223 Plato Boulevard East, St. Paul, MN 55107 USA
Some businesses steer clear of the difficult jobs. For Tursso Companies, it’s those difficult jobs that are the secret to its success. Tursso Companies focuses on printing labels for the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. These extremely challenging vertical industries demand extensive compliance, rigid quality controls and flawless execution. That’s all music to Tursso’s ears.
Tursso Companies has a long history of solving complex, daunting challenges. Based in St. Paul, MN, USA, the company used to be a rather small printing company named Dawson Patterson when it was purchased by Dennis Tursso in 1970. A tireless problem solver and innovator, Dennis made a career out of creating solutions where none existed before. He worked with numerous companies throughout the country, thinking outside the box on a regular basis to ensure the customers got a solution.
After buying the printing company, Tursso quickly reinvented the operations, focusing on bigger and more challenging jobs. The St. Paul location naturally led them to 3M, where they enjoyed considerable success in the 70s and 80s. However, Tursso knew he needed to find niche markets for long-term success, and they turned their focus to printing labels for pharmaceutical and medical devices.
With tight compliance procedures, Tursso Companies had to establish strict processes and adhere to regulations. But they continued to be innovative. One of the company’s most unique products - the InfoPac - is a perfect example.
At the time, the industry needed to affix a small, information booklet to a pharmaceutical bottle. The conventional notion was to print the booklet separate, but Tursso believed a different solution could be found. Machinists and engineers were called in, and the company merged flexographic and offset technologies to achieve the customer’s goals. Over the years, the machine and the technology evolved, and Tursso began subcontracting for other label printers.
This type of innovation was the hallmark of Tursso in the past, and it continues today. For example, Tursso’s two-plant redundant manufacturing capability allows one plant to assume operations in the event a disaster occurs within the other plant.
The company’s second, redundant plant is located in Fort Dodge, IA, USA, close enough for Tursso’s management team to shuttle to the location and resume operations. This capability is particularly attractive to the pharmaceutical sectors, where switching vendors can be a long, involved process.
Tursso’s broad press capabilities include flexo, digital, rotary letterpress and sheetfed litho. The company has an extensive die inventory of standard and custom-shaped tools. For short-run, quick-turnaround projects, the company relies on its digital presses.
Each machine has an electronic vision system with 100% copy inspection, including flaw detection, which will stop the presses at a moment’s notice.
Tursso’s approach to delivering defect-free products also includes bar code verification, line clearance, quality approvals at every stage, and a final product release process with document review. The company is ISO 9001:2008 certified through TUV, and their standard operating procedures are cGMP compliant for the production of pharmaceutical packaging components. These processes are critical to the company’s success, and they require a commitment to quality that’s more than lip service. Tursso has a quality department, which includes a manager, three quality technicians and eight inspectors.
Most companies rely on their production teams to assume the quality control responsibilties, but Tursso knows that having their own quality department is the only way to consistently maintain high standards. All the quality processes in the world don’t work unless there is talent on-hand to deliver, and Tursso’s people are undoubtedly their biggest asset.
Perhaps it traces back to the company’s problem-solving roots, but Tursso believes all its personnel are innovators within their own jobs. It’s a common sense approach – if something’s broken, fix it.
It may seem a bit incongruent to have the flexibility to adjust and innovate within such a tightly regulated, process-oriented place. It’s yet another challenge Tursso looks to overcome on a daily basis.
A dominant force in its niche, Tursso Companies has shared many of its proprietary and patented products with other printers, converters and dealers. While the processes remain confidential, Tursso’s capabilities serve as a springboard for other companies looking to provide such services as InfoPac booklet labels, the wraparound X-Pandable label and other pressure sensitive products.
The company not only lends a hand to the industry, but also the planet. Its progress with environmental initiatives is exemplary, with highlights including 100% recycling of its sheetfed waste paper, corrugated, end board and cores, roll waste, stretch wrap, inks and other materials. Tursso also recycles a majority of its plastic and metal ink containers, and has initiated a variety of measurements within its own facility, including energy efficient HVAC units and the installation of skylights for more natural lighting.
Yet what truly sets the company apart is its responsiveness, and relentless quest to innovate. In the past, the company has had presses ready to run within 24 hours of a client receiving FDA approval. They are willing to develop engineered solutions, running through multiple line trials to assure all handling requirements are achieved.
If all this seems incredibly difficult and complex, it’s because it is. Handling the tough jobs has never been easy, but with Tursso Companies, it’s always been the path to success.