KBA Large-Format Presses: More Square Inches, Faster Speed, Enhanced Productivity
Press release from the issuing company
KBA North America, a leading supplier of sheetfed offset and digital presses based in Williston, VT, says that its state-of-the-art automation and new technology on its line of large format models is prompting rapid sales growth here in the North America and abroad.
Indeed, KBA says that its fast-paced growth during the past few years can be attributed besides its sales of the new Rapida 105 41’-press to its solid sales in its large format press models. “One of the reasons why we are the fastest-growing press manufacturer with a double in sales over the past three year is due to the phenomenal success of our large format Rapida sheetfed presses,” says Ralf Sammeck, president and CEO of KBA North America. “We’ve been able to definitively prove that a new large format press is more cost effective for a variety of business models, than a 40” press. Our large format models give printers the flexibility to use a wide variety of substrates on the presses and to produce both packaging and commercial work for their clients, all with the same quality and short make-ready times like on our Rapida 105, but with a greater output..”
KBA boasts the widest array of large format technology, starting with the Rapida 130 51-inch, Rapida 142 56-inch, Rapida 162 64-inch and the super large format Rapida 205 81-inch models. Indeed, KBA has shown its leadership position by delivering over 900 large format presses worldwide since 1995. On top KBA is the only manufacturer who can do perfecting in large format.
The new large-format Rapidas achieve print outputs up to 15,000 sheets/hr in straight production or 10,000 sheets/hr in full-color perfecting. Modern control console technology features
• Logotronic management information system
• integration into a digital workflow,
• comprehensive automation of important functions such as plate and pile changing or non-stop pile logistics,
• online densitometric and spectral quality control through Densitronic,
• automatic presetting for most press components and auxiliary systems
A bevy of high-profile commercial printing and packaging firms has opted to install KBA’s large format presses. Trojan Litho., a leading Seattle packaging/commercial printer, installed a large format KBA Rapida 142 56-inch eight-color sheetfed press with coater and hybrid UV capabilities as well as the new KBA Qualitronic II inline sheet inspection system.
Commercial printers go large format
Trojan chose the press because it could produce high-quality work for both its packaging and commercial work. The KBA Rapida 142 is allowing Trojan to grow aggressively in both markets since it is able to offer its customers superior options to help them be successful in the ever competitive market place. “The Rapida 142 is giving us a new niche in the commercial market that we didn’t have before,” says Wayne Millage, president of Trojan Litho. “For example, we’re now able to produce oversize graphics with UV coatings and varnish and unique graphic effects. We’re able to offer our ad agency clients banners and oversize prints. We’re able to print on different substrates, such as plastic, on our new Rapida 142.”
Since the packaging market is more competitive than ever before, Millage knew his firm needed to invest in a new press to respond to its customers’ needs. “Our focus is to make sure that we are responding, pro-actively, to our customers needs and providing them with solutions and options that allow them to compete more effectively in the market place,” says Millage. “My job is to help our customers be successful by selling more products and reducing their total cost. Our customer’s success is our success. In today’s world that means unparalleled quality, consistency of color for brand managers, and flexibility, such as smaller quantities with shorter lead times at competitive prices. Our new KBA Rapida 142 is a key component of our philosophy. It helps us to reduce waste and be more efficient. This press, along with our other investments, allows us to be a better supplier to our customers.”
Another example is Ed Garvey & Company, a commercial printer based in the Midwest that produces corporate, direct mail, and business forms on both sheetfed and web presses. The firm wanted to move beyond its 40-inch, eight-page work into large format point-of-purchase, point-of-sale, signage for retail stores, and packaging. To achieve this, Ed Garvey & Company installed a KBA Rapida 162 64-inch six-color sheetfed press equipped with UV and hybrid ink capabilities. The company wanted to tap into its current clientele and sell them more printing while aggressively attacking new clients and new markets with the press.
“The primary reason for our investment in the large format equipment was the desire to get into a market that appeared to be underserved,” says Joe Kulis, chief operating officer of Ed Garvey & Company. “There are lots of 40" presses in the Chicago area, but few 64" presses. In addition, the capabilities of the KBA press allow us to sell convincingly beyond our traditional geographic areas. We also feel that the UV and hybrid ink capabilities of the press allow us to help our customers differentiate themselves from their competition by printing eye-catching, dramatic, creative pieces on a variety of substrates including foils and plastics.”
Concord Litho, one of the country’s largest independent printers located in Concord, NH, has been effectively using its KBA Rapida 162 64-inch seven-color sheetfed press with perfector and inline aqueous coater to garner a number of top awards. The press is loaded with semi-automatic plate changers; CIP3 digital interface; automatic blanket, plate, impression, and roller washing; and a KBA closed loop densitometry system.
Concord Litho caters to both the fundraising industry as well as commercial market. The fundraising industry, representing 1/3 of the firm’s market, is primarily made up of designing and printing over one billion greeting cards per year for such groups as the American Lung Association and St. Jude Shrine. These boxed cards are sent to potential individuals to solicit funds for the organizations.
Two-thirds of Concord’s market is general commercial, including direct mail campaigns, point-of-purchase displays, posters, maps, brochures, booklets, and inserts. Concord also receives work from other printers who are not equipped with a large format press and produces their over-size work on the Rapida 64-inch press.
“The KBA Rapida 162 64-inch press has been an advantage for us because it differentiates us from our competitors,” says Dave Grisa, Concord’s senior vice president of sales. “It allows us to produce work more efficiently for our clients with higher quality. For example, we’re producing in-store signage in different sizes and quantities. The KBA press gives us the fast makeready to efficiently produce very-short-run signage in different sizes and different versions for our customers.”
Last fall, 13 entries from Concord Litho garnered top honors at the 24th annual Tyler Awards sponsored by the New Hampshire Graphic Arts Association. Concord Litho also captured the Best in Show honors -- and first place in the Posters & Art Prints category -- for its production of a 38-by-40-inch poster titled “Mandarin” for Vermont-based Applejack Art Partners and its Posters & Prints division. Featuring a striking orange flower, the poster was printed with fade-resistant inks on the seven-color KBA large-format sheetfed press.
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