Kubin-Nicholson Corporation Adds KBA North America Rapida 205 81-inch Press
Press release from the issuing company
KBA North America, a leading supplier of sheetfed offset and digital presses based in Williston, VT, is announcing that Kubin-Nicholson Corporation, a leading large format, commercial, and digital printer located in Milwaukee, Wisc., is in the process of installing an extra-large format KBA Rapida 205 81-inch six-color press with inline UV and tower coater. 18 semi-trucks delivered sea crates containing the super large press to the firm’s 100,000 sq ft facility in early June, and installation is well underway.
“We’re very excited to be installing this press,” says Michael Rees, president and CEO of Kubin-Nicholson Corporation. “When we heard that the KBA was available, we were ecstatic. We feel that it will help our current work load for nationwide ad agencies and packaging designers as well as new business it will draw. I’ve been with this company for 25 years and I never thought I’d see a press this large. We’re replacing four Harris 77-inch sheetfed presses with this one KBA Rapida 205 81-inch press. What we do now in two hours will only take this press 20 minutes to complete. Plus we’re gaining an additional four inches on the new press that is very important to our customers. It gives our customers a larger canvas or image area to use.”
The new KBA Rapida 205 six-color press is equipped with a tower coater and inline UV technology. It has a maximum sheet size of 59.4 x 80.7-inches and will print on 60 lb to 48 pt stocks, including F & G flute.
Bus shelters, kiosks, posters
“Due to the Rapida 205’s flexibility, it will help us in a number of areas,” says Rees. The Rapida 205 is perfectly suited for our outdoor work, such as bus shelters, kiosks, and posters as well as the commercial/retail and P.O.P. projects. To be efficient and cost-effective, we needed a press that will give us faster makeready. The Rapida 205 is that press. It is equipped with KBA’s Logotronic management system and Densitronic S closed loop scanning densitometry system. All of that automation will allow us to perform faster makereadies and get more jobs on and off the press.”
Another benefit that the new KBA Rapida 205 will bring to Kubin-Nicholson and its customers is the ability to UV cure inline on press for fast drying. “We’ve had to do our own type of drying with conventional inks on our Harris presses by racking the sheets during the run,” says Mark Popp, Kubin-Nicholson vice president of manufacturing. “This is our first press equipped with UV curing capability and the process will greatly increase our turn time. Right now 9% of our business uses UV but we see that number growing very quickly.”
In addition, says Popp, the Harris presses had stock limitations. “We could only use certain stocks on the Harris presses,” he says, “plus it was time consuming to set up the presses for different stocks. With the push of a button on the console, the KBA Rapida 205 will set the press for a variety of stocks, from 60 lb to 48 pt. very quickly. It will allow our sales representatives to sell with more versatility.”
New niches due to Rapida 205
For example, Popp notes, Kubin-Nicholson will now be able to produce polyethylene banners that it couldn’t produce before on the Harris presses. “Polyethylene material is very difficult to feed into a sheetfed press,” he says. “We couldn’t do it on our Harris presses so we gave up on it. But the KBA Rapida 205 is able to print on polyethylene. This, we believe, will become a nice new niche for our company and give our sales representatives the tools to sell this type of work.
Management at Kubin-Nicholson was also concerned that its quality level would remain high and its reputation intact. “We have a good reputation for producing the highest reproduction quality available in the industry,” says Popp. “By installing the Rapida 205 press with its state-of-the-art features, we’re using tools that will allow us to produce a quality sheet easier and quicker. On our Harris presses, our press operators had to be fine technicians and artisans to produce high quality work. On our new KBA Rapida 205, the print problems will
not be there to take care of. The engineering of the Rapida 205 is a significant upgrade for us. I’ve told our press operators that they’ll be using their heads more often than their tool boxes and doing more work from the console.”
Press crews and trainers
During the early summer after the trucks delivered the press, KBA sent a crew to build the press and train the employees at Kubin-Nicholson. One man from Germany is in charge of the entire press installation. He has been overseeing the press mechanics and electricians and will oversee the Air Motion installers for the UV curing part of the press. After the press is running, KBA demonstrators and trainers from Germany will hold classes on the maintenance and operation of the press. All in all, it will take 12 weeks from start to finish to install the press.
Once the press is installed and up and running, the company plans to host events to show off its quality, speed, and flexibility.
Kubin-Nicholson is one of the largest litho/outdoor and digital printers in the nation, printing outdoor and transit boards for a long list of clients including Target, Kohl’s Department Stores, McDonalds, Burger King, Toyota, Ford, and Anheuser-Busch. In addition, Kubin-Nicholson prints commercial point-of-purchase and packaging for a variety of national companies.
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