Seeking Best Technology, Meredith-Webb Printing Custom Configures Sheetfed Press

Founded in 1952 by George Webb, Meredith-Webb Printing continues to grow in its 140,000 sq. ft. headquarters along Main Street in Burlington, NC. Four years ago, brothers Kelly and Travis Webb were handed the reins to their father’s company, which offers services ranging from commercial printing to direct mail and packaging, “My father instilled in us the importance of committing to the best technology available,” relates Kelly Webb, executive VP. “After Travers and I met with Kelly Ward, our production manager, and Wendell Robinson, our pressroom supervisor, we all agreed that the 6-color, 10-unit, 41" KBA Rapida 106 sheetfed with coaters and 12-foot extended delivery was the best equipment for our needs.” KBA is in Booth 1255.

The press will be delivered next month. Dubbed the “makeready champion” for its 18,000 sph output and cutting edge automation, the press is equipped with new technology, including the KBA Logotronic Professional management system, the KBA Densitronic combined density and color measuring system, and the Drivetronic feeder, with its pre-setting capabilities to reduce waste and allow for rapid job changes.

Key components of Meredith-Webb’s KBA Rapida 106 are its lightweight stock and heavyweight board packages, its UV capability, and its double coating feature. The double coater on the press, notes Kelly Webb, will increase throughput speeds and allow jobs to be quickly coated and ready for finishing. The company is testing UV and aqueous coating applications as well as special drying applications.

“Having a press configured this way allows us to crossover in all three markets that we serve: commercial, packaging, and direct mail,” says Webb. “Our KBA sales manager, Sam Creel, brought us ideas on how the press could be specially built and explained how the press could expand our customer base. He became a true partner in our business.”

While the new Rapida 106 is Meredith-Webb’s first KBA machine, management had been following KBA for years. “We would see KBA presses in operation at successful printing companies,” recalls Kelly Webb. “You look to see what other printers are operating and talk to the owners. Over and over, we would hear about KBA’s exceptional service, reliability and technology.”

He adds, “During the past three years, Travers and I have changed the management structure in our company—we have given our employees new opportunities and delegated management responsibilities with a new commitment to quality and productivity. While other printing firms are reducing head counts, we’re adding employees. We’re continuing to build solid relationships with our customers and our suppliers. It’s an exciting time for us and we look forward to installing our new KBA press this fall.”