KBA North America held a successful open house in conjunction with Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica focusing on its small-format press offerings. The eight-hour event took place at KBA's new 6,000 sq ft Customer Center in Dallas on Tuesday January 18, 2011. Over 85 local Texas printers and suppliers were drawn to the Invitation to Innovation event where they spent the day learning how to innovate and seeing exceptional demonstrations on the popular Genius 52UV 20-inch and the newly-introduced eco-minded six-up Rapida 75 while mingling with fellow printers and discovering the wealth of information and business services provided by PIA MidAmerica.
"In today's competitive print market, printers are seeking presses that offer flexibility, gains in productivity and profit, the ability to run a variety of substrates, a reduction in waste, and increased environmentally-friendly features," said Mark Hischar, president and CEO of KBA North America. "Two models from KBA's wide array of press models—the new Rapida 75 23x29-inch and popular Genius 14x52 UV 20-inch presses—are proven leaders in these areas. The goal of this event is to show printers new opportunities in small- and mid-sized formats and to see the latest in equipment and technologies."
Guest speaker Bob Hall, Quick Printing magazine executive editor, delivered a rousing address to the attendees. Hall, a 25-year printing industry veteran and award-winning journalist, projected that offset printing will not be diminished in the future even though digital imaging has made a dramatic increase in the industry and Hall provided statistics to back up his claims.
One of the many highlights of the event was a particular press demonstration. The crowd was left aghast and excited to watch the Rapida 75 at maximum speed produce a four-color job, which was inline die-cut after converting the fifth printing using technology from supplier H.S. Boyd.
Chris Travis, KBA director of technology, explained how products being printed on these KBA presses can differentiate a firm from its competitors. "The KBA Open House focused on many unique applications to help printers diversify their product offerings," said Travis. "This ranged from printing high-quality offset jobs to printing on specialty substrates such as static cling and a new environmentally-friendly plastic from MicroGreen." Presentations and demonstrations were held at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m.
The event opened with remarks from Eric Frank, vice president of marketing for KBA, who stressed the importance of marketing. "In today's crowded playing field, printers need to market their organizations and find ways to differentiate themselves," he said.
"This event was very well received and we enjoyed a positive turnout," said Joe Polanco, president of PIA MidAmerica, a regional trade association serving businesses in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Western Missouri. Its headquarters office is located in Dallas and a regional office is based in Kansas City. "It gave a good glimpse into KBA and its new headquarters in Dallas. The event allowed KBA to welcome local printers to its new facility and see their equipment running. And it allowed fellow KBA printers and press operators the opportunity to share ideas and meet each other."
To provide a comfortable venue for attendees to learn about KBA's ingenuity and technology, the firm served genuine German food in a festive Oktoberfest atmosphere.
Printers gained insight into producing a variety of superbly-printed press sheets and took samples with them; the most popular were shots photographed by renowned artist Rene Staud of unique, luxury cars, the interior of the Dallas Cowboy football stadium, a pastoral scene of fir-scented woods, new lenticular pieces and the ever-popular giant world and national map posters.