From offices in Boise, Post Falls, Twin Falls, and Pocatello, TechHelp Specialists help Idaho manufacturers, food processors and entrepreneurs improve their competitiveness through continuous product and process innovation.

Packaging Specialties Inc. Logo

Busy Bees at PSI Earn Innovation Award  

Jeff Winkles, Plant Manager of the Burley, Idaho branch of Packaging Specialties, Inc, (PSI) points out that the bumblebee is really not designed to fly but that the busy insect doesn’t appear to know that and does quite well. He points to similarities between the bumblebee and PSI which flies successfully in the competitive world of commercial printing. The bumblebee plays a key role in the image of PSI, a company that is “busy being better”.  

TechHelp honored PSI with the Fall 2014 Spirit of Continuous Innovation Award (SOCI) during a luncheon at the plant on September 11.  Once per quarter, TechHelp’s governing organization, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), works with TechHelp to select and recognize an Idaho company that embodies the Spirit of Continuous Innovation that is at the heart of the NIST MEP mission.  SOCI Award candidates are chosen from among the many companies TechHelp works with annually that create positive economic impact in the areas of sales, savings, investment, and employment. As Idaho’s Manufacturing Extension Partner and a partnership of Idaho’s three state universities, TechHelp provides resources and information that helps Idaho companies, such as PSI,  succeed through continuous product and process innovation.  

PSI has three strategically placed printing locations in the U.S. Each plant is equipped with state of the art PCMC 10 color presses as well as additional presses geared towards supplying over 27 different industries, with the highest quality printed films available.  PSI opened the Burley plant to serve customers in Western Canada, the Western United States, and Mexico. PSI opened the Idaho facility with printing capabilities for processed images on 10 color presses with max width of 49” and 48” repeats.

PSI makes familiar food packaging products that have unfamiliar names such as VFFS Film, Bundle Film, Tray Pack Film, and Specialty Film.  The company is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions that are fiscally and environmentally responsible.  PSI strives to efficiently and responsibly manage all current and future resources, assets, and influence to bring beneficial products to its customers, the community, and the environment.

PSI could not have made this Board work without TechHelp training PSI leaders to be Lean Facilitators. These Lean projects usually help drive up PSI’s equipment efficiency which in turn helps drive up gross margins on sales. Some projects show direct dollar costs prior to the improvement, which is now money saved by the company. Overall this initiative keeps the morale of PSI employees high because they know that PSI is empowering and engaging them on how to do their job easier, smarter, and quicker. 

One idea that PSI turned in to reality was the “BEE Hive” a comfortable classroom with state of the art AV equipment that now sits above the PSI plant floor. PSI employees came up with the idea and the name for the room and received the financial and managerial backing to make it happen. Today, PSI has a dedicated space it regularly uses to create “Better Educated Employees”.


“PSI wants its employees, to be as successful as possible at their everyday tasks, but at the same time wants them to be efficient in how they do those tasks. Dave O’Connell of TechHelp and  Idaho State University helped get PSI to this place.” 

Traig Jones 

Production Foreman, Packaging Specialties of Idaho