KBA North America is celebrating its attendance at Graph Expo 2012 in Chicago with the sale of a large-format KBA Rapida press and a packed booth during the entire duration of the show. Printers were eager to learn more about KBA’s exciting Drupa innovations, including its entry into the digital press arena and new industry-first features for its line of offset presses. Graph Expo 2012 was held from October 7 - 10, 2012 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
“We had a well-attended booth of decision-making printers who were eager to learn first-hand about our Drupa innovations and new service program,” says Mark Hischar, KBA president and CEO. “We were very honored to partner with Meredith-Webb Printing Company again and agree to deliver a second KBA press—this time a KBA large-format Rapida 162a 64-inch seven-color---to its facility in North Carolina.”
At Graph Expo 2012, KBA formally introduced its Service Select Efficiency Analysis program for its sheetfed customers. With Service Select EA, KBA helps its customers identify critical function areas that may be influencing productivity using press historical data. When analyzed, a plan of action can be developed to address potential weaknesses that could be hindering optimal efficiency of a press. Service Select EA is a great tool for the printer, noted Hischar, and customers are simply thrilled at the results. At its Graph Expo booth, KBA called together a team of experts that set up a system to allow KBA to go live to a customer’s press right from the booth to clearly demonstrate the power of Service Select EA.
During the second day of the show, executives from Meredith-Webb Printing Company, a Burlington, NC printer celebrating its 60th anniversary and offering services ranging from direct mail to packaging, arrived at the KBA booth to put ink on a new contract for a KBA Rapida 162a 64-inch seven-color press with coater and UV capabilities. Travers Webb, president, and Kelly Webb, executive vice president, proudly signed on for their second KBA press. The first press was a KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color ten-unit press with double coaters and 12-ft extended delivery, which was installed in November 2010. The new large-format Rapida 162a will be delivered to Meredith-Webb in early 2013.
At its annual press conference, KBA president and CEO Mark Hischar, announced that KBA is growing its market share and enjoying record levels of customer satisfaction. “We ship over 90% of our parts orders within 24 hours with an accuracy of over 99%. Our 24/7 remote maintenance team has presses back in production on the first call in over 80% of the situations. Judging from the number of applications we receive from competitors’ employees, it appears we are the only major press manufacturer that has been steadily increasing the number of trained technicians available to support the equipment in the field. We have concentrated on assisting our customers to ensure their KBA presses are being fully optimized.”
Arriving from Germany for the show, KBA Group CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann also addressed the press conference on the firm’s strong financials. “KBA was the only profitable major press manufacturer in 2009 and 2010. This year I am proud to report that the same held true in 2011 – making it three years in a row that we have posted a pre-tax group profit. It is also important to note that we have no net debt and have continued to invest heavily in R&D.”
For those who didn’t attend Drupa in Germany, one of the most eagerly anticipated announcements was the newly-launched KBA RotaJET 76 digital inkjet press marking KBA’s entry into this segment. At Graph Expo 2012, KBA presented the new RotaJET 76, developed and built by KBA, to show-goers. Product managers emphasized the differentiation between KBA and other digital printing equipment manufacturers. One, the RotaJET 76 stems from KBA’s long history of offset sheetfed and web presses making the RotaJET a high volume production press. Its features serve to insure excellent, extremely low waste and maximize productive uptime. The RotaJET will be ready to ship in early 2013.
Throughout the KBA booth, large video screens were available for printers to easily watch the unveiling of KBA’s unique innovations at Drupa. Videos included the popular world makeready champion Rapida 106 41-inch press, which is now equipped with an optional package that raises the maximum production speed one notch further to 20,000 sph in straight printing and 18,000 sph in perfecting mode and is equipped with the distinctive FlyingJob Change technology. Another video previewed the new 17,000 sph six-color Rapida 145 57-inch press with new coater. Just a few of its outstanding features displayed in the video are its DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed; DriveTronic SPC direct drives for fast, simultaneous plate changing; and a new coater with simultaneous coating form changing (DriveTronic SFC).