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KBA North America Installs 74 Karat Digital Offset Press at Blanks Printing

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., has installed a 74 Karat digital offset waterless press at Blanks Printing and Imaging Inc., a commercial sheetfed printer located in Dallas, Texas. The press was installed the third week of September 2004 and was up and running later that week. This is the first KBA 74 Karat press in the state of Texas. The firm plans to add a second 74 Karat in the spring of 2005. “By installing the 74 Karat, we are differentiating ourselves in the short-run, high-quality color market,” says Pat Flynn, executive vice president and general manager of Blanks Printing and Imaging. “The Karat gives us an enormous advantage over the competition allowing us to produce short-run high-quality color jobs on a digital offset 29-inch press rather than our large 40-inch sheetfed presses. Plus, it is giving us the ability to branch out into new areas, such as direct mail and specialty printing on plastic and lenticular, which are giving us new revenue streams. Our plan is to have one Karat only for paper and one Karat only for plastic substrates.” In the past, Blanks Printing had two 40-inch sheetfed offset presses: an eight-color perfector and a six-color CD press, both with aqueous coating. The firm’s many large nationwide retail customers have both long run commercial work as well as short-run, quick turnaround jobs, under 10,000 sheets. “The 74 Karat has been perfect for the short-run, high-quality work,” says Flynn. “It allows us to take work that we used to print on the 40-inch equipment and produce it on the Karat where it fits better. By doing this, we’re able to reduce overtime on our larger presses and be very helpful to our bottom line. Plus, the 74 Karat has been allowing us to generate more business for our larger presses in that we can make the first short-run on the Karat and then make the subsequent longer run on our 40-inch equipment, both printed offset and both printed in the most efficient manner.” In its first four months, Blanks Printing and Imaging has been completely satisfied with its decision to install the 74 Karat. “The 74 Karat is an extraordinary press,” says Flynn. “It prints an excellent dot. We’re so impressed with the fact that the makeready on the press is within seven sheets—that’s amazing! Plus, the press is always in register and we have no ghosting whatsoever.” Blanks Printing and Imaging is producing jobs with coated, premium, and uncoated stock on the 74 Karat. In addition, Blanks has been printing on plastic and lenticular. “Since we have our own digital photography studio, we’re very interested in adding lenticular printing to our job offerings,” says Flynn. “We’re testing lenticular and profiling the press. We have lots of ideas to use lenticular printing for our customers. For example, one of our customers produces floor tiles. We imagine a lenticular before-and-after piece in which a carpet or wood floor becomes a tile floor within a turn of the wrist. Or one of our clothing manufacturer customers could use a before-and-after lenticular job to show a sweater changing from blue to red. There are so many wonderful eye-catching possibilities with lenticular” The 74 Karat press is showcased in a solid glass, specially-prepared room at Blanks Printing designed for visitor tours and client press checks. Surrounding the press are framed displays of high-quality jobs produced on the Karat. Its environmentally-friendly, temperature-controlled atmosphere was built specifically for the Karat to eliminate any type of contamination to the press. A special floor was laid with 27,000 pounds of cement to allow additional room for a second 74 Karat in the spring of 2005. “We plan to have a special-invitation, client-only open house to see the 74 Karat,” says Flynn. “We’re going to take digital photos of each of our clients as they come to our company and produce a lenticular job using their photo while they are here. As they leave, we are going to present them with the job to show them our amazing ability and speed.” Blanks Printing & Imaging, Inc. was established in 1941 by Roy Blanks, Leron Blanks’ father. Leron Blanks has been the president since 1978 and the single owner since 1982. The firm employs 100 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Its nationwide customers include many large retail businesses that require signage, posters, point-of-purchase materials, advertising materials, store opening materials, catalogs, brochures, and annual reports. Blanks Printing provides premier prepress, printing, bindery, photography, fulfillment, and shipping to its customers. Blanks Printing and Imaging is also the largest sheet fed printer only in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. KBA North America is a leading supplier of sheetfed offset and digital presses located in Williston, VT. It is a member of the KBA Group, a leader in the manufacture of sheetfed offset, digital offset, web offset, rotogravure directory, security, and newspaper presses.

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