually presented many opportunities to interact with key individuals. I have to imagine that this type of new communication will be the norm for the foreseeable future.”
The supplier has also emphasized sustainability and environmental friendliness in its product lines – a growing trend over the past year, and one that is expected to continue well into the future.
“Almost all of our products – especially our flexo cleaners – are water-based and environmentally compliant,” states Principato. “We have worked diligently with states and local municipalities over the past number of years to make sure of this.”
Customer service has played a key role in Tower Products’ success throughout the pandemic. The company’s activity also resulted in a number of organizational moves, which are designed to boost customer service in the future.
Meanwhile, the company will continue to cater to a diverse and ever-evolving set of customer requests. “We like to think we have a product for every need in a flexographic pressroom, when it comes to cleaning chemistry,” adds Principato. “We have an on-site lab at Tower, which we utilize directly for customers’ needs to ensure they have a match for their cleaning requirements. Customers have routinely sent us dirty parts and plates, and we can create a tailored maintenance plan for them.”