KBA North America Announces Press Sale to St. Louis Litho
Press release from the issuing company
August 15, 2003: KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, VT, has announced that St. Louis Lithographing Co. (“St. Louis Litho”), a leading label and specialty packaging printer based in St. Louis, has purchased a KBA Rapida 142 56” eight-color sheetfed press with inline coating and UV drying capabilities. The press is scheduled to be delivered in late October 2003 and up and running in early December.
“Eighteen months ago, we decided to expand our product offering to our customers to include all aspects of premium packaging, with particular concentration on our core business, the distilled spirits industry,” says Trey Smart, president of St. Louis Litho. “Strategic investments were made over the last three years in order to clearly distinguish ourselves from our competition, with the addition of computer-to-plate, sheeting and specialty finishing equipment. The decision to move forward with the upgrade in our pressroom is a key step for us in reaching our mid to long term vision for our company. We currently operate three other KBA sheetfed presses: a two-color, an eight-color with UV on the first three units; and a six-color—all in the 41 x 55” format.
"We took the time necessary to review all alternatives in the large format sheetfed press market, but KBA has serviced our company very well and in our business that means everything. Our customers have time sensitive products and our objective is to play an important part in helping to maximize their revenue growth. KBA made it easy for us to choose them. Their service is superior and their response time is quick. They’ve been our partner for 20 years and, in the end, our decision was based on the positive history we have had with them.”
The Rapida 142 sheetfed press being installed at St. Louis Litho is fully equipped with automation. UV lights to provide UV curing and drying will be able to be moved around to give the printer maximum flexibility. The press will also provide St. Louis Litho with the ability to print on plastics, styrenes, and other substrates as well as print specialty work with UV inks. “This press sets us apart from the competition,” says Smart.
Established in 1921 as a small trade shop, St. Louis Lithograph grew into a commercial printer in downtown St. Louis. When prohibition was repealed, St. Louis Litho seized the opportunity to enter into the growing market for wine and spirits labels. By 1950, labels became a specialty of the house, allowing the printer to grow and expand. In 1969, Pet Incorporated acquired the company and invested in the construction of an 80,000 sq ft facility.
Throughout the 70s, St. Louis Litho began to diversify, which brought more growth and capital investments. By 2001, the company had upgraded its prepress department to include a new computer-to-plate system. In April 2003 the firm established a 15,000 sq ft second facility in Louisville, Ky. to produce pressure sensitive labels. Today, the firm produces point-of-purchase specialty packaging as well as hot stamping and embossing with unsurpassed quality.
“We look forward to our continuing partnership with St. Louis Litho in their successful business,” says Ralf Sammeck, KBA’s President and CEO. “Our Rapida 142 will allow St. Louis Litho to continue its rapid growth in the many areas of the packaging markets it serves.”
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