A roadshow organised by KBA Asia-Pacific on 25 November in the Malaysian port of Johor Bahru was a big success, attracting some 150 participants keen to find out why “size does not matter”. KBA roadshows are very popular in Malaysia.
The last one, held two years ago at KBA’s subsidiary in Kuala Lumpur, celebrated the launch of the new B2 (29in) Rapida 75. At this one the focus was on KBA’s new Rapida 105 along with a six-colour Rapida 185 with coater at Linocraft Printers that is the second-biggest KBA sheetfed press worldwide and the biggest in the region.
Along with Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Johor Bahru (“the new jewel”) on the southernmost tip of Malaysia, opposite Singapore, is a major business and printing centre and home to numerous KBA users.
On the eve of the roadshow at Linocraft KBA held a “November-Fest” social gathering where the guests were welcomed by KBA-Asia-Pacific managing director Stefan Segger and sales manager Rex Teng. The next day Stefan Segger opened proceedings with a briefing on KBA’s present market position and many product innovations. As examples he cited the new B1 (41in) Rapida 105 sheetfed offset press, C16, C48 SG and C56 SG commercial web presses and the newly launched Commander CL newspaper press. He said: “KBA offers customers in many sectors attractive products and continuously improved after-sales services, while a solid financial background allows us square up to future challenges.”
New customers in all formats
In recent years KBA has gained new customers in Malaysia and, indeed, throughout Asia with a range of presses spanning the half-size Rapida 75, the medium-format Rapida 105 and 106, and large-format Rapida 142 and 185. Secondhand business has also been brisk. Says Segger: “This can be attributed to the high quality of our customer services. While other vendors have been shedding staff, KBA Asia-Pacific has expanded its payroll, even hiring a number of German technicians.” Many new customers, like Dragon Hitech Printing, Lian Yik, Kencana, Eastern Printers, Linocraft and Tien Wah Press, are driving growth with KBA technology. In the region there is also an emerging trend towards bigger formats, with packaging printing enjoying the highest growth rates. Segger illustrated his briefing with video footage of production at TWP (Rapida 142-5+C) and Kencana (Rapida 75E).
Keen interest in new Rapida 105
Attendees showed keen interest in a run-down provided by KBA sheetfed marketing manager Jürgen Veil on the new Rapida 105, which was unveiled just a few days earlier at the All in Print China trade fair in Shanghai and shares the same platform as KBA’s high-tech Rapida 106. Jürgen Veil listed an array of features backing the claim that the new Rapida 105 is “designed for performance” and has even more to offer than its popular predecessor in terms of productivity, makeready and handling.
Impressive demonstration of VLF capabilities
The high spot of the roadshow was the open house at Linocraft Printers, where a superlarge-format Rapida 185 has been strutting its stuff since late last year. Linocraft CEO Andrew Tan Woon Chay and Stefan Segger hosted a stunning demonstration that included a range of different jobs and substrates printed on a press normally noted for the excellence of its packaging production. Samples included large-scale world maps that were eagerly snapped up by souvenir hunters.