Top North American Printers Are Guests of KBA at its German Headquarters
Press release from the issuing company
KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., invited a select number of US and Canadian printers as well as journalists to visit its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Radebeul, Germany during a four-day stay in mid-May. The group of 80 was treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the factory assembly hall, the research and development facility, and several cutting-edge printers who are utilizing KBA presses in sophisticated markets. Time was also spent sightseeing in beautiful Dresden and Berlin.
“Our open house in Germany provided top North American printers with an indepth-education on how to decide on one of our popular presses from a long perfector 41-inch press to a large-format press,” says Ralf Sammeck, president and CEO of KBA North America, who accompanied the group. “This was accomplished by showing them makereadies for commercial, packaging and label jobs, including hybrid technology, and comparing costs and throughput on both types of presses.”
First stop for the group was the KBA headquarters, assembly hall, and research and development facility in Radebeul, outside of Dresden. After a warm welcome from KBA management, the group saw first-hand KBA’s unique method of individually building presses for each of its customers, then shipping the press, and having the same German press crew re-build the press on their premises. The group learned how KBA builds its popular perfector presses and saw a couple of long perfector presses, including special configurations with coaters on each end being test-printed and prepared for shipping.
World’s first biggest sheetfed press on view
Adjacent to KBA’s headquarters, the group visited Ellerhold Grossplakate, one of the biggest poster printers in Europe, which laid claim to the world’s first Rapida 205 81-inch sheetfed press in January 2004. The group was treated to a production run on the huge press to see how Ellerhold produces posters within 24 hours.
The group’s next stop was to the sparkling, high-tech facility of a printer whose philosophy is to only take Internet orders and whose sales have been doubling each year. Within the facility on polished floors and employees all dressed in space-age white suits, the group saw the vast variety of nine KBA presses in use ranging from a 20-inch model to a large-format model all linked via KBA’s Logotronic management system. The company’s philosophy and its KBA presses have propelled the firm to post $25 million in sales in last year, $50 million in sales for this year, and an estimated whopping $100 million in sales for next year.
The group’s bus took them from Dresden in the southeast to central Germany and its capital, Berlin, side-stopping for a wine tasting tour in Saxony and a scenic boat trip along the Elbe past castles and vineyards. Once in Berlin, the group got a quick sightseeing tour of the historic Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Germany’s parliament Bundestag.
Space-age high-tech large-format printer
In Berlin, the group visited a unique large-format printer who maintains his prepress and order facility in downtown Berlin and a satellite production plant outside of the city. The satellite plant utilizes a KBA Rapida 64-inch press with inline slitter, which is calibrated to match the prepress facilities in downtown Berlin. No proofs of any kind are in use. The press is perfectly calibrated to match a customer’s request. One day per week the printer produces packaging work; the other four days, they produce commercial work.
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