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Karo Druck in Eppan, South Tyrol adds new KBA Rapida 106

Press release from the issuing company

When a family business makes the biggest investment in its history during a period of severe economic turbulence, such courage in the face of risk demands considerable respect. Unfazed, Karo Druck in Frangart, a suburb of Eppan, on South Tyrol's idyllic wine route has paved the way for future growth with the purchase of a new B1 (41in) KBA Rapida 106.

Since being founded by Karlheinz Kofler and Robert Stufferin in1980 Karo Druck has evolved into one of the most successful print enterprises in the region. The appeal of its products and the all-in service provided, from design to delivery, have enabled the company to extend its business contacts to Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Its biggest customers are in catering and tourism, banking, services, wholesale and manufacturing. Karo Druck started off printing business stationery with small-format mono and two-colour presses. Today it produces a broad spectrum of catalogues, brochures and books to high quality standards that are constantly being enhanced. Growth has been so rapid that in 1995 the company relocated to a new, 4,500m² site in Frangart.

KBA customer for 26 years
Karo Druck's association with KBA began in 1984 with the delivery of two-colour Rapida SRO, which at that time was built at KBA's main factory in Würzburg. The press remained in service until 1996, when the company moved up to four-colour production with a Rapida 104 that quadrupled its print output. Fourteen years and 230 million prints later Karo Druck had to choose between having the Rapida 104 overhauled or investing in new, cutting-edge technology. New technology won the day, opening up new horizons for creative ideas.

Quantum leap in technology
The selection process is still fresh in Karlheinz Kofler's memory: "We looked at four presses from leading vendors and compared prints produced with six different test formes. KBA won hands down. As in 1984, when we bought the Rapida SRO, we had direct contact with KBA's main factory and received competent, professional advice. The option of returning the old press and receiving assistance in financing the new Rapida 106 reinforced our decision to offer our customers new technology and to enhance product diversity, quality and turnaround times."

For Karo Druck, making the transition from the four-colour Rapida 104 to a five-colour Rapida 106 with coating capability represented a quantum leap in technology. The result has been a dramatic improvement in makeready time, productivity, ease of handling, quality and product design.

Expanded product spectrum
After working with the new Rapida 106 for a few weeks Karlheinz Kofler and his technical director Andreas Tamanini are firmly convinced that they made the right choice. Karlheinz Kofler says: "Two of our press operators received special training at KBA's customer centre in Radebeul to ensure that they could utilise the new technology to the full. We are confident that we shall soon be able to expand production from two shifts to three. The KBA Rapida 106 is our first coater press, so we are still introducing our customers to the options that are now available – special colours, matt or high-gloss coatings, and spot gloss or matt effects – and re looking forward to receiving additional work."

Technological refinements
What persuaded Karo Druck management to opt for the Rapida 106 was its cutting-edge console technology with DensiTronic Professional and QualiTronic Professional quality management systems. Says Kofler: "Compared to our previous press the Rapida 106 is on a totally new level, with a raft of technological refinements and automated features. It has halved makeready times and raised net output by 50%. It is highly productive and exceptionally versatile, capable of printing stock weights of 40 to 500gsm and an 80lpc screen in a superb quality."