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Techprint: from labels to printed electronics to product assembly, this Massachusetts converter is a true one-stop shop for its high-tech customers.
The name is Techprint, and the big white letters feature the company: labels, graphic coverage, custom film and contract assembly.
What is not mentioned outside the factory is a technology that is known to more and more companies, who are customers of Techprint: printed electronics. [
Techprint has been in the printing electronics business for half of 36 years, quietly innovating in the industry that is starting to attract global attention today.
The company\'s skills include a wide range of printing and conversion processes: roll and single sheet screen printing, flexo printing, thermal printing, digital printing, pad printing, laser engraving, roll lamination, plastic molding and contract product assembly.
Unlike companies that focus on manufacturing components, Techprint specializes in producing the entire product.
Paul J. with a print background. Durant Sr.
The company was established in 1973.
\"We started printing on plastic film, making durable product logos such as graphic coverage.
My customer would say, \"I don\'t want to put this graphic overlay or decals on a metal back or PC board, so can you please assemble it for me ? \"?
This is why I am motivated to do more value-added applications.
They may then ask for a built-in display, connector, cable array in the product.
Finally, they asked us if we could assemble the whole product.
So the whole product is market driven.
\"Thanks to Durant\'s close cooperation with ink manufacturers, the company\'s growth is mainly for screen inks.
\"We must work closely with ink manufacturing companies;
We work with them on how to use their products and what we want ink to do.
The big silver conductive ink manufacturer said we had to bake everything but we would say \"no\" and we wanted to print it in bulk and run it under an underwater robot lamp or an oven, and can heal it online continuously.
Therefore, they must develop the solvent in the ink in order to drive these silver conductive inks more quickly. \" [
Slightly] IllustrationsPaul J. Durant Jr.
Almost growing up in the industry, today is the company\'s national sales manager with annual sales of about $14 million.
\"Screen printing is definitely our leading process and people are coming to us for this process,\" Paul Jr . \"
\"There are 10 different printing processes in our factory to meet the needs of a variety of products.
We have about 60 percent keyboards, film switches, printed electronics;
About 40% straight labels, graphic overlays, and products of this nature.
We become one.
Stop shopping for many of our customers.
They will buy the keyboard, but many of their devices need warning labels, and perhaps a UL symbol label, barcode, serial number label, or a different type of ID label for the port and plug.
Now it\'s OK to cover it with graphics.
Instead of printing directly on metal, we print directly on a piece of plastic.
It\'s more cost-effective to print a overlay and paste it.
You can change the color and it is more durable.
You won\'t ruin an expensive piece of metal because of a typographical error.
\"A lot of suppliers come to us,\" said Paul Jr.
Added, \"whether they are ink makers or film manufacturers, because we have some of the most powerful screen printing equipment with some of the highest curing parameters in our oven, and our UV curing capacity.
We are also very willing to work with new product development projects \"never done before. \" [
About 30% of Techprint\'s business is in the medical field, a large part of which is for contract manufacturers.
An example of the company printing electronic products is the bio-sensor-
Layered, flexible product for testing in all aspects of the body.
While in most cases the company is obliged not to disclose most of the details of the products it produces, a general description can be obtained.
This is a typical sensor, says Paul Jr.
Starting with polyester film.
\"We use silver conductive ink technology, asilver silver chloride ink technology, dielectric ink to print on both sides, then we apply some medical foam and medical adhesive for the skin, and finally provide connector solutions at the end, work sensors are formed.
Many of the sensor products we produce present a tendency to eliminate invasive diagnosis and make it non-invasive.
More invasive and comfortable for patients.
\"The technical staff of the technical printing test carried out a comprehensive inspection and traceability of all products 100%.
\"We test continuity, resistance specifications and print out a pass/fail, each part serialized,\" said Paul Jr . \"
\"With medical products, we need to have complete tracking
Ability and batch control, what ink we use, what material we use, how we print when we print, what screen we use, what scraper pressure, what oven temperature, what temperature in the room, what humidity in the room--
Every work we do must be recorded.
So if something goes wrong in a certain area, the company will go down the chain and come to us to help determine what is failing.
We can identify the supplier of the product and the customer can go to the supplier to identify the problem or pollution in the product.
Paul Sr noted: \"There has been a huge change in quality control over the years from a customer perspective.
\"Today, they want to make sure we have the right procedures so that we can produce their products over and over without any changes.
\"In the past six months, we have conducted five audits of medical production facilities, which will take three or four days each time.
They came in with ateam and checked all of our ISO: 9000 procedures, documentation, records, how can we prove that we are a world class manufacturer/producer and produce consistent products on time, economically, run 100%-to-run and batch-to-batch.
You have to prove that you can do this so that they will approve you as a manufacturing plant.
\"Techprint\'s certification of the ISO: 9000 standard proves our company --
\"At all levels of the organization, there is a broad commitment to quality,\" said Paul Sr . \"
Research and development focus of Durants and its team--
Among them are 6 engineers with rich background in electronics and plastics.
Invest a considerable amount of time in product development.
\"It\'s either a fast lane or a slow lane . \"
\"From R & D to finished products, the fast lane can last for two weeks.
Then you have two other years.
They try different materials and want the electrodes to move, the connection changes, the restructuring of the cable, the use of more flexible foam, and so on.
\"When we receive the order, we will have a preliminary design meeting with the customer,\" Paul said . \"
\"A lot of the time, they give the US a strong user input specification, or they give us limited information that we have to extract from them.
We will then generate all the approval files, all the drawings, and make sure everything is correct--
Size, basket, etc. --
Let them sign it.
Then we made an article, a small production run.
We give them prototypes and then they sign on them and then post them to the production department and then we go to make them.
We have a complete document control system to handle any changes.
\"We have grown in the last four recessions and we had the best year last year,\" said old Durant.
\"The first quarter of this year was a bit slow, but there was a rise in the second quarter.
We are developing a large number of new products but no one has ordered them yet.
In the first and second quarters of this year, we developed 38 brand new products, and all our customers did not launch these new medical devices because of the small amount of money.
If no one buys anything, no one wants to launch a medical device because the first 90 days are when they measure the profitability of a new product.
The company is working on manufacturing prototypes and product improvements.
In the first half of this year, we received 10, 20 and 50 orders.
\"The company processes 425 to 450 separate orders per week.
\"More than 80% of them are duplicate orders. \" [
Slightly] IllustrationsPaul Sr.
Jokes about extremely short-term orders, but say they have their own benefits.
\"Do you know how many new products we have worked for the past year and a half?
If every customer has only a few thousand pounds in sales, we will double our sales next year.
\"Techprint has quite a bit of competition in the New England region, but many companies focus on the narrow aspects of production, they say.
\"Our biggest sales help is to visit the factory,\" said PaulSr . \".
\"We have an open policy where our customers come in and they see this throughout the production area.
\"I think we got rid of these recessions because of our performance towards our customers,\" his son said . \".
\"We help them develop their products, we help them make the products marketable, we help them make the products available so that when everything starts to improve we see the index level