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Words of Warning: A Look Inside Electromark

(July 2007) posted on Tue Jul 10, 2007

Electromark is a comany that made its name by capitalizing on an extremely important segment of the printing industry. Find out how the production of safety-related labels and signage propelled the company to prosperity.

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

Electrical shocks, chemical burns, crushed fingers, and other catastrophes are very real in the workplace and can happen all too easily. Hazards are found in all industries—a fact that ultimately gave Wolcott, NY-based Electromark a niche in which to develop a successful business and carry out its mission: “to become a catalyst for an entirely different way to manage employee safety and plant equipment.” In other words, to save lives.

Electromark’s story starts in 1970, when founder Harold Rickles saw an opportunity to manufacture industrial-grade markings for nuclear facilities. The work was spread among five employees in a 9000-sq-ft facility. Over the course of nearly four decades, the company has mushroomed into a producer and supplier of tags, signs, labels, and other types of markings for electrical transmission and distribution, power generation, telecommunications, and other industries. And in that time, the company developed what it describes as one of the most sophisticated manufacturing operations in the industry.

Electromark is fully owned by the Brady Corporation, an international manufacturer and marketer of solutions that identify and protect premises, products, and people. Its products help customers increase safety, security, productivity, and performance and include high-performance labels and signs, safety devices, printing systems and software, and precision die-cut materials. Founded in 1914, the company has more than 500,000 cus-tomers in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, education, medical, and a variety of other industries. Brady is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI and employs more than 9000 people at operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia/Pacific.


The shop floor

One highlight of the company’s production system is the prepress department, which is staffed by five employees over the course of almost two full shifts. There the company operates a fully automatic Dane screen-prep system (Figure 1). Electromark operates the only fully integrated, turnkey system of its kind in North America. The system’s process flow—configured entirely inline—starts with a magazine inlet, then moves through a Dane Wash 380 reclaiming unit, a Dane After Cleaner, a magazine pass-through with air, a Dane coater, a magazine pass-through with heated air, a SignTronic computer-to-screen system, a Dane stencil processor, and finally through a magazine outlet with heated air.


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