Cincinnati’s C.J. Krehbiel Co. Plans Expansion

CINCINNATI—C.J. Krehbiel Co., a $36 million printer of books, manuals and catalogs based here, has launched a growth strategy that company officials project will boost sales by as much as 40 percent over the next two to three years.

Toward that end, COO Charles W. “Tuck” Krehbiel Jr. notes, “We’ve added to our sales staff and increased the capacity of our electronic prepress and plate-making departments.” The company also launched a national sales campaign in October 1999.

Central to achieving the company’s growth projections is a new four-unit Mitsubishi Diamond BTS web press, which Krehbiel expects to have fully operational by March. The new Mitsubishi press is a four-around commercial press rated at 2,500 fpm. It features a double chopper folder and 451⁄2˝ plate circumference by 38˝ web width.

“What we are looking for from this press is faster turnarounds and more capacity for our four-color products,” Krehbiel explains. “We believe we will get that from the fast makeready features and lower page consumption required. The ribbon folder suits all the binding styles we do and gives us more control so the signatures do not gusset when they are folded.”

Founded in 1872, Krehbiel employs 220 people at its 200,000-square-foot facility. Its primary markets consist of books, technical manuals and business-to-business catalogs. Krehbiel currently operates four web presses and one sheetfed press. The sheetfed press is a six-color Mitsubishi Model 3F Series 13000 press, used to print covers and for specialty commercial printing.

“We’ve been running that press for two and a half years,” Krehbiel says. “It’s an absolutely wonderful press. It replaced three presses.”

The Diamond BTS is the company’s first Mitsubishi web press. “We approached our decision very much from a printing and engineering standpoint,” Krehbiel explains. “Based upon seeing presses run in Japan, France and Germany in a head-to-head com- parison, we found the Mitsubishi to be a quiet press, it prints well, and the maintenance, repair and upkeep are very low. We tend to keep presses running and have the capacity to rebuild equipment in our facility. We were very impressed that there are Mitsubishi presses that have been operating 10 to 12 years with virtually no need for a rebuild.” Commenting on the press’ inking technology, he adds, “We also liked the fact that the Mitsubishi press had a continuous inker and dampener.”

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