KBA North America

Second KBA Rapida 64-inch Rapida Inaugurates New Foster Printing Company Facility

KBA North America has announced that Foster Printing Company, a large-format trade printer based in Santa Ana, CA, has inaugurated its new 46,000 sqft facility in southern California with its second new KBA Rapida 162a 64-inch sheetfed press. The firm began printing in its new facility in early December 2010 with its new KBA Rapida 162a 64-inch five-color conventional press alongside its 2008-purchased KBA Rapida 162a 64-inch six-press with UV capabilities.

"Our new state-of-the-art facility, which we purchased late last year, along with a second large-format press from KBA is the culmination of two years of planning and exceptional growth," said Kris Blackburn, vice president of sales at Foster Printing Company. "We've always wanted to own our own building and when the right opportunity came along, we moved forward with the purchase. In order to not disrupt our current customer's needs and our workflow, we worked closely with KBA on the installation plan. We installed the new KBA press first before moving our current KBA press over to the new facility."

Today, both KBA large-format presses sit side-by-side in the new 46,000 sqft facility tied together using a grand dance floor that encompasses the color management consol as well as the KBA Densitronic Professional closed-loop color control system that provide the best quality and repeatability available, says Blackburn. Both presses communicate to the KBA Logotronic management system to provide up-to-the-minute data on jobs, workflow, throughput, and quality. Foster is using both presses in tandem to back up each other. The new press is a five-color conventional press with the ability to produce UV coated work while the original press is a six-color UV model. The firm's management team plans on putting two shifts on both presses and eventually expanding to a weekend shift as well.

"Since the installation of our first KBA large-format 64-inch press in December of 2008, we've seen business grow tremendously," said Blackburn. "To maintain this growth, we started to think about purchasing a second KBA press. During the decision-making process, we kept the needs of our customers in mind and wanted to fulfill their orders in a timely manner. We also wanted to give ourselves the opportunity to continue to grow our business, increase our print capacity, and continue to do what we do best: put ink on paper. In the end, purchasing a second KBA press within two years was an easy decision."

The firm differentiated itself from other southern California printers when it carved a niche as a large format trade printer in Orange County. "Our success relies heavily on our ability to produce top-of-the-line work with one- to two-day turnaround and exceptional service along the way," said Blackburn. "Our customers are our friends and we never want to let our friends down. Having two KBA large-format presses enables us to print with the highest quality and cater to high-end customers who have high-end expectations."

Another key component to maintaining its growth is the firm's new facility. It offers an additional 6,000 sqft of space with a custom workflow that enables Foster to be more efficient from the receiving department to pre-production to press to bindery and finally to shipping. While its workforce has not increased, Blackburn plans to add a shift for prepress and bindery when they move to an additional weekend shift.

The move to the new facility was easy and uninterrupted, according to Blackburn, because the firm worked long hours preparing for it. "We printed our last job at our old facility on December 9th and printed our first job at the new facility four days later on December 13th," he recalled. "We had zero downtime, which was critical to us and even more important to our customers."

The latest KBA press installation is the fifth model for Foster Printing in its history, cementing a strong, loyal partnership. "Foster Printing and KBA can be defined more as a friendship than a working relationship," said Blackburn. "KBA has gone above and beyond to help make our dream come true and we look forward to a long working friendship."

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