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KBA North America and Allied Printing Services team for Large Format Success

Monday, April 18, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

April 15, 2005 -- KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., is announcing that Allied Printing Services Inc., a large sheetfed and web commercial and financial printer serving customers nationwide and located in Manchester, Connecticut, is successfully utilizing its new KBA Rapida 142 56” six-color large format press with aqueous coating. The press was installed in early September and was up and running by late September/early October. “Everyone in our company has embraced the new Rapida press,” says John Sommers, president and CEO of Allied Printing, who operates the family-owned business along with his brother Gerry Sommers, executive vice president. “It takes many months to go through the decision-making process to purchase a new press. We looked at the over-sized printing  jobs we were sending out to trade printers. We realized that 90% of the work was under the 56-inch range. But we realized that this 56-inch press would be more productive and economical in our own plant.” New features, new substrates For example, Allied Printing is using some styrene to print new oversize jobs. The firm worked with an ink manufacturer to produce the highest quality on this unique substrate. The new Rapida 142 is also UV-ready if Allied chooses to equip the press with UV lamps later down the road. Allied also had the KBA press equipped with a slitter at the delivery end of the press to slit large sheets into two-up jobs. Since the installation, Sommers has been impressed with many innovative technology aspects of the Rapida 142 press.  “The feed table on the Rapida 142 accommodates large sheets of paper and automatically transports sheets to the front lays with only two wide suction belts,” he explains. “We are impressed with the Rapida’s ability to transfer medium and heavy sheets through the press without marking the sheet.” The Rapida 142 is equipped with three different double-sheet sensors. The ultrasonic double-sheet detector is an ideal choice for practically the whole range of substrates from paper to board, metallized stocks and even plastic materials. A capacitive sensor is preferred for thicker substrates. The third alternative, an optical system, handles a wide spectrum of substrates from paper to corrugated board. Simple switching via the press console activates the most favorable system for the present substrate. “We are also impressed with the speed of the Rapida’s automated plate hanging abilities,” says Sommers. The Rapida 142 press is equipped with single holders rather than plate cassettes, so as not to place unnecessary limitations on flexibility. The new plates can already be placed in the holders in advance. When the process is then activated from the control console, the press changes the plates in just three cycles, taking less than four minutes to do so - irrespective of the number of printing units involved. Winning over new customers In its brief six months of operation, the new Rapida 142 is already winning new jobs for Allied Printing Services. Sommers reports, for example, that a brand new customer is giving Allied a long-run job every other month to be produced on the Rapida. “Our salesperson was calling on the account,” says Sommers, “and when we installed the new press, the company sent us a test sample to produce. The company was very impressed with the quality of the Rapida 142 and gave us the contract. We would never have won that contract with our 40-inch presses because of the size and quantity the piece ran.” Having the Rapida 142 in-house is also eliminating the need for Allied to send oversize jobs to trade printers. “When we had an oversized job produced at another printer’s shop, we had to send our own employees to the location to approve the press sheet,” recalls Sommers. “It required a great deal of time and money. Plus, we wanted to maintain our own high quality level within our shop. Sending a job to another printer was always bothersome to me. Having the Rapida 142 in our own shop allows us to control the scheduling as well as our own high quality level.” First KBA press This is Allied Printing’s first press from KBA North America. “We invited KBA to do a presentation for us and we were pleasantly surprised to learn about their technology, their diverse press line, and their strengths,” says Sommers. “During the presentation we found out an interesting fact that KBA presses print 95% of the world’s currency. Then we went to Drupa 2004 to see their presses in action. We were quite impressed. We also did not know that KBA presses are built by a team that follows the press to the printer’s installation site. That’s very unusual and we like that approach. This helps installing the press in a minimum of time.” To prepare for the installation of the new press, Allied laid a large slab of cement measuring 84 feet long by eight feet wide by 20-inches deep where the new press was installed.  The firm purchased a new CTP system to match the larger size of the new press and new fork lifts for oversized material handling. As its customers come to visit at Allied’s Manchester facility, a stop at the new Rapida 142 56-inch sheetfed press is a must. “Anytime a new piece of equipment can offer new print opportunities, we like to share it with our customers,” says Sommers. “When an oversized job comes up, we feel that our customers will think of our the new Rapida 142.” First-ever oversize 2005 calendar  In addition, for the first time in its history, Allied produced its own 2005 calendar for its customers using the new Rapida 142. Sommers wanted the calendar to convey the size, quality, and ability to print on different substrates. Working with KBA, Allied procured an image of the Rapida 142 and printed an entire 54 x 38-inch sheet of the press image and the 2005 calendar year. On the top and bottom of the sheet, Allied used a plastic substrate and printed its logo on the top of the sheet. Each calendar was rolled, bagged, and sent to customers. “When they open up the calendar, the huge size of the sheet will make an impression on them,” says Sommers. “We hope that when they hang the calendar in their office that first impression will stay with them throughout the whole year.”




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