KENNESAW, Ga. – June 4, 2004 – K&D Graphics Inc., a high-quality sheetfed commercial and packaging printer located in Orange, Calif., recently installed a Prinect Printready System prepress workflow system and a high-speed, automated Topsetter PF-102 thermal plate imager.
The installations are earnest expressions of customer loyalty and Chew family business tradition. It was only logical that family-owned and operated K&D Graphics, a Heidelberg customer since the company’s inception in 1981, would turn to Heidelberg as it contemplated upgrading its prepress capacity to match the productivity of its high-volume presses.
“We feel that Heidelberg offers the best prepress and press equipment,” said Gus Chew, K&D vice president.
K&D purchased a pair of Heidelberg six-color 28x40” Speedmaster SM 102 CD 6+LYL presses with double in-line aqueous/UV-activated coaters two and three years ago. The acquisitions, Chew said, launched K&D’s successful paperboard package printing business, which currently represents about 20 percent of its job mix and is its most significant growth area for the future. K&D specializes in custom packaging and displays for clients in the health food, vitamin and cosmetics industries.
How Fast Are They?
The CD 102s are so fast and so productive, Chew said, that K&D had to implement an efficient, prepress workflow to keep up. “We felt it was very important to have a high-quality trapping engine for our packaging work,” Chew said. In addition, “The Topsetter enables us to produce a supply of plates to match the productivity of our Heidelberg presses.” The newly installed Prinect Printready system serves as the company’s primary prepress system, in combination with the high-speed, ultra-productive Topsetter.
The Prinect Printready Workflow promotes efficient job preparation and production reliability by integrating prepress and press operation in a transparent, open, modular and customizable workflow, to which individual components can be added as requirements change. Powerful Color Management software enables consistent data output between proofs, and plates, reducing cost while increasing both quality and productivity. In addition, Prinect Printready:
• Performs complex color traps with precision
• Automatically sets ink zone colors from the digital file via CIP3
• Enables automatic or interactive digital imposition of press signatures
The versatile Topsetter PF 102 answers the demand for automated plate production by offering dramatically increased productivity (complete plate imaging in three minutes); thermal imaging of plates up to 45.6x37", and 2,400 dpi image resolution for printing up to 300-line screen. The maximum configuration consists of a fully automatic unit with on-line processor and 500-plate capacity. A maximum of five cassettes, each holding 100 plates, permits loading of up to five formats. Additional benefits include
• Maximum productivity in eight-page formats at high speeds up to 20
plates per hour
• Support for wide range of formats, including Printmaster GTO 46 and 52,
Speedmaster SM 52, and Speedmaster CD 74 and 102
• Register accuracy for precise plating, shorter makereadies, and less
• Faster run-up to production speed
• Support for semi- or fully automatic operation: flexible, upgradeable and
• Parallel installation of up to three punching stations, including customer-
• Conveyor to online processor
Customer Loyalty Looks Like This
In addition to its twin Speedmaster CD 102s, the company’s current pressroom complement includes a Heidelberg six-color 28x40” Speedmaster 102 SP+L perfecting press with in-line aqueous coater and a Heidelberg one-color 12x18” GTO. K&D’s bindery boasts Heidelberg Polar-Mohr Eltromat 115EMC 45.25” and 137ED 54” paper cutters with stacklifter and joggers; Transomat auto unloader/stacker; Stahl B-20 20x30” paper folder and Stahl B-26 28x40” folder with gatefold capacity; Heidelberg Pacesetter 705-8 saddlestitcher with seven pockets plus cover feeder, page recognition system and stacker; and Heidelberg Quickbinder 200 perfect binder.
“We don’t outsource very much,” Chew said. Determined to keep as many of its services as possible in-house, the company has its own structural design department, makes all of its dies and performs both diecutting and folder/gluing on site. The company’s investment in new equipment, including the pair of Heidelberg CD presses, saddlestitcher and prepress upgrades totals $7 million, Chew said.
It is an investment that Chew and his family believe will continue to pay off. The company, which has $8.3 million in annual sales, has no plans to add digital printing capacity. Chew explained that because K&D is “not geared to the ‘low-volume, low-profit’ digital market,” it would be difficult for the company to recoup what likely would be a huge additional investment in digital printing equipment.
Conventional wisdom says that it’s harder to keep a customer than to gain one in the first place. If so, Heidelberg is doing something right as far as K&D is concerned. “We have been a Heidelberg customer for 23 years,” Chew said. “We get great service and support from Heidelberg, usually just a matter of hours.
As a company committed to the market for sheetfed offset-printed products, K&D understands that loyalty, reliability, and consistency are virtues to be appreciated, especially when they belong to a supplier whose traditional strengths mirror K&D’s own priorities. “Heidelberg has been with us from the beginning,” Chew said.
About K&D Graphics
K&D Graphics (www.kdgpp.com) is a high-quality, full-service commercial and packaging printer located in Orange, Calif. K&D originated in a 20x20’ garage attached to the Chew family home in Anaheim, Calif. in 1981. The original business was equipped with a Heidelberg GTO press, Polar paper cutter, and Stahl folder. The 72,3000 square-foot facility that currently houses K&D Graphics also houses the Chew Family’s other businesses: The Orange County Badminton Club, and Bebe’s Café, a fine Thai restaurant.
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