KBA Installs 74 Karat Digital Offset Press at Digital Ink in NYC
Press release from the issuing company
KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., installed a KBA 74 Karat digital offset waterless press with inline aqueous coating in May 2004 at Digital Ink, a New York City-based firm providing prepress, printing, and display graphics.
“The KBA 74 Karat digital offset press provides us with the high-quality digital offset press device that was missing from our arsenal,” says Jamie Wollens, president of Digital Ink. “We have DocuColor toner-based digital color printing devices, two HP Indigo digital press devices with liquid toner, and a DI digital press. We needed a short-run solution that would fill the niche between the two-up DI and conventional 40-inch presses. The KBA 74 Karat is that solution! It is helping us address this part of the market and is opening more doors than ever expected.”
Very short turnaround times, great flexibility
Since the KBA 74 Karat is able to produce jobs up to 20 pt cover weight material, Digital Ink is beginning to produce a variety of jobs using the heavier stock. These jobs include counter cards, packaging, heavy weight pocket folders and media kits. This is in addition to all the printed products on the regular stock weights, such as multi-page booklets, marketing materials, six-panel brochures, postcards, and ad agency SWOP-approved top sheets.
“Recently, we produced a beautiful job for an architect,” says Wollens. “He needed 200 books with very high-end images printed on a Mohawk Superfine cover weight. Since we are surrounded by ad agencies, we’re finding that they like to use the 74 Karat to produce a couple 100 proofs of their next advertising campaign. The other day we turned around 400 28-page saddle-stitched books plus cover in two days using the Karat. The press gives us so much flexibility.”
In the nine months that Digital Ink has been using the press, the 74 Karat is becoming busier and busier. The firm is training a second pressman in anticipation of adding a second shift following an open house in early winter of 2005 to market the press further.
Added value for customers
“Some of our customers have been skeptical of the press when we say digital,” says Wollens. “But when they see what the KBA 74 Karat can produce, they say “wow!” It’s not the typical digital press they have in mind. This is ink on paper, 175-200 linescreen, four-color printing, using aluminum plates that are imaged by the inline Creo platesetter and loaded and unloaded on the press automatically. The press’s unique inking system virtually eliminates ghosting and streaking, printing beautiful, punchy solids."
Wollens has devised a proofing product called a partial press proof, a unique solution offered to his customers and only found at his company. On a typical 8.5 x 11-inch job, running four-up, there is an additional blank space left on the side of the sheet. He uses that additional four inches to offer his clients the ability to send images or photos that they plan to use on an upcoming Karat job and see how they will look outputted on the Karat.
“It’s been a huge success for us,” says Wollens of the partial press proof. “We charge $100 for the service. Our designers love to see how their digital photography or Pantone colors will produce on the Karat on the stock they have chosen.”
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