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"One-Source" Loupe Enhances Business with KBA Rapida 205 81-Inch Press

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

August 21, 2006 -- KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., is announcing that Loupe, a large-format printing operation located in Gahanna, Ohio, has experienced double-digit growth and enhanced its printing business after the installation of a super large format Rapida 205 81-inch six-color sheetfed press with coater and custom plastics package. The new press was installed in early January 2005 at the firm's new 308,000 sq ft facility. "The key to our rapid growth is the ability to offer our clients one source to produce all of their printing under our roof in the fastest and most cost-efficient manner," says Marvin Petersen, Loupe's director of operations. "In the past, our clients had to go to several print vendors to produce their work. Not anymore. The ability to coordinate a job with one supplier saves them time and money." Catering to a wide variety of nationwide clients, Loupe primarily focuses on large-format printing but offers sheetfed offset and digital printing as well. Prior to installing the KBA Rapida 205 81-inch press, Loupe operated five 40-inch sheetfed presses, screen printing presses, and ink jet digital presses for signage, banners, and posters. Double-digit growth in 18 months "Before we installed the Rapida 205, we were essentially a screen printer with capabilities to print up to 120-inches on screen printing equipment," explains Gary Willett, vice president of Loupe. "We believed that a large-format offset press would be better technology. The installation of the Rapida 205 has enhanced all three of our business segments. Today, we can offer our clients the ability to print a few signs up to a million pieces. The digital presses handle very short-run jobs; the screen printing equipment handles up to 100 pieces; and the offset presses can print from 10,000 to a million pieces very efficiently. Since the installation of the KBA Rapida 205, we've experienced double-digit growth in the last year-and-a-half." Additionally, the new KBA press has given Loupe the ability to move into new, growing market segments such as packaging and alternative substrate jobs. Loupe plans to add additional new clients as well as increase business from its existing client base by offering the ability to produce packaging work on board and corrugated stock. The new KBA Rapida 205 can produce jobs up to 48 pt board. Differentiating themselves Loupe also had the new press equipped with a special plastics option that allows the press to print on plastics and styrene substrates. "We had run plastic and styrene stock on our screen printing equipment," says Petersen, "but the Rapida 205 enhances the speed and quality of this specialized type of printing. We've found that there are very few printers who have this ability, thus differentiating us from our competition." Loupe's management had the new press installation and building move planned efficiently as well. The firm's new 300,000 sq ft facility in Gahanna opened Jan. 1, 2005 with the infrastructure in place to accommodate the installation of the Rapida 205 press later that week. The facility is approved for Ohio's building code requirements and also allows Loupe to add a second KBA press in the future. Within 60 days of its installation, the Rapida 205 was up and running and producing jobs. Advanced technology on Rapida 205 = efficiency "Before we purchased the Rapida 205, we put together a precise business model of what we wanted to achieve," says Willett. "We didn't go into this blindly. We knew that we would gain efficiency in the advanced technology on the Rapida 205. We knew the press would reduce turnaround time and costs for our clients as well as for ourselves. And we knew it would increase our job offerings by allowing us to print on plastic, styrene, and packaging board stock." Loupe's management team also visited KBA's headquarters in Germany to see the super-large-format press in action. The firm had an expectation of the high quality of the press but, after seeing the press in person, was quite impressed with its quality and speed. Rapida 205 = four 40-inch presses at once "The Rapida 205 81-inch sheetfed press is like having four 40-inch presses in operation at once," says Willett. "We've attracted a lot of year-round business to the press and its schedule is full." Referring to the firm as having an "open-house mentality," Peterson says that Loupe prefers to have customers come to see the press on an individual basis giving them a one-on-one presentation of the features and unique characteristics of the Rapida 205. This method has garnered Loupe with over one-half of its business coming from outside the state of Ohio.




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