CPI Card Group Expands Capacity With New KBA Rapida 105

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America announces that CPI Card Group, a global leader in financial, commercial and identification card production and related services, is preparing for a successful 2012 as it eagerly awaits its new KBA Rapida 105 41-inch seven-color UV-equipped sheetfed press with tower coater, an eight-foot extended delivery, and plastics package. Delivery is due in mid-May 2012 to their Roseville, Minnesota facility.


“For the past year, management at CPI Card Group has seen a dramatic increase in our order intake and the need to fulfill press orders with additional capacity,” says Paul Boge, general manager of U.S. prepaid debit market for CPI Card Group. “We’re also seeking to increase more capabilities in-house, such as lenticular, to add to our services for our valued customers. After careful consideration, we decided that the new KBA Rapida 105 41-inch seven-color sheetfed press would provide the necessary automation and flexibility to produce high-quality jobs that our customers demand and give us a vital edge in efficiency and quality. Its array of features will boost our capabilities and expand our customer base beyond the 60% we already have captured of our core business.”


CPI Card Group will be replacing an older, less productive press from a different manufacturer with a new tailor-made KBA Rapida 105 press purposely-built for plastics printing.  Plastics printing is a KBA expertise and the technology incorporated in this press will provide CPI Card Group with a competitive edge for many years to come. This unique press has been developed over many years and provides a technological edge for high volume plastics printing.  A full arsenal of KBA automation modules will be included, such as the LogoTronic CTP prepress interface, fully-automatic plate changing, tower coater including eight-foot delivery extension, DensiTronic Professional closed loop densitometry and spectrophotometry, and AutoRegister via CCD video camera. The new press is also equipped with the KBA VariDry system with four interdeck UV lamps moveable throughout all seven printing units providing maximum flexibility and at the end of the press are three UV lamps and IR thermal air all tailor-made to provide for instantaneous curing of plastics at high speeds.


“One of the driving forces behind our partnership with KBA was the plastics package,” explains Boge “Our new KBA Rapida 105 will be equipped with numerous press components geared to the reliable transport of plastics and multi-layer substrates. These features include antistatic systems for plastics at both the feeder and delivery, sheet travel sensors in each printing unit, board sheet guides, and double sheet detectors. By having these important features, we’ll be able to continue our high quality production of cards and specialty packaging on a variety of substrates including foil, plastics, and 30 mil PVC.”


The CPI Card Group has experienced tremendous growth in its customer base because it has answered the demands set by trends in the industry. For example, its plastic card customers require color consistency run-to-run on all jobs, says Boge. Another trend is to improve the press check experience. Currently, CPI Card Group customers approve all jobs directly on the plant floor but the company and its customers would benefit by adding remote press checks where there would be no need to visit the firm’s production facilities. Utilizing KBA’s unique automatic press features, CPI Card Group customers would be able to approve jobs remotely by verifying information generated by the finely-tuned press systems.


“In the end, our goal is to ensure a high return-on-investment (ROI) for our customers and our company with our new KBA press,” says Boge. “We’re confident that we’ll increase efficiency, improve our sheets-per-hour, and generate more high-quality impressions. We’re going to continue to use an older KBA eight-color press as a back-up for the new press. The older KBA already has 150 million impressions on it and runs at a lower speed than the new KBA. But the new press will be the true workhorse.”


As the delivery date draws near, CPI Card Group is busy preparing its facility for the new press. Concrete is being laid where the new press will be installed, software upgrades are being made, and a re-organization of the firm’s workflow is being designed to include the new press. Three highly-trained press crews are in place but a fourth crew might be needed as volume increases on the new Rapida press, says Boge.


“The Minneapolis/St. Paul region is a heavy print production market,” says Boge. “Right now, our press operators are the talk of the town because everyone knows we are getting this new amazing KBA press. In fact, one of our employees suggested we place a big red bow on the press as it’s delivered to symbolize the gift we are getting.”


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