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NFI: Industrial Printing Without Limits

(October 2006) posted on Sun Oct 15, 2006

Take a look inside Nameplates for Industry, a screen-printing shop that has served the North American industrial-graphics market for more than 20 years.

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By Lori Leaman

In the finishing area you'll also find an automated urethane doming system, two manually operated doming systems, three curing ovens used for domed products, two Franklin hot-stamp numbering machines, and two 27-in. laminators, which are used to apply adhesives and overlaminates to printed products. Other equipment includes Z-stat ionizers, a Blue M batch oven, Hi-Pot tester, and one switch-contact and LED- testing device (Figure 7).

A focus on employees

"Anyone with the proper financing can buy the equipment, but the equipment does not run itself," Rudnick says. NFI believes that bringing out the best in its staff yields the best possible product. Several of the shop's employees have been with the company for more than 20 years. Rudnick attributes the long-term retention to the company putting a lot of stock in its staff.

The company's mission statement and quality policy are aimed toward each employee reaching his or her full potential and doing it in a safe manner. Training is a big part of that policy, and NFI finds hands-on experience to be the most effective form. A few of NFI's employees brought with them some experience in the industrial-printing industry, while others arrived as novices. ISO training is a crucial aspect of helping employees achieve tight tolerances in production. A corrective-action program and Right to Know and Safety Training, based on materials from the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, are a part of the company's orientation program. NFI also sends its staff to trade shows and training programs offered by industry manufacturers and suppliers. The staff cross-trains on all equipment and processes.

NFI also credits its high employee retention to its flexibility in schedules and to understanding the importance of family and personal lives outside of the building. In fact, NFI's managers encourage staff to attend their childrens' school-related events and programs that take place during the middle of the work day. "We all have personal lives on the outside, and I think as a smaller company, we can be much more understanding and responsive to those types of things," Rudnick says.


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