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Printion Installs New KBA Rapida 75

Friday, February 13, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Defying the financial meltdown, early last December Peter Knappertsbusch, a native of Cologne, joined forces with Ibrahim Tastan and Martin Ronneberger to launch Printion – the fifth print provider in Radebeul (near Dresden) – with a brand-new Rapida 75 from KBA. Keying the name Printion into a search engine will turn up virtually nothing but the address: it takes a lot more clicks to find the corporate website (www.karnevalsdruckerei.de) with details of its portfolio. 

Printion rented a 400m² (4,30ft²) production hall when the business was launched, and the Rapida 75 five-colour coater press with delivery extension was installed on 12 December. It was joined by a secondhand platesetter, rip and IT systems and a guillotine. Between Christmas and the New Year plant managers Ibrahim Tastan and Martin Ronneberger, who met while working for a Dresden printer, conducted initial print tests – precisely by the book and with the aid of Ronneberger’s experience with other half-format presses. And lo and behold! the press worked. An instructor arrived on 7 January and soon the new printshop was in business. A good month later over 100 jobs had been processed and almost 500,000 sheets printed: posters, booklets, flyers and other commercials. The shortest run to date is 300 sheets, the longest 34,000 copies of a high-pagination brochure. Almost all the products printed are for trade or industry, or various clubs. Carnival societies account for around 10 per cent of total sales, and (thanks to the website) rising. Printion offers competitive, fixed prices for printing calendars and diaries, session notebooks and books, information sheets and admission tickets. A second website, shorn of the carnival tomfoolery, is soon to follow, targeting a different cast of clientele.

At present print jobs are acquired via the website and personal contacts. Pre-press work is done in managing director Peter Knappertsbusch’s Cologne office and the data transmitted to Radebeul for ripping, platemaking and printing. Finishing is currently outsourced, but a folding machine will soon be installed along with additional printing capacity – initially A3, followed perhaps in two to three years by medium format. There are plans to take on a new employee every two months. In the end there could be as many as 30: an eleven-member carnival committee, ten majorettes and nine men to do the work! But joking aside: additional press operators for two-shift production, pre-press experts and account managers must soon be found to assist the three founders. The second shift is scheduled to start at the end of February. 

“Choosing the Rapida 75 was a relatively easy matter,” says Ibrahim Tastan. There were only two possibilities, and KBA had the advantage of proximity. “Besides which, the press is self-explanatory. At a pinch, I’m pretty sure we could have commissioned it without the instructor.” Price and performance also weighed the scales in the Rapida’s favour. Press specs included a fifth printing unit and a dedicated coater because jobs often entail a special colour, and just about every product in the portfolio includes a coating, either spot for highlighting individual design elements or solid with contrasting matt/gloss effects, eg drip-off. “There are relatively few printers offering this capability,” says Tastan. The fact that the Rapida 75 has a comparatively low energy consumption is an added bonus, since the power supply was not designed for presses. While the Rapida 75 poses no problem in this respect, a different solution had to be found for the dryers in the delivery extension.

Even though print jobs for carnival societies are just one of Printion’s special offers, it is nonetheless surprising that the founders chose to locate their company not in a carnival stronghold like Cologne, but in Radebeul, where the “fifth season”, as it is called, is virtually unknown. “Since the logistics involved are the least of our problems, we could have located anywhere, even in Rio,” says Tastan. So it is comforting in a way to hear the historic steam locomotives puffing and whistling their way once a day from nearby Radebeul East railway station to Saxony’s very own carnival stronghold, Radeburg.




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