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KBA Installs Second Rapida 105 41-inch at Mainline Printing

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., is announcing that Mainline Printing, a leading Midwest commercial and specialty printer located in Topeka, Kansas, has installed a KBA Rapida 105 41-inch six-color press with coater and hybrid UV capabilities at its new 140,000 sq ft facility during the fall of 2004. The new Rapida 105 six-color press joins a KBA Rapida 105 seven-color press with coater purchased in the fall of 2002. “We bought the new KBA Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press at Drupa 2004 with the intention of installing it in the fall at our brand-new facility,” relates John Parker, president of Mainline Printing. “KBA understood our time constriction and they were true partners in our move and our needs. They sent five mechanics and two electricians from Germany to help install the new press and disassemble our existing seven-color press at our former facility and move that press to our new facility. We’ve purchased presses from other manufacturers; nobody takes care of you like KBA.” Mainline Printing has installed both presses side by side in its new facility. Parker decided to buy a second press of the same size to ensure productivity and flexibility. He cites the fact that both presses use the same plate size, the same inks, and have aqueous coating and UV capabilities, giving the firm the flexibility to make one plate and then choose between the two presses for the best scheduling. Both presses are also linked to Ink Pro, a digital information system that sends ink information directly from the customer to the prepress area and the platemaking department and then transferred to the pressroom. Waste and makeready decreases dramatically “Our production and makeready times are much faster with the KBA presses,” says Parker. “Since we’ve moved to our new facility adding Ink Pro and our second KBA, our waste has decreased dramatically. With the digital link to the pressroom, we can get up to color much faster and with less waste. In addition, our makeready time has decreased to 15 to 25 minutes per 4-Color job.” To maintain growth and add extra capacity especially for its holographic customers, Mainline Printing needed a second press with a coater and UV capabilities. The newly-installed KBA Rapida 105 41-inch six-color is equipped with six UV interdeck lamps; three in the print stations and three in the drying stations. Mainline also equipped both presses with KBA’s plastic package to help the presses to more easily handle a wide variety of plastic substrates. “If you print on foil or plastic, you have to have UV capabilities,” says Parker. “Five years ago, we didn’t have that ability. By adding our second KBA press, we’ve doubled our capacity and have the ability to produce a UV specialty job all under one roof. We expect our business to continue growing very favorably. But UV printing is becoming more popular, yet it is still a niche market. There is a significant learning curve to add UV printing. But KBA clearly makes the best press for this area.” Higher Speeds with Consistent Quality “We bought our first KBA press two years ago for its automation and its engineering," says Parker. "The Rapida 105 has a better feeder and delivery unit than any of its competitors. Plus it has an oversize impression cylinder. We find that there is no marking. The speed of the Rapida is a vast improvement over our other presses. The Rapida offers us high-quality printing day-in and day-out and with a better feeder and delivery we can run at higher speeds and produce consistent quality work." Between Mainline's printing and holographic businesses, the firm needs to print on a wide variety of stocks – paper and plastics. "Our Rapida is able to handle a wide range of substrates with different thicknesses,” says Parker. “There is no makeready time between a switch in stocks. The press doesn't need to be re-set. We can seamlessly switch between a 60# Litho label to 20 pt. board. On our old press, that would have taken four hours of makeready." The Rapida's tower coater is used to lay down aqueous coating on Mainline's printed pieces. The coating is used to provide a fast, dry sheet for quicker turnaround as well as protection. Mainline's lay-flat label work, in particular, requires the coating's protection in the manufacturing process and a high-gloss look. KBA Support System Unbelievably Effective When Mainline installed its first KBA press, the firm was not prepared for the care and support it received. "KBA’s whole support system, from the installation crew to the trainers to the local mechanics, has been unbelievable," says Parker. "Because they were so responsive, so efficient, and so proficient in their work, it took less than a month to get our first press up and running; we thought it would take 50% to 75% longer. We learned that KBA puts their installation crews through very rigorous training before they go out on the road to start to install presses. When they installed our second press, they worked very hard, regularly putting in 12 to 14 hour days. " To market itself to its customers and potential clients, Mainline Printing is planning an open house in the spring. The firm is anxious to display the capabilities of its new press and give tours of its new facility. By then, its newly-built holographic press will also be up and running. In the meantime, the Topeka Chamber of Commerce has been publicizing Mainline’s move and the addition of new employees. The local newspaper has reported on the firm’s more high-profile address, prompting inquiries from people outside of the printing business. “We’re here to stay!” “When we installed the first KBA seven-color Rapida 105, it was a press to build upon and grow our business,” says Parker. “The purchase of our second KBA, the six-color Rapida 105, is a substantial investment. But it shows our customers that we’re here to stay. We’re running our KBA presses three shifts a day, five days a week.” Established in 1955, Mainline Printing started out in business as a film prep house in Topeka, Kansas and gradually evolved into a general commercial printer. The original family sold the business in 1987. Today it is privately run by John Parker. In 1998, Mainline Printing acquired a sister business now known as Mainline Holographics, a manufacturer of custom holograms. Mainline Holographics technology can produce custom holographics precisely aligned with full-color printing all in one pass. The results of this technology are eye-dazzling products and promotional materials that create high visibility for their clients. These products include holographic collectible and trading cards, displays, premiums, packaging and security labels for the confectionary, entertainment, software and health and beauty markets In October 2004, Mainline Printing moved from a 52,000 sq ft facility in downtown Topeka to its new 140,000 sq ft two-floor facility on the southern edge of Topeka with 104 employees. While the firm has customers on both coasts, the majority of its clientele are within a 100-mile radius of Topeka. Ninety-five percent of its clients are corporations and ad agencies.