Last updateSat, 04 Jul 2020 8pm

KBA's Savvy Customers Praise Its Technology as Large-Format Market Leader

With over 250 large-format installations in North America, no debate that KBA is the market leader

There's no debate that KBA North America is the large-format press manufacturer of choice. "We let the facts speak for themselves," says Mark Hischar, KBA North America CEO and president. "KBA has over 250 large-format installations in North America with well over 100 installed in the last ten years and the most knowledgeable and skilled technical support teams within North America. Over half of the large-format press installations in North America are KBA. For over 80 years, we've been the leader supplying large-format presses to the packaging industry. Our design team has clearly kept pace with the needs of our customers by developing the technology that established the KBA product line as the industry pace-setter In the end, though, it is our profitable and well-known customers and what they have to say about KBA that means the most. No other press manufacturer comes close to having the largest number of installations including the deepest penetration of packaging printers, high customer satisfaction, and most honored press technology for this sector."

Customers praise KBA for its wide-ranging portfolio of large-format press options---from 51-inches to 81-inches (the largest press in the world) equipped with unique technology not found on any other press. No one can deny that a KBA Rapida large-format provides a larger print area on increasingly diverse materials with greater weight and increased thickness coupled with more print opportunities and options than ever before at the highest speeds. At the most recent Drupa 2012, KBA introduced its newest rising star in the large-format category: the Rapida 145---a high speed large-format press with the shortest makeready and fast job changeovers along with simultaneous plate changing using KBA DriveTronic SPC. The Rapida 145 has exceeded KBA sales expectations and reaffirms KBA's lead in large format and packaging printing.

And let's not forget the revolutionary KBA Rapida 205 81-inch press---still to this day the largest sheetfed press in the world. This is the first press of this size to offer a wide range of automated technologies that provide for extremely high print quality and low make-ready times. This "one-of-a-kind" configuration offers a high degree of automation, bringing massive efficiencies to the production of printed sheets, and with its UV drying capabilities; it will print on any substrate. In 2005, Printing Industries of America awarded KBA the prestigious InterTech Award for the Rapida 205. No other press manufacturer can match KBA's large contingent of successful well-known printers here in the US using the KBA Rapida 205 81-inch press.

KBA is the dominant firm when it comes to super-sized presses

In the last decade, more than two dozen KBA well-known customers have returned for repeat press orders. They describe KBA and its press models with such flattering terms as "dominant", "unrivaled" with "innovative prowess". Here's more of what KBA customers have to say:
"KBA continues to introduce new press models with superb features that increase production, quality and provide the flexibility to meet customer demands. Our newly-installed Rapida 164 large-format ten-unit six-color with UV and double coaters provides us with an unprecedented level of speed and turnaround," says Kelly Webb, executive vice president at Meredith-Webb.
"Ever since we opened our facility in Iowa in 2011, our first KBA Rapida 145 presses has become the workhorse producing folding carton work," says Marc Anderson, president and CEO of Walter G. Anderson, Inc.  "Today, that presses are running round-the-clock with three shifts. The growth in our company, the requirements of our valued customers, and overall market demands precipitated a second press. We needed to increase our capacity and flexibility. Our second large-format KBA Rapida 145 with its latest technological advances was up and running within six weeks from delivery and operating like our first KBA press. We're very pleased with the production both presses give us."
"Our decision to move into the large format market with the Rapida 145 57-inch press will help to separate ourselves from the highly-competitive general commercial printing industry and bring value-added services to our existing customer base," says Chip Smith, president of Marshall & Bruce. "We're using the new Rapida 145 to more efficiently print our high-end point-of-purchase and packaging work on a variety of substrates."
"KBA continues to introduce new technology and innovations that allow our company to thrive and prosper," says Paul Malnove, president of Malnove, the largest independent folding carton manufacturer in North America. "We have formed an important alliance with KBA and installed our first large-format KBA Rapida 142 in the U.S. in our Omaha plant in 1997. For more than 15 years, our common press platforms across all of our facilities have provided our customers with the benefit of being able to produce any carton, for any customer, in any plant with the same quality and pictorial results."

Not only is KBA receiving praise from its customers, but is being applauded for its continued strong support of the graphic arts industry. The KBA logo can be seen prominently showing its support for key industry organizations, such as PPC and NAPL. "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. In addition, in 2014 KBA renewed its sponsorship for a second year in a row of the State of the Industry report by NAPL Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Andrew Paparozzi. This report is an overview of industry business conditions based on hundreds of comprehensive company surveys, studies, and economic reports.

Your advantage: Special Configurations and multiple press orders with KBA large-format presses

It is interesting to note that once a company purchases KBA's large format press, they typically grow with other large-format sizes or other KBA unique configurations. With the longest tradition in the industry for its custom-built press configurations utilizing specialized teams that build each press to a customer's exact configurations, KBA provides its customers with a cutting-edge press to produce the highest-quality specialized applications in the shortest possible time. No order is too complex for KBA to handle. Take, for example, Switzerland's Amcor Tobacco Packaging. This leading tobacco packaging firm has ordered a specially-configured 19 printing and finishing unit press. Installed last August, this press measures 114-ft long and has a first coater, two dryers, ten printing units, a second coater, two more dryers, a third coater and two more units with inert UV curing technology. It even includes an inline cold-foil finishing capability.

KBA's expert service backed by its comprehensive support team can't be duplicated by any other manufacturer; it stands above its competitors by offering over 10 years of remote maintenance. Service Select's mandate is to help KBA customers identify critical function areas that may be influencing productivity using press historical data. When analyzed, a plan of action is developed to address potential weaknesses that could be hindering optimal efficiency of a press. Service Select is a great tool for the printer and KBA customers are simply thrilled at the results.

"With nearly 200 years of experience and a stellar reputation as the leading innovator among its customers, KBA is a stable, profitable partner," says Eric Frank, KBA North America Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. "It's no secret that we are the leader as the large-format press manufacturer. We don't rely on no-name research and unidentifiable data; our highly-visible customers assert to our lead as well as the proven data. We will continue to maintain this position and work with existing and potential customers as we introduce even more technologically-appealing models to the market."




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