The E-version of KBA's B2 (29in) Rapida 75 launched at Ipex 2010 in Birmingham is fast gaining an international following, with installations in Europe, Asia, Latin America and, since spring this year, South Africa, where two press lines went live at Pro-Print in Congella, near Durban (KwaZulu-Natal). They are resounding proof that the E stands for both economy and ecology.
Professionals in Print
The KBA presses are the first in the company's 47-year history, and join 16 Komori presses totalling 64 printing units. Pro-Print, which specialises in top-quality pharmaceutical packaging, has won numerous accolades, including the Sappi African Printer Award.
Proprietor and managing director Barry Roberts took over the helm from his parents, Ernest and Doreen, who in 1964 seized the opportunity to acquire the printing arm of Allen Hanburys, now Glaxo Smithkline. Since then Pro-Print (short for Professionals in Print) has built up a reputation for quality excellence and outstanding customer services. Its 3,000m² (32,300ft²) premises in Hannah Road have witnessed its evolution from modest beginnings into a modern and well-equipped printing plant. Last year Pro-Print's 160 employees generated sales exceeding €11m ($15.8m). With the two new KBA Rapida 75E presses the company is gearing up for future growth by burnishing its economic and environmental credentials.
Exclusive customers in many fields
Alongside international pharmaceutical companies Pro-Print's highly discerning clientele includes prominent advertising agencies and a host of retail, industrial and tourist enterprises, among them Adcock Ingram, Aspen Pharmcare, Bayer, Winthrop pharma, Janssen Cilag, NBI, Sandoz Novartis Hexal, Whalley & Ass., Glaxo Smithkline and Xpressions.
Focus on cost-effective, ecological production
In choosing the Rapida 75E Pro-Print has opted for the energy-saving champion in B2 format. In addition to a higher maximum output of 16,000sph and a wider range of stock thicknesses (up to 0.8mm or 32pt) the press features a raft of new advances.
Pro-Print CEO Barry Roberts says: "It may come as a surprise to many in the sector that as a longstanding Komori user we brought a new vendor on board, but the spontaneous decision made at Ipex 2010 in favour of the two Rapida 75E presses was based on solid facts. It was not so much the production speed that tipped the scales, but the small footprint, the array of features and the quality of the service provided. The evaluation system on which our success and reputation are founded accords quality, efficiency, pricing policy and service equal priority. This applies to every aspect of our production chain from pre-press, press and finishing to mailroom logistics."
He continues: "Our rigorous standards don't just apply to pharmaceutical packaging: we observe the same high principles when printing business cards and reports, brochures, catalogues and flyers, and environmental awareness is an integral part. All presses are alcohol-free. The new KBA presses fulfilled our expectations right from the start, enhancing our performance on a sustainable basis. We installed a four- and a five-colour version, both of which boast automatic plate changing, blanket washing and ErgoTronic consoles. Their makeready times and energy efficiency are highly competitive, and they are extremely reliable. Their ability to print alcohol-free makes them exceptionally eco-friendly."
Diversity and further options
Barry Roberts has ambitious plans for the future. "Service is provided by the Durban branch of KBA's South African agency, Thunderbolt Solutions. We are progressively updating the automation levels of our existing presses and maybe in a few years we'll have an entire KBA fleet. Who knows?"