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Hammer Packaging adds KBA Rapida 162 64" eight-color press

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that Hammer Packaging, a premier package printing company headquartered in Rochester, NY, has installed a new KBA Rapida 162 64-inch eight-color sheetfed press plus coater and additional key accessories such as a roll-to-sheet feeder, KBA Densitronic Professional color control system, and lightweight paper package. This press installation makes Hammer the only packaging printer in North America with this type of press configuration.

"Our successful mantra has always been to innovate," says Jim Hammer, president and CEO. "We lead the industry, not follow. In the past five years, we've doubled our sales growth and we're anticipating that we'll grow in double-digit figures during the next five years. We chose to partner with KBA because we feel that they are well-attuned to the market and our relationship has been very good since we purchased our first large-format press from them in 2005. Our new KBA Rapida 162 will be assigned to produce cut and stack labels for our high-end national accounts and we anticipate it will be running three shifts right away."

Since Hammer has its pulse on the packaging market with leading international consumer brands as its customers, the firm specifically targeted certain KBA features for its new press. One, the new press had to have eight color units; two, the press is equipped with a lightweight paper package; and three, the Rapida 162 features the KBA Densitronic Professional color control system.

"Most of our competitors predominantly have six-color presses," explains Hammer, "and we've found that our customers will design their labels utilizing all eight colors. This differentiates us from our competitors. The lightweight paper package is especially important in our market because our customers are trying to shed as much weight as possible on their products to reduce costs. We're seeing an increase in the use of lighter weight label stock and our press is equipped to handle it. Furthermore, we specified the KBA Densitronic Professional spectrophotometer color control system because it is used on all of our presses; it allows us to easily repeat customer jobs thus allowing us to shorten customer run lengths, while keeping their inventories low and allowing them to change their graphics as often as they wish. Oftentimes, our customers ask for process information in order to map the job for quality control. We need this type of high-end technology from KBA to better maintain our own edge as well as provide detailed information for our customers."

Over the past eight years, Hammer's customers, such as Pepsico and The Coca-Cola Company, have turned to Cut & Stack labels printed on film.  Unlike paper labels, film can be clear, giving designers the additional capability to reverse print, as well as, surface print.  Hammer specified that the new KBA press needed to have a 12-foot extended delivery in order to dry the film substrates run on the press.  "We print a fair amount of oriented polypropylene," says Hammer, "and we need the extended delivery to cure the job at full speed."

Another trend, which supports offset printing, is interactive graphics.  According to Jim Hammer, "We're seeing more extensive target marketing focusing on different areas of locale, different groups of people, and different types of activities."  This form of micro-marketing requires a greater variation of graphics on each package, as well as changing label designs from job to job.  "Consequently, we're running shorter run lengths of labels.  The key is to be flexible of the customer and be able to deliver exactly what they need in a just-in-time environment."

Having highly-automated machinery and features are key components at Hammer Packaging. This automation allows less hands-on work from Hammer's highly-prized team to focus on quality and productivity. One of the features on the new KBA 162 Rapida press is its fully-automated inking system, which measures the exact ink amount in each unit and captures every cost involved, to the penny.

Hammer has made it its directive to replace its equipment every seven years believing that technology changes enough to warrant new models. When Hammer installed its new KBA press in early 2010, it decommissioned an eight-color press from another manufacturer to make room for the new press. Hammer will continue to use its seven-color, 64-inch KBA Rapida 162 press purchased in 2005 with a Grafech Engineering sheeter. This was the first installation of a sheeter for a press of this size.




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