I count us really lucky here at Universal. Our design team has the benefit of being under the same roof as the production plant and has direct access to the production team & our VP Production, Richard Christianson. We can walk out to the production floor and chat about print design and screen-printing machines with him anytime. Okay, not anytime since he is usually found working hands on with a machine, innovating new production techniques or juggling any number of other manufacturing challenges.
So when there was a lull in the action I asked Richard -aka RC- to do a short interview. As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to hear his prediction for our top technology or machine for 2019.
Ameliaup: How long have you been managing the Production Team at Universal?
RC: In a couple of different capacities, 30.8 yrs
Ameliaup: Wow, you must’ve seen it all! I have a million questions about what it was like here in the eighties but that can be for another post.
So in your expert opinion, which is the top new technology or printing machine we acquired this year?
RC: The new to us Fermac R100!
Ameliaup: How do you predict this machine will benefit our customers into 2019, and beyond?
RC: Greater flexibility with our printing schedule by having another machine that will allow for faster overall turnaround times. It’s also able to print 8 colors which adds another 2 colors to our existing maximum of 6.
Ameliaup: What is the top challenge you see in the new machine?
RC: Having enough highly skilled operators dedicated to this specific machine. It takes lots of knowledge and experience to keep all our machines running smoothly, especially considering the added technical challenge of working with 8 screens at once.
Ameliaup: In your nearly 32 years with UP, what do you find is the best part of your day here?
RC: There are two bests. When a customer is happy they partnered with us and when our output is at the highest level it can be.
Ameliaup: Any closing thoughts?
RC: Every day is a challenge, just when you think you’ve seen everything, something new happens. It could be a customer request for something we’ve never tried before or even our evolving operational needs.
Really nothing surprises me anymore, maybe we can do it, sometimes we can’t, but we at least have to try. I think 99.9% of the time we make our customers happy and isn’t that what it’s all about?