Printer Continues to Invest

Keller Crescent Co., Inc., a Clondalkin Group Co., celebrated its 125th year anniversary in late 2010 by continuing its decades-long tradition of investing in printing and quality control enhancements. The North American pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging supplier, which turned to mass production techniques to help keep costs down during The Great Depression, continues to examine its processes to ensure both value and efficiency.

Keller Crescent’s history reveals an ongoing interest in progress. The company began as one of the first to offer a photo-engraving process in the early 1900s. “Advancing technology has definitely played a role in Keller Crescent’s growth over the years,” says Kevin Kenjarski, vice president of sales. “In order to remain competitive and provide a quality product, we are invested in maintaining state-of-the art printing facilities with the most advanced systems available. We have increased our purchase and use of electronic monitoring equipment, electronic identity verification systems, vision equipment, and quality systems.”

The Muller Martini Alprinta 74 large format, offset web press. Keller Crescent has ordered three Alprinta presses over the course of the past two years.

In recent years, Keller Crescent invested heavily in larger format equipment given trends toward the use of larger format inserts, Kenjarski explains. The new equipment accommodates an increased number of folds in order to accommodate more information.
Keller Crescent has also implemented new press technology and industry expertise to offer labels and cartons that can be used as part of a brand-protection program. “We developed Brandshield and E-Pedigree solutions to accommodate these market requirements,” says Kenjarski. “In both labels and cartons, the industry has moved to integrate more brand protection technology such as brand authentication and anti-counterfeiting.”

The company has also equipped itself to enhance healthcare product folding cartons. “Clients are requiring additional colors and decorative details with an increased demand for security features,” he adds. In addition, “Many of our ethical prescription clients have reduced the amount of physician samples they provide but have improved their graphics and elevated their quality requirements for new product launches.”

While making investments in technology upgrades, Keller Crescent has also had to satisfy industrywide concerns over cost. “There has been a greater tendency for cost control, especially since the start of the recession,” Kenjarski says. “As the economy has struggled to improve to pre-recession levels, clients have reacted by reducing expenses impacting packaging for mature brands. We have responded by continuously examining our processes to ensure that we deliver the value our clients deserve, in terms of both products and service, in the most economical way possible.”

Keller Crescent began operations in 1885 when Captain William H. Keller decided to settle in Evansville, IN. Originally planning to travel to Louisville, Keller decided to unload his ship—loaded down with printing presses—and settle in Evansville. Later he would merge his operations with those of his competitor, Crescent Printing and Engraving Company, to form Keller-Crescent. In 2007, Keller Crescent was purchased by Clondalkin Group. Immediately following the acquisition, Clondalkin moved to merge the operations of Keller Crescent Co. with those of Pharmagraphics to create one consolidated company that retained the name Keller Crescent. Keller Crescent went from three locations to six and the company’s headquarters were moved from Evansville, IN, to Greensboro, NC.

To remain successful for another 125 years, Kenjarski says that the company must continue to adapt to the evolving needs of healthcare customers. “Companies servicing the healthcare industry must remain financially stable in order to reinvest in new technologies and systems that meet the needs of their customers and the end consumer,” he says. “With our unique blend of expertise and state of the art technologies, Keller Crescent is well positioned to serve our customers throughout the next century.”

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