KBA North America

KBA Maintains Market Leadership in Expanding Package Printing Segment

KBA North America is pleased to announce that it continues to invest its resources in the growing package printing market, maintaining its market leadership, and introducing new presses and features that cater to this specific segment.

“KBA is maintaining its strong dominance in the worldwide package printing market by introducing new products that specifically address the needs of packaging printers,” says Mark Hischar, president and CEO of KBA North America. “At Drupa we introduced the new KBA Rapida 145 57-inch sheetfed press with technology improvements such as simultaneous form change and integrated color measurement and quality control systems such as QualiTronic ColorControl for quality monitoring, QualiTronic ICR inline register control, and QualiTronic PDF that provides an inline comparison between the print result and the original PDF file. And just recently we introduced the new Rapida 164 press that supercedes the vastly successful Rapida 162 and 162a 64-inch series, which are known as institutions in the book and packaging markets. The key for a packaging printer’s success is to offer faster turnaround time, be more efficient, offer higher quality, and produce less waste. At KBA, we’ve developed and continue to introduce new technology across our printing press line that allows packaging printers to invest in presses that grow their business.”

To continue this dominance, KBA also unveiled its new Varius 80 modular, variable-format web offset press designed for the flexible packaging market at Drupa. It implements the same waterless technology as the KBA Genius 52UV 20-inch press, with short-train inking units and UV drying. This combination achieves excellent print quality on flexible, non-absorbent substrates with very low start-up waste. KBA also announced earlier this year to expand into the flexible packaging market and its intent to acquire Flexotecnica in Italy. This acquisition will allow KBA to expand its strong market position in the folding carton market into an additional growing packaging segment.

Not only is KBA introducing new products for the packaging printing market, but supporting its trade organizations. “As a platinum sponsor of our organization, KBA helps us to provide outstanding value to our members,” says Ben Markens, president of the Paperboard Packaging Council, the leading trade association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging.

Recently, KBA hosted a group of packaging printers at its factory in Germany for a variety of print demonstrations. The new large-format six-color Rapida 145 with inline coater could be seen in operation at speeds of up to 17,000 sph with 250 and 600 g/m2 substrates. The highlights included a fast job changeover with simultaneous plate changing using DriveTronic SPC, and different coating effects based on the latest UV technology from KBA. The KBA six-color Rapida 106 41-inch coater press has a raised foundation for increased pile heights that amazed the packaging printer audience by printing a job using heavy display board with a thickness of almost 1 mm. A six-color Rapida 106 41-inch in a double-coating configuration with inline cold foiler was shown producing a five-color folding carton for hair coloring.

Here in North America, KBA caters to the titans of the packaging printing market. Royal Paper Box, a world leader in the packaging field located in Montebello, CA, added a second new KBA 41-inch sheetfed press to its pressroom. The prestigious firm caters to a globally diverse customer base including high-end cosmetics and demanding bio-medical packaging. For Royal Paper Box, its second new KBA brings numerous advantages including a powerful ability to print at high speeds, top-flight automation bringing efficiency gains in makeready and running speeds, and an improved production schedule. “We felt the addition of a second KBA press would significantly enhance and complement our pressroom,” says Jim Hodges, president of Royal Paper Box.

Walter G. Anderson, Inc., a leading independent supplier of folding cartons, was the first printer in the U.S. to install the newly-launched high-speed Rapida 145 57-inch press with coater at its facility in Newton, Iowa. “The technological ingenuities on this press are amazing,” says Marc Anderson, president and CEO of Walter G. Anderson, Inc. “The run speed of 17,000 sph is the highest among large format presses in this class. Quality is absolutely a top factor for our customers. They visit our facility and see what we are able to accomplish on press and are very excited. The DensiTronic Professional for quality monitoring quickly scans each sheet and provides data to our press crew as well as a fingerprint of the job to our customers. For those quick turn, short makeready jobs, it allows us fast repeatability and press throughput.”

Specialty Finishing, a full service high graphic folding carton and litho-laminated packaging manufacturer for a wide range of national brands located in Omaha, Nebraska, has completed installation of its two new large-format KBA Rapida 145 57-inch presses. Since the installation, Specialty Finishing has begun reaping the benefits with double-digit sales increases, higher quality print with consistent color, and significant reduction in start-up waste. Specialty Finishing’s two new presses are a six-color and a seven-color equipped with KBA’s unique automation and inline quality control features and coaters. These are the first KBA presses purchased by Specialty Finishing.

McCowat-Mercer Packaging, a Jackson, TN producer of customized retail packaging for the automotive, pharmaceutical, medical, textile, and food markets, has installed its seventh KBA press: a completely new Rapida 105 41-inch six-color coater press with UV. “Our solid long-time relationship with KBA has been very important to the growth of our company,” says Tom Butler, president of McCowat-Mercer Packaging. “Since the mid-70s, we’ve been purchasing KBA presses for their quality and durability. We feel that KBA presses are a perfect match for printing our high quality paperboard products thus providing us with a clear technological edge. They’ve become workhorses for our business.”

Winston Packaging, a fourth-generation family-owned printed paperboard packaging company located in Winston-Salem, NC, is producing jobs on its new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch six-color press with unique automation such as LogoTronic, DensiTronic, and SIS. “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 James Gordon, president and CEO of Winston Packaging. The Rapida’s 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. “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,” 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.”

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