Peter Buening, president and CEO of Philipp Litho, along with his daughter, Stacy Buening, vice president and general counsel.
KBA North America announces that Philipp Lithographing Company, a leading ultra-high-quality large format printer based in Grafton, WI, will be adding its third large format KBA press to its arsenal. A new Rapida 145 57-inch six-color press will be delivered in September and be installed beside its existing KBA Rapida 205 81-inch and Rapida 162A 64-inch on the pressroom floor.
“Having been in business for nearly 100 years, we have built an excellent reputation as a dependable, ultra-high-quality, fast-turnaround firm with superior value-added service,” says Peter Buening, President and CEO of Philipp Litho. “Our customers like to give us challenging jobs because they know we can handle them. To continue to maintain this level of service, we decided to invest in a new large-format KBA press to produce our existing work faster and more efficiently and to open up our capacity to allow for even more throughput.”
Buening and his management team first learned about the new press from an introductory presentation by the KBA sales and technical force before the press was officially unveiled at Drupa 2012 in May. What left an impression, says Buening, were the unique features found on the Rapida 145 (57”) not available on any other press of this size from any other competitors. Of specific interest was the Rapida 145’s extremely fast makeready, minimal makeready sheets, fast running speeds, and the KBA QualiTronic color control, which scans the sheets in the press while running and automatically adjusts density. Furthermore, the Rapida 145’s overall press size fits nicely within the company’s 55,000 sq. ft. plant and the maximum sheet size of 41 x 57-inches will accommodate much of Philipp’s work currently being run on the 64-inch press.
“We applaud Philipp Litho for taking the initiative to invest in this “Step-Change Technology”, says Steve Korn, KBA director of national and key accounts. “This capital investment will yield the benefits of expedited job to job change-over and higher throughput at lower operating costs and it will quite simply provide Philipp Litho with a competitive edge in the marketplace for many, many years to come.”
Philipp Litho has built a solid customer base in the large-format market providing printed sheets for the point-of-purchase (POP) display industry and top sheets and litho labels for the corrugated industry. Buening says the point-of-purchase market is growing and is relatively unaffected by offshore manufacturing. He finds that many corrugated companies have moved into the POP display market because it lends itself to their food and consumer product clients.
“As always, marketing allows little time for production so lead times are very short,” says Buening. “It is not uncommon for us to receive files in the morning from a client, get a proof out later that day, be on press with their job the next day, and ship a few hours later.” To accomplish these shorter and shorter turnaround times, Philipp Litho leans heavily on its press automation, its experienced craftsmen, and its extremely knowledgeable customer service reps. All of Philipp’s KBA presses (the Rapida 205 81-inch and the Rapida 162A 64-inch) are being used for packaging and POP. Philipp Litho has a full arsenal of presses capable of handling sizes as small as 19”x 23” all the way up to 59 ½” x 80 ½”. “The advantage to having multiple presses is that we can easily accommodate our customers’ varying needs,” says Buening. “We can print our customers’ multiple press forms at one time across all of our equipment, saving them time (due to simultaneous press approvals) and the hassle of having to source parts of a project to multiple printers.”
Buening cites KBA as one of the reasons his company has had so much success. “KBA is the reason we are in business today,” he says. “KBA is a very professional organization and continues to be the leader in large format technology. They provided the means for us to upgrade from the old technology on our old Harris presses to the most technologically-advanced large format, sheet-fed presses today. Our first KBA press, a Rapida 162A (64”), was installed in our plant in July of 2002 and our Rapida 205 (81”) was installed in December of 2005. After the addition of each of each of these presses we saw dramatic efficiencies take place as well as an increase in sales. We can’t wait for the installation of our new Rapida 145 (57”) in September to see the same.”
Formally introduced at Drupa 2012, the large-format KBA Rapida 145 (57”) is available with a host of options such as a maximum production speed of 17,000 sph in straight printing and unique automation such as the sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS and DriveTronic SPC direct drives for fast, simultaneous plate changing; the CleanTronic Synchro system (two washing beams) for simultaneous washing of ink rollers, blankets, and impression cylinders parallel to plate changing. A new program for extremely fast inking unit washing (CleanTronic ReInk) and further parallel makeready processes contribute to significantly higher net production output. The new coater offers a simultaneous coating form changing (DriveTronic SFC) and a fast, one-man replacement of the exchangeable anilox roller sleeves (AniSleeve). Its new ErgoTronic console with wall screen, picture-in-picture function and integrated color measurement and control system (QualiTronic ColorControl) for quality monitoring are available. In addition, the new large-format Rapida presses feature inline register control (QualiTronic ICR), and with QualiTronic PDF it is possible to perform an inline comparison between the print result and the original PDF file.