KBA Latina SAPI de CV, with offices in Mexico City, is the latest subsidiary of Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) in Latin America. And KBA Latina has definitely got off to a flying start.
Various project activities were already in full swing before the formal founding of the company in August 2012, and prepared the ground for an impressive total of 47 printing units in the order books for the first business year alone. With this record-breaking result for Mexico, KBA Latina also stormed straight to the top of the charts for new installations on this important emerging market.
Major packaging printers investing in Rapidas
The success to date has been due in no small way to new investments in modern KBA presses by some of the country's biggest packaging printers, such as Graphic Packaging/Altivity in Queretaro, Smurfit Kappa in Mexico City and Aluprint in San Luis Potosi. Mexico's packaging sector has cast off its one-time image as a mere source of contract production, and today places an increasing focus on own technology-driven solutions. This is also demonstrated by the high level of automation on the two seven-colour large-format Rapida 145 presses which have already been delivered (one with single coater and one for double coating) and a forthcoming medium-format Rapida 105 (likewise a seven-colour coater press), a model which is attracting particular interest among smaller and mid-sized companies.
Commercial printers also favour KBA
Not only renowned packaging printers, but also a number of leading commercial printers, for example Grupo Espinosa in Mexico City, signed up for fully equipped KBA presses in 2012. The Espinosa group companies Apolo and Ingramex have already started up production on their two new Rapida 106 presses (six and four colours). It was first and foremost the unique technical features of the Rapida 106 series, with speeds up to 18,000 sph in perfecting mode and minimal makeready times thanks to fully automatic plate changing and the facility for flying job changes, which convinced the customer to abandon another major German manufacturer in favour of KBA.
KBA has also benefited from the collapse of the manroland group at the beginning of 2012. Former manroland users such as packaging printers Imprenta Richi in Mexico City (five-colour Rapida 75 with coater) have switched to KBA.
Focus on comprehensive customer service
It is nowadays imperative that sales successes be backed up by a professional local service network. Here, too, there is no doubting KBA Latina's ability to deliver. The goal of the experienced service team is to guarantee optimum performance and productivity over the entire life cycle of the high-tech press installations. That includes preventive press inspections, maximum spare parts availability and sophisticated parts logistics, continuous training for operating personnel, and practical advice on consumables.
“Our customers in Mexico must receive exactly the same high quality of service as a KBA printer in Germany,” says service manager Sebastian Vogt. That may sound ambitious, but it is the only way forward in an increasingly globalised print industry. “The international food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics companies here – in other words our customers' clients – export their products all over the world from Mexico, with a large proportion going to the USA. They must thus observe the highest international quality standards in respect of the packaging materials, which in turn places high technical demands on our presses and their availability,” adds sales director Mirko Straub. Therefore, the KBA philosophy is geared not simply to technology leadership, but equally to ultimate professionalism and customer proximity on each and every local market – true to the group motto: “KBA: People & Print”.
KBA Latina sees itself as a full-service provider to the print industry. In partnership with agencies for pre-press and finishing systems, it is able to supply tailored complete solutions for all relevant production fields. And the all-embracing advice offered to customers even covers the elaboration of financing concepts for new investments.
- Experienced team headed by Stefan Deuster
KBA Latina is managed by Stefan Deuster, who has been at home in the print industry in Latin America since 1985 and previously served as CEO of Ferrostaal Mexico and manroland Latina. Together with his colleagues Mirko Straub and Sebastian Vogt, he has established a highly experienced sales and service organisation. The team currently comprises 17 members, but is sure to grow in line with the company's sustained success.
Responsibility for further Latin American countries
From its base in Mexico, KBA Latina is also responsible for the markets Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. It is already planned to set up further sales and service companies in the region during the course of the year. After all, the positive economic figures from these countries offer KBA above-average growth potential in the Andean region. “We plan to become the number one print industry supplier in the whole region,” says Stefan Deuster with proud assurance. “We are a sound and financially healthy company, we are the technology leader, and we have a highly professional and experienced team. Those facts are reflected in customer confidence and represent the key to long-term success.”
The Espinosa Group, with head offices in Mexico City, was founded in 1952 and today comprises the companies Litografica Ingramex, Ediciones Pegaso, Editorial Ultra, Impresora Apolo and Ultradigital. Under the management of brothers Gabriel, Alejandro and Enrique Espinosa, the family enterprise counts around 700 employees and has developed into one of the leading printing and publishing groups for books, magazines, catalogues and other commercial print products.
In the field of web offset, the Espinosa Group has already been one of the most important KBA customers in Latin America since the 1970s, with a total of six KBA press installations over the years. For sheetfed offset, on the other hand, the group has to date relied on presses from another German manufacturer. In connection with the latest investment decision, the unique technical features of the Rapida 106 series, with speeds up to 18,000 sph in perfecting mode and minimal makeready times thanks to fully automatic plate changing and the facility for flying job changes, have nevertheless convinced the group to switch to KBA also for its sheetfed offset presses. Two new Rapida 106 presses were installed at the Espinosa companies Apolo and Ingramex in November and December 2012, and are today running to the full satisfaction of the customer.