Mark Wegmann, principal at Wegmann Companies, often wonders when it comes to label printing: What if there is a better way? From process improvement to core values, Wegmann has created a strategy to optimize the label printing process. At Wegmann Companies, more than 30 years of experience have contributed to the success of this thriving converter, which is based near St. Louis, MO, USA.
Wegmann got his start in specialty converting, where adhesive-based products are fabricated into parts for a wide range of industries, ranging from automotive to consumer goods. He purchased his first Mark Andy flexo press with no print stations, and he built that business from the ground up. He generated over $20 million in revenue and amassed more than 90 employees over a 15-year period.
To spend more time with his family, he sold out of the business. However, he opted to get back into the printing game some five years ago, which led Wegmann to the purchase of A&D Label Company. A&D was established in 1969, with the original owner working for Mark Andy.
Wegmann’s decision to eschew retirement has been a shrewd one – as Wegmann Companies is set to move from a 9,000 square-foot facility with 12-foot ceilings, to a 12,500 square-foot facility with 24-foot ceilings.
“The move will allow us to set up the processes to maximize throughput and reduce handling,” explains Wegmann. “We’re a small operation with a dozen dedicated employees located in the St. Louis metro area, but we sell and service customers all around the US.”
According to Wegmann, his greatest asset is the people around him. Over the course of 40 years in the business world, he has established core values to promote an efficient workplace, as well as an excellent experience for the customer.
Over the course of 30 years in the industry, Wegmann has reviewed thousands of processes – from small companies to some of the largest players in the world – always looking to optimize the label printing or application process, both of which are ultimately designed to save the customer money. The company will also work with customers to tailor solutions to their specific requirements. On-site engineering extends from product verification for a given application to product redesigns, and in many cases includes custom dispensing equipment designed by Wegmann, or purchased, to speed up the production process.
“We review each project from the ground up, from our production process through the application, and look to save money via product choice and/or customer process improvement,” Wegmann says. “We have integrity in all we do and passion in everything we take on. We pride ourselves in the execution of any commitment we make, and we’re always looking to ‘Imagineer’ new products and/or processes to save our customers or an entire market segment money.
“Simply put, Wegmann’s greatest asset is between our ears,” he adds.
In order to better serve customers from a wide range of markets, Wegmann decided to invest in a CEI BossJet powered by Domino hybrid label press. The growing requirement of short runs, coupled with Wegmann’s previous experiences with CEI, drove the installation – which recently took place on September 24.
“We have a CEI finishing unit and felt very comfortable moving forward with Simon Gross and CEI, based on our book of business and the markets we’re looking to enter,” says Wegmann. “With regard to digital, we reviewed numerous suppliers and came away with Domino as our choice. This process was painstaking and many variables came into play. We’re expecting great things from the CEI BossJet powered by Domino.”
In addition to the new hybrid press, Wegmann boasts an array of capabilities. “Besides the standard flexo press platform, we process on the highest level of vision controlled web converting equipment in the world,” he says. “Our platform offers numerous servo-driven stations, with over 20 servo-driven spindles where products come to life. We are truly a specialty converter/printer, and now we also have the latest in a hybrid 7-color digital press surrounded by four flexo stations. Our printing capabilities allow us to create products others simply can’t without significantly higher costs.”
Wegmann Companies runs the gamut of selling into most markets. The new hybrid platform offers the company a wide variety of process advantages such as one pass options, low to no tooling costs and no plate costs for customers who have many file changes. Wegmann adds that the new press can aid with growth into traditional print markets not yet discovered.
“Every detail of your brand is important, from product to package to labels. We get it. Every detail of your process is important, and time and production bottlenecks cost money. It’s why we do what we do, with passion and a natural inquisitiveness to constantly improve our and your processes,” Wegmann concludes. “No project is the same, and all of our thinking goes into increasing our speed and your speed, consistency, and verification of our product and your product. Going with Wegmann means peace of mind.”