Roadshows in China have been a major fixture in the KBA calendar for some years now. 29 October saw the conclusion of an eleven-day event taking in Harbin, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Dongguan and Taibei. With the exception of Zhengzhou and Dongguan the venues were different from previous years, thus offering as many printers as possible the chance to participate. Seminar topics varied according to regional interests and included inline quality monitoring, brand protection, plastic printing and luxury inline finishing. Attendees at a presentation on product finishing were given coating swatches to help them reliably reproduce the different types of coating possible. KBA head of sheetfed marketing and product management, Jürgen Veil, enliven his presentations with some brilliant print samples.
Zhengzhou is a good example of the keen interest aroused by the seminars. When the first seminar took place in 2008 there was not a single KBA press in the entire region. Just one year later there are three Rapidas in Zhengzou alone. In the economic region of Wuxi there have traditionally been a large number of printers, who until a few years mostly printed packaging of a poor to average quality. Today, after investing heavily in new equipment, many of them have expanded their businesses by offering premium-quality products. So at every seminar venue participants were able to see high-tech KBA medium-format coater presses in action.
KBA's most successful year in the Chinese market
The economic and financial crisis notwithstanding, 2009 has been KBA's most successful year to date in the Chinese market. Following an unprecedentedly high volume of new orders in the first quarter and brisk business at China Print in Beijing it soon became clear that sales this year would break all records, with almost one-third of KBA's sheetfed output destined for China. As well as a raft of four- and five-colour B1 (41in) press lines, recent sales include a Rapida 105 seven-unit coater press for Langfang Beifang Jiake in Hebei and a five-unit coater press for Tangshan Kailuan Daily in Tangshan. Both presses will ship later this year. Since its Drupa launch KBA's B2 (29in) Rapida 75 has also become well established in the Chinese market, with a dozen press lines already in operation or soon to be installed in various cities. But the biggest seller is large format, three contracts for which were signed in September alone: a 7B (64in) Rapida 162a six-unit coater press with extended delivery for Junlong Paper in Guangzhou and one 6B (56in) five-colour Rapida 142 apiece for Jiangmen Yingjin and Xiantao Huamei. So it came as no surprise that on 6 November KBA China was voted KBA agency of the year 2009.