AVID Ink Print Fashion Artwork on its New KBA press
Monday, January 11, 2010
Press release from the issuing company
KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that AVID Ink, a world-leading dye sublimation printer located in Corona, California, has dramatically increased its production throughput and high-quality artwork with the installation of its new KBA Rapida 162 64-inch five-color sheetfed press plus coater. The large-format press was installed at AVID Ink’s newly-built 110,000 sq ft facility this fall.
“We’ve grown to become the world’s leading dye sublimation printer for the fashion industry by investing in the most cutting-edge technology,” says Rob Davis, CEO and founder of AVID Ink. “Our business depends on being able to turn around overnight the latest designs for the fashion industry. By investing in the new highly-automated KBA Rapida 162 64-inch sheetfed press, we’re increasing our quality and productivity by 200% over our older press and reducing our make-ready by 75%. This new press will make a huge difference in our business and put us even further ahead of our competitors.”
AVID Ink’s new KBA Rapida 162 64-inch five-color sheetfed press plus coater offers expanded automation and productivity coupled with higher press speeds as well as the KBA Logotronic management system. The Logotronic management system provides company-wide digital data exchange between management, production, purchasing, logistics, and general office departments. In addition, the new technology provides the KBA Densitronic S closed-loop color management scanning densitometry system. The new Rapida at AVID also includes a fully-automated plate changer.
AVID Ink, founded in 1997 by Rob Davis now with his partner Jennie Enholm, supplies the fashion industry, primarily women’s clothing, with its own proprietary designs developed by its team of innovative artists. AVID Ink’s library of more than 22,000 designs are produced and purchased by fashion-forward apparel manufacturers. After it receives an order, AVID Ink prints the design on its sheetfed offset press using its specially-formulated proprietary inks and special heat transfer paper and then imprints the clothing for their customers.
“Each week our team of designers produces 120 to 150 new unique proprietary designs,” says Davis. “To remain the world’s leading dye sublimation business for the fashion industry, it is imperative that we are cutting-edge and fast. In the fashion industry, styles and prints change overnight—one day it is a floral print, the next day it is a tattoo print. Speed to market is a necessity. Our new KBA press is a significant improvement in that regard, providing us with more efficiencies and speed.”
Since its inception, AVID Ink has been utilizing a much older 64-inch KBA model as its workhorse press. However, the firm has been committed to upgrading its business with new computer-to-plate equipment in its prepress department. Once the decision was made to purchase the new KBA Rapida, the firm built a brand-new facility to house the press and added new prepress equipment to support it. Now its press operators have been trained and the firm has made custom modifications to the press.
“Our press operators are very excited to start using the new press,” says Davis. “They are like high-speed race car drivers with a very specialized talent. The new KBA press is similar to driving a new high-end race car; it will allow them to show-off their talents without any limitations.”
While AVID Ink did look at other press manufacturers and their models, there was little dispute that the company would stay with KBA. “We’ve had a very steady relationship with KBA ever since we purchased our first press,” says Davis. “They have been very supportive to us over the years as we’ve grown. They’ve provided us with training, service, and parts and we expect that partnership to continue with the purchase of our new press.”
AVID Ink began its business for the action sports industry by providing sublimation graphics on snowboards and wakeboards. But with only one transfer machine, the company was forced to source sublimation paper from East Coast suppliers and was faced with three main challenges: low quality, long lead times for deliveries, and high cost for volume purchased. Davis set out to change the industry and raise the bar. He established AVID Ink as a full-service sublimation company with the purpose of becoming exemplary in integrity, quality, service and delivery, and value.
Today, AVID Ink employs 200 to 400 in its facility. Its art department produces innovative open line designs while the printing and production departments include pre-press, digital (sample printing), and heat transfer machinery, which allows Avid Ink to deliver the highest color accuracy. Certified Placement Engineers undergo extensive training to ensure quality and placement accuracy of artwork at the point of heat transfer onto garments/fabrics. AVID Ink’s team of Certified Customer Service Project Managers effectively work to understand the unique needs of each client to guarantee their products are delivered on time and true to design.