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Netpak Enhances Speed, Turnaround, and Quality Control with new KBA Rapida

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that Netpak Packaging Inc., a leading Canadian packaging and commercial printer, is enhancing its speed, turnaround, and quality control with a new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color sheetfed press. Netpak took delivery of the press this spring. The Rapida 106 was sold in cooperation with KBR Graphics Ltd., the central and eastern Canadian distributor for KBA North America.
"Netpak's deliberate intention is to serve both packaging and commercial customers that require small- to medium-size run lengths with the capacity to do larger runs," says Daniel Filion, marketing director for Netpak. "We pride ourselves on offering a very short lead time and delivering a high-quality product. Most packaging printers require eight to 14 weeks of lead time but because we offer the latest technology and automation, we offer a much shorter turnaround time. All of our equipment is only five to six years old thus enabling us to reduce our makeready, minimize our waste, and produce high-quality work."
The firm, based in Anjou, Quebec, serves a mix of 60% packaging work and 40% commercial work, to customers in eastern Canada, as well as the U.S., Europe, and Israel. It serves the food and beverage,
health and beauty, nutraceutical, confectionary, toys and games, and tobacco markets providing folding cartons, labels, setup boxes, posters and brochures, POP displays and prints, annual reports and corporate literature, and instruction manuals.
But Netpak owes its annual success to continually listening to its customers' needs and responding to them. "All of our customers, but especially the food and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical market, require very tight quality control," explains Filion. "We were seeking a new press to respond to that requirement as well as to print on a thicker stock, such as flute and F-flute. And our company believes that environmental problems and issues are, first and foremost, matters of social responsibility. As printers, we counsel our clients on how to print responsibly using eco-friendly packaging and commercial printing solutions, from design and engineering to finishing, thus leaving behind the minimum carbon trace."
When Netpak management decided to replace an older 40-inch press from a different manufacturer, its research concluded that a new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color sheetfed press would provide all of its customer requirements. Since being launched at Drupa 2008, KBA's high-tech Rapida 106 continues to be the world champion in makeready and the most productive press in its class with a speed of 18,000 sph. A key unique feature of Netpak's press includes the KBA QualiTronic color-control system, which measures densities in line on each sheet at maximum production speed; this system eliminates time-consuming manual comparisons and reduces start-up waste. QualiTronic is a camera-based inline sheet-inspection system that scans each sheet and compares it with a reference sheet.
Differentiation from competitors
"One of the key features on our new KBA Rapida 106 is its automated quality control system," says Filion. "We are now able to compare each sheet with the customer's PDF approved version and identify the smallest difference it can find such as a missing dot. This is a marked improvement, especially for our food and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical customers that require tight quality control on their products. All of our customers are very excited about this particular feature. It will be a major benefit for them to verify their approved version with the printed sheet. We're very eager to begin production and display this new feature. It differentiates us from our competition."
Filion adds that major benefits will be exploited for the firm's pharmaceutical and food packaging customers. "The new Rapida 106's QualiTronic color control system ensures that there will be no variation of color on our printed products," he says. "We print lots of different lots for these customers and we print labels for soups and other canned goods with different skew numbers that look all the same. It is imperative that all of these printed products are not mixed during production but at the same time continues to look alike with no deviation in color from one lot to another. We now have a better control to ensure that with our new press."
Not only did the press provide automated quality control but it delivered fast makeready as well. The Rapida 106 is equipped with the DriveTronic SIS (Sensoric Infeed System), a totally makeready-free system that knows no setting or sidelay errors, nor does it mark sensitive substrates. Its mode of operation is ingeniously simple: a sensor determines the lateral position of the sheet on the feeder board, and as the sheet approaches the transfer point to the first printing unit the gripper on the transfer drum aligns the sheet with the side position specified at the console. Various automation modules, such as fully automatic plate changers, ErgoTronic ACR video register, DensiTronic Professional ink density control and the LogoTronic management system, ensure maximum productivity.
"Having a press with this much automation and a running speed of 18,000 sph will make a huge difference for us and our customers," says Filion. "It will make us much more efficient and will enhance our quality and lead time. The majority of our work, both packaging and commercial, will be produced on this press."
Another determining factor for Netpak was the Rapida's ability to print on metallic, plastic, and flute substrates. Filion says that the company already printed on thick stock for its packaging customers but wanted to serve additional customers. "The KBA does it; it's a big advantage," he says.
From its inception seven years ago, Netpak was designed to provide the packaging and printing industry with a 21st century best-in-class organization. Ever since, Netpak is a truly reliable business partner that embodies the best practices and the highest efficiency standards, from product, to pricing, to service. Netpak is a company that strives to meet customer satisfaction and valued corporate citizenship.


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