KBA North America

Winston Packaging Invests in Highly-Automated KBA Rapida 106 41-inch Six-Color

KBA North America announces that Winston Packaging, a fourth-generation family-owned printed paperboard packaging company located in Winston-Salem, NC, has purchased a new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color press with unique automation such as LogoTronic, DensiTronic, and SIS. The press is due to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2012.

“During 2012, as we celebrate our 101st year in business, we are completing the largest equipment upgrade in our history with the centerpiece being a new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch press, as well as a new CTP device and a new 106 Bobst die-cutter,” says James Gordon, president and CEO of Winston Packaging. “All of these changes are designed to better position us for future growth as we invest in more productive assets for success in our second century. The KBA Rapida 106 will become the cornerstone of our new 106cm printing format as well as the workhorse in our upgraded pressroom.”

After actively investigating the 40- to 41-inch printing press market for 18 months, Gordon and his management team decided to time their purchase to coincide with Drupa 2012 to take advantage of the latest, most advanced technology.

“We were seeking a press that would provide us with faster changeovers and faster run speeds along with advanced color management to provide our customers with the best performing folding carton possible,” says Gordon. “We naturally checked out our incumbent press manufacturer but given the format change we opened the investigation to other reputable press manufacturers. After touring the KBA factory in Germany and visiting a live KBA production operation in the U.S. we believed that we had found the best press available in the 106 format. When you combined the professionalism of the KBA sales team and support staff along with the superior Rapida press features, we were convinced that we made the right decision in choosing the Rapida 106.”

Several key factors contributed to the positive decision made by Gordon and his management team to purchase their first KBA press. In choosing the KBA Rapida 106 with a 41-inch (106cm) size, Winston Packaging realizes a larger sheet size than its current 102cm press from a different manufacturer. The larger sheet size, says Gordon, is more productive and efficient in terms of yields for the type of cartons that are used in its business segments.

“We have used the 102 cm width as our standard printing and die-cutting format since 1979 by utilizing paired equipment in all the major processing areas,” explains Gordon. “In order to keep growing in a very competitive marketplace, we determined that the 106 cm format would be a much better size to compete in the segments that we have targeted. The new larger format is a big deal for us because it helps with some of our existing business and better positions us in our targeted growth segments.”

Rapida’s advanced automation

Gordon also noted the design of several key features on the Rapida 106 as being decisive reasons in their choice. “The advanced feeder for the continuous running of board stock and the 20,000 iph press speed were significant differences over our current press manufacturer to drive our selection to the KBA,” he says. “We were also impressed with the complete automation package from KBA such as its LogoTronic management system and DensiTronic color control system. This automation is much more advanced than our previous press.”

The KBA package of unique automation controls will also play a vital role in Winston’s efforts to keep growing its business. Gordon stresses that color management continues to be a critical requirement since his firm’s focus is on retail packaging that has to stand out for the consumer at the point-of-sale.

“Winston Packaging has distinguished itself among its competitors by offering superior advantages and responding to customer demands,” says Gordon. “The folding carton industry is very competitive so any advantage that you can develop will help whether it reduces cost, shortens turn cycles, or a combination of both. Our customers demand tight control of brand colors, quicker turn cycles, little or no inventory, and of course the most competitive price. We believe that the KBA Rapida will give us that upper hand and allow us to offer the best combination to retain existing business and win new customers.”

Over the past century, Winston Packaging has broadened beyond its main customer base of cigarette packaging and its long-time largest customer, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., into industries such as over the counter (OTC) healthcare and Internet retail. Its national customers include consumer product companies in the photo-finishing, healthcare, food products and tobacco market segments.

The company is certified in sustainable "green" packaging standards and recycles its waste paper to reduce its carbon footprint. “We like the fact that the KBA Rapida will significantly reduce the amount of set-up waste that we use for makereadies and use less solvents for clean-up,” says Gordon.

“We’re highly anticipating the installation of our new KBA Rapida 106,” says Gordon. “We believe it will be key to maintaining our growth and propelling our firm into the next century. As we gain more business with the new press, we project the addition of new employees within six to 18 months.”

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