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Mallard Press Delivers Fast Four-Color Jobs Using KBA Genius 52 UV Press

Monday, April 24, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a leading supplier of sheetfed offset and digital presses based in Williston, VT, has announced that The Mallard Press, a Lombard, Ill. offset and digital printing company, is delivering fast, high-quality four-color jobs using its new KBA Genius 52 UV press. The new press was delivered in December 2005. “Over the past ten years, we’ve seen demand in the market shifting more and more into short-run quick turnaround process color work,” says Bob Gay, Mallard’s president. “We have been very aggressive with investing into the latest technology that can deliver short run, high quality results. After analyzing the equipment and costs involved, we jumped at the chance to purchase and install a KBA Genius 52 UV.” According to Gay, the new KBA Genius 52 UV press provides: - Consistent predictable color - Quick makeready - Single operator-use - Cost efficient means to produce short-run color - Ability to print on paper, plastic, foil, or almost any non-porous surface Prior to installing the Genius 52 UV, The Mallard Press operated a variety of high-speed digital copier machines and half-size offset sheetfed presses. Short-run color work (1-500 pieces) was produced on the firm’s Xerox DocuColor digital printer while longer-run color jobs (2,000 to 250,000 pieces) were produced on the firm’s Komori five-color and two-color 28” half-size sheetfed presses. “It was the in-between work, from 500 to 2,000 pieces, where we needed to find an efficient solution,” recalls Gay. “We thought our growth would lead us to install a Xerox iGen3 with variable printing capability. But two reasons swayed us away from the iGen: cost and full color variable printing. Our analysis showed that it cost twice as much to produce 500,000 pieces of 8 x 11” on the iGen compared to equal volumes on the KBA Genius. Additionally, we didn’t feel that full color variable printing would have enough solid growth compared to printing short run four color shells with black-and-white variable imprints. We feel that we can creatively design variable projects using our two-step approach that are more cost effective than the 100% digital color methods.” High percent of his work fits the Genius 52 Gay’s analysis also found that 50% of the work he was currently producing on his digital color printer and 30% of his work currently being produced on his Komori offset presses was perfect fits to be produced on his KBA Genius 52 UV press. “Installing the Genius allows us to be more efficient,” says Gay. “We’re able to capitalize in the growth of short-run quick-turn color work along with the ability to print on any substrate. The KBA Genius gives us predictable consistent offset quality color sheet after sheet no matter how much coverage is on the job. We just load the plates, check register, and print!” Gay’s original blueprint for his new 30,000 sq ft location called for a customer lounge area where customers could relax while they waited to approve press sheets. That area has since been converted into a color lab for analyzing press sheets and maintaining color balance. “Since the installation of the Genius, we haven’t had customers sitting around waiting to approve press sheets. Having a customer lounge now seems like “old-school” thinking.” says Gay. “It only takes 10 minutes to produce a sheet on the Genius that is up to color and will remain that same color throughout the press run. Running to density numbers that don’t fluctuate has its benefits. Just let the press do its thing by running consistent ink density no matter how much ink coverage there is on the sheet. No ghosting, no ink and water balance issues, no drying problems, no traditional press problems to deal with. If the color does not look right, then the problem is probably in prepress and should be adjusted in prepress. We can also remotely do press proofs for the customer by delivering press sheets to their office. Within a half-hour and a nominal charge, we can produce press sheets right on the customers stock, exact to color for “True Press Proofs or Progressive Proofs.” The customer can review them at their leisure, review them with colleagues, or send them to different locations. Once we get the approval whether it is the next day or next week, we can remount the plates and produce the job with exact high-quality predictable color. This proof method may quite possibly be better than any other traditional dot proof in the market.” Smooth training, full production run As for the installation and training, Mallard Press couldn’t be happier. After one week of training the KBA Genius was up and running on a full production schedule. “The installation and training have gone very smoothly,” reports Gay. “We were essentially running right out-of-the-box and able to quickly train other operators.” Additional benefits have been scheduling, pricing, and maintenance. Rather than having to organize the prepress and press departments together in order to send particular files to an on-demand direct-imaging digital press, Mallard’s prepress department outputs as many plates as possible for the Genius and then allows the press operator to quickly change from one job to another. This gives his company the flexibility to change the schedule immediately without affecting two departments simultaneously. Just line up the jobs in the plate rack and have the operator mount plates and print. The Genius is much more efficient than a traditional offset press allowing the firm to be price competitive on short run lengths. Non-existent maintenance Maintenance on the Genius 52 has been virtually non-existent. “One of the biggest benefits of the Genius 52 is that the press just keeps running and running without having to wash-up,” says Gay. “We don’t need to wash-up the press every night because the ink remains stable on press and only dries with UV light rays. We can go weeks without washing up the press until we needed to put in a PMS color. It saves our press operators a tremendous amount of time. Our day-to-day start-up is as simple as turning on the power supply and is virtually maintenance free.” Established in 1978, The Mallard Press began as a small copy center serving local community businesses. The company was purchased in 1995 by Bob Gay and David Cox from its original owner Ed Hibben who was happily retiring after many years of service. Soon after the purchase, the company began to strategically adapt to the changing print environment by adding new technology and equipment. Today, the firm produces high quality offset printing on their half-size sheetfed presses along with multiple color and high production black & white digital printers from Canon and Xerox. To compliment the finishing department the company uses fully automated Bourg saddlestitchers and perfectbinders. The Mallard Press has been recognized as one of the America's Top 50 fastest growing printing companies by American Printer magazine over the past several years.




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