Numerous installations of new medium- and large-format Rapidas are evidence of Turkish packaging printers’ confidence in KBA sheetfed offset technology. One example is packaging giant Duran Dogan in Istanbul, which fired up its first KBA press – a Rapida 105 for in-mould label (IML) production – in 2003, expanded into large format with a Rapida 142 in 2006 and added a six-colour coater version of the same model early this year.
The product of a merger by Duran Offset and Dogan Packaging in 2005, and now part of the International Packaging Group (IPG), Duran Dogan is the industry leader in Turkey and supplies packaging for global brands like Diageo, Colgate, Unilever, Godiva and Coca-Cola. Exports account for 60 per cent of its output, its biggest markets being France, the UK, Denmark, the USA and Russia.
Aiming for the pole position in Europe
General manager Dikran Acemyan is the fourth generation in his family to head the company. His aim is to make Duran Dogan the European market leader, and sees close collaboration with KBA as a key factor: “Duran Dogan is the biggest packaging printer in Turkey. By the end of this year we’ll have processed 18,000 tonnes of cartonboard. We have a total capacity of 25,000 tonnes a year and for 2011 are targeting sales of 36 million euros. The Turkish packaging market is highly dynamic and dominated by a raft of family enterprises. It has a total annual output 360,000 tonnes. While we have a market share of around five per cent, we generate some eight per cent of the Turkish packaging market’s annual sales, which are estimated at approximately 450 million euros. Most of the packaging that we sell is for food and luxury drinks.”
He continues: “KBA’s powerful technology and strong position in the packaging market, and the keen interest they have shown in us as customers, made the decision that much easier. Specialised products such as inert dryers for IML production were also a major factor. In 2003, when we ordered the Rapida 105, KBA was a relative newcomer to the Turkish market, but they always delivered on their promise. Within a short period of time they had established a reliable customer services unit. And KBA’s local dealer, Dereli Graphic, is highly professional.”
Successful expansion into large format
“The Turkish market is fiercely competitive,” explains Mr Acemyan. “To cut costs and boost productivity we installed a size 6 Rapida 142 in 2006, at a time when Turkish printers were only just beginning to perceive the benefits of large format. We have never regretted this decision, because nowadays most packaging is printed in this format. Their size and weight mean that large-format sheets require specialised logistics, but we soon sorted that. Switching from medium to large format was much easier than expected. A large-format press is a big aid to enhancing productivity. The sheets off the Rapida 142 are twice the size of medium-format sheets, but the hourly overheads are only 70 per cent higher. So production costs are that much lower.”
The first KBA Rapida 142 was a seven-colour version with coater, but when ordering its second 142 Duran Dogan opted for six colours plus coater. The new press has a board-handling capability, a triple extended delivery, ErgoTronic automatic camera register (ACR) control and DensiTronic colour-density control for even greater productivity and operating ease.
Dikran Acemyan says: “Duran Dogan has two main markets: Turkey, where standard packaging is more widespread, and foreign markets, for which we produce luxury packaging using UV and hybrid inks. Since our corporate strategy is to expand our share of both markets, we deliberately chose a different configuration for the new press. Previously we had to print totally different products on a single machine. Now each press is dedicated to one product line. Eliminating conversion work has given productivity a further substantial boost.”
Driving growth together
Dikran Acemyan has ambitious plans for the future: “Our aim is to become one of the most innovative packaging printers in Europe, and to this end we are investing heavily in research and development. To support our own R&D we need a vendor with a powerful technological punch, and we aren’t the only ones in the packaging sector who consider KBA to be the leader in this field. So we’ll be working even more closely with them in the future.”