Meredith-Webb Invests and Differentiates With New KBA Rapida 205 81” Press

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

A fleet of four KBA presses installed in five years affords new opportunities and increases pace of production

In October 2015, Meredith-Webb Printing Company, a Burlington, NC printer, will be installing a new KBA Rapida 205 81-inch six-color press, its fourth KBA press in five years. Due to customer demand and strong growth, the firm has invested more than $9 million to bring this first-of-its-kind offset press and auxiliary equipment to North Carolina. This purchase represents a combined press equipment investment with KBA North America of more than $20 million over the past five years as part of a company-wide effort to add capacity. 

“We’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of this giant 81-inch press from KBA,” says Kelly Webb, executive vice president at Meredith-Webb. “Currently, our company's capabilities are limited to printing products up to 65 inches. Our new Rapida 205 press will have the capability of printing display and packaging graphics for the corrugated industry, point-of-sale signage for the retail environment, and sublimation materials for the garment and fashion industries.  With six colors and inter-station drying combined with end-of-press aqueous/UV coating capabilities, we plan to introduce our unique printing capabilities to an even larger portion of the sheet-fed market.  Our existing and potential customer base is excited to have Meredith-Webb’s high-end graphics and coating capabilities at a much larger sheet size.”

“We are excited to combine the new press with our in-house sheeting, finishing, direct mail, fulfillment and logistical capabilities,” says G. Travers Webb, III, president.  “With CAD design and prepress in the same location we have built a company that is committed to providing the fastest speed-to-market service in the industry.  Flexibility of four different press sizes from 41- to 81-inches in one location will be crucial to meeting those requirements.”

The KBA Rapida 205, which is custom built in Germany, is a revolutionary piece of equipment that prints sheets up to 80.7” X 59.5”. The press produces extra-large format, high-quality products in a highly cost efficient manner. This press is the first of its size to offer a wide range of automated technologies that provide for extremely high print quality and low make-ready times with the addition of UV drying capabilities.

Currently Meredith-Webb’s pressroom is equipped with three high-performance KBA presses: a KBA Rapida 164 64-inch six-color 10-unit press with double coaters and UV; a Rapida162a 64-inch seven-color press with coater and UV; and a KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color 10-unit press with double coaters and UV.

“We have formed a strong partnership with KBA over the last five years,” says Webb. “This unique large-format press from KBA will provide us with an unprecedented level of speed and capacity and set us apart in the marketplace.”

The 105-employee firm has proudly earned the chain-of-custody certifications endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) as part of the company’s commitment to achieve its environmental initiatives.  Meredith-Webb also earned the G7 Master qualification, the “seal of approval” from the IDEAlliance as a G7 Master Printer, which proves that the firm possesses the technology and tools to consistently deliver the highest quality printing in the world, based on the most stringent international standards.