(July 01, 2008) KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Williston, Vermont, pronounced Drupa 2008 a resounding success with a capacity crowd and sales success at the KBA booth during each of the 14 show days. Attendance figures soared and KBA's spacious show booth surrounded by four litho presses was often so packed that it was almost impossible to push one's way through.
"Drupa 2008 exceeded our expectations in many ways," says Holger Garbrecht, president and CEO of KBA North America. "According to group president and CEO Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann, the 14-day print media trade fair held in Düsseldorf in late May to early June, has brought in orders worth more than €200 million, surpassing the figure for the previous Drupa in 2004. Despite the current business climate in certain key markets, the attendance figures and the proportion of both foreign visitors and trade professionals was higher than expected," he continued. "The ambitious sheetfed sales targets laid down by executive vice-president Ralf Sammeck were even surpassed. Judging by the response to KBA's product launches, post-Drupa business also promises to be brisk."
Demonstrations of the world makeready champion KBA Rapida 106 41-inch sheetfed press with its many unique features met with a positive response among members of the trade. The exceptional versatility of KBA's new Rapida 105 also attracted a string of sales. In large format and among packaging printers, KBA underscored its leadership position in the global market with a succession of contracts.
North American customers sign for new presses
KBA signed a number of North American customers to new presses. Unimac Graphics, a sheetfed and web printer based in Carlstadt, New Jersey, purchased a new Rapida 106, the world makeready champion in medium format. The six-color coater version with extended delivery and perfecting after the second unit will also sport DriveTronic SPC dedicated cylinder drives and no-sidelay infeed. The press is slated to ship in October.
Los Angeles packaging enterprise Ultimate Paper Box purchased its second six-color KBA Rapida 162a coater press with double extended delivery at Drupa.
Four new KBA presses head across the border
Canadian printing company Beneco Packaging of Woodbridge, Ontario, signed a contract on the KBA stand for a Rapida 106 six-color coater press with UV capability and triple delivery extension. Beneco, a company that that has been expanding rapidly since it was established just three years ago, will inaugurate a new production plant at the end of the year, and this is where the high-performance Rapida will be installed. Beneco is aiming to use the press to raise its profile in the market for coated packaging. What prompted the owners to choose a Rapida 106? They said it was KBA's wealth of experience in packaging press technology and, more specifically, in UV applications.
3S Printers of Canada also placed an order for sheetfed offset technology from KBA, with three presses destined for the company's production plant in Richmond, British Columbia: a Rapida 106 eight-color perfector press with coater and extended delivery, a Rapida 106 six-color coater press, and a Genius 52 UV press. The advanced technology and UV capability will allow 3S to offer its agency clients and design-focused enterprises value added in the form of some sophisticated finishing options. 3S Printers was founded 17 years ago and has over 323,000 sq ft of production space. The company boasts FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditation and practices environmentally responsible print production.
The KBA booth was also the site where a U.S. customer requested a demonstration of how fast the KBA Rapida 106 41-inch sheetfed press could makeready a variety of jobs. Watched by an attentive audience of trade professionals, the KBA press printed a total of 15 jobs, each of 520 good sheets, in just 59 minutes and 36 seconds. The production run entailed 14 complete makereadies. Press operators changed all eight plates 14 times, washing the blankets and changing the feeder and delivery piles. Each of the 15 jobs took less than four minutes for makeready and printing.
New KBA print consultation service makes debut
Drupa was also the debut of KBA Complete, the new print consultation service subsidiary. Unlike many other providers, KBA Complete can network all JDF-enabled systems, not just those offered by allied vendors. And it defines networking not merely in terms of JDF links to the presses but as a holistic system encompassing financial accounting, ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, logistics and distribution. A key post-Drupa project will be to step up the development of RFID-controlled logistics systems for print enterprises. To this end KBA Complete has entered an alliance with Siemens, and is planning to install a pilot RFID-controlled logistics system before the end of the year.
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