Left to right : Awaiting the May installation of its new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch eight-color UV press are Robert Navarro, Lithocraft’s vice president of operations; Brad Thurman, Lithocraft’s president; John Cosgrove, a Lithocraft partner; and Marcus Schoen, KBA sales manager.
KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that Lithocraft Company, an Anaheim, California high-quality commercial sheetfed printer, is expanding into new markets with the installation of a new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch eight-color UV press. Delivery is expected to take place in May 2011.
“2011 will be a year of change for Lithocraft,” says Robert Navarro, vice president of operations at Lithocraft. “The addition of the Rapida 106 with UV will be the spring board for this transformation. The new press will allow us to better service our existing customers and it will provide new capabilities thus allowing us to move into the high-end quality packaging market. We will be living up to our customers’ expectations, which are: being responsive, reliable, proactive, adaptable, and providing consistent value.”
World Makeready Champion
Since being launched at Drupa 2008, KBA’s high-tech Rapida 106 continues to be the world champion in makeready and the most productive press in its class. A key unique feature of Lithocraft’s press includes the DriveTronic SIS (Sensoric Infeed System), a totally makeready-free system that knows no setting or sidelay errors, nor does it mark sensitive substrates. Its mode of operation is ingeniously simple: a sensor determines the lateral position of the sheet on the feeder board, and as the sheet approaches the transfer point to the first printing unit the gripper on the transfer drum aligns the sheet with the side position specified at the console. Various automation modules, such as fully automatic plate changers, ErgoTronic ACR video register, DensiTronic Professional ink density control and the LogoTronic management system with CipLink software, ensure maximum productivity.
Lithocraft devoted a great deal of time researching various press manufacturers. However, based on its future plans, “The Rapida 106 is the best piece of equipment to fit the needs of our company,” explained Navarro. After extensive research, Lithocraft came to this conclusion for a variety of reasons. These included, says Navarro, the Rapida’s inherent speed and ease of makeready; reliability of KBA equipment; automated equipment service provided by KBA; and the solid reputation of both KBA and Air Motion UV system. Navarro also noted the KBA QualiTronic color-control system, which measures solid densities on each sheet at maximum production speed; this system eliminates time-consuming manual comparisons and reduces start-up waste. QualiTronic is a camera-based inline sheet-inspection system that scans each sheet as it enters the delivery or the perfecting unit, and compares it with a reference sheet.
Expanding into UV and high-end packaging market
Not only will this be the first press with this particular type of configuration but it will be Lithocraft’s first press from KBA. “Our customers expressed an interest in having us expand our capabilities into the UV market with added color capabilities and environmentally-friendly processes,” says Navarro. “The efficiencies that the Rapid 106 brings will allow us to eliminate most of our overtime and attract new customers. Having eight-color UV capabilities will give us the tools we need to compete in the high-end packaging market as well as providing added services for our existing clients.” Lithocraft will be replacing a six-color conventional sheetfed press from a different manufacturer with the new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch eight-color.
To market the new press, Lithocraft will be holding an open house and producing marketing materials to explain the capabilities of the new equipment. “Our material will help explain the added benefits of an eight-color UV press and how it can help expand and enhance the products our clients are presently producing,” says Navarro.
As the firm readies for the Rapida 106 installation, it has made changes to its facility to accommodate the eight-color press. This includes foundation modifications and the necessary upgrades for the UV system electrical requirements.
“Lithocraft will be entering a different market segment, and in doing so we will be making internal changes to help support the market change,” says Navarro. “Success for our company is based on our commitment to provide exceptional service with all the necessary support for our clients. As the company enters into new markets we will not only provide new products for our clients but additional internal efficiencies with our staff. Automation for estimating, order processing, digital file handing, make-readies on press, and order tracking for our clients are a few of the new changes that will be instituted. These changes will allow our sales staff the ability to better service our existing clients and the ability to pursue and capture new customers.”
Lithocraft was established in 1973 to serve the advertising and marketing community with high quality commercial printing. The company features a full prepress with direct-to-plate capabilities through full bindery producing medium- to high-volume annual reports, brochures, packaging, point-of-purchase displays, and posters. With its 37-year tradition of craftsmanship, Lithocraft takes pride in being recognized as a quality company. It is committed to providing high quality products and services through the continuous analysis and improvement of its processes and procedures.