Foster Printing Inks Contract for World’s Largest KBA Rapida 205 PressAugust 21, 2012
“Over the last four years, we have seen tremendous growth in our business,” says Kris Blackburn, vice president of sales at Foster Printing. “Sales over the past year and a half have been especially good to us. Due to this growth, we have been considering the purchase of a third KBA press for over three years, but really started to focus on it over the last 12 months.
“We constantly had customers asking if we could print anything larger than our 64˝ capabilities. Those customers, along with solid research into new potential customers, pushed us to finally decide on making this important purchase,” Blackburn notes.
Providing the highest-quality service to its client base was one of the main reasons that Foster inked the contract for the new Rapida 205.
“This press installation gives us capabilities that our competitors do not have,” explains Blackburn. “It gives us the ability to print on the largest sheet size offered on any offset press in the world. We will now be able to service all of our customers offset printing needs.
“We plan to capitalize on the ability to print multiple forms for customers—some that may fit our 64˝ KBA presses and others that fit our 81˝ press. This will enable one project with many different forms to be printed under one roof. It will also give us an advantage in productivity by being able to go multiple up on the Rapida 205 81˝ press where we would only be able to go one-up on the 64˝ press. This will help with faster turnarounds on larger quantity orders. It will also help us run multiple forms on one sheet, eliminating the need for additional set-ups and make readies.”
When the new press arrives in the fall, it will take its place beside both KBA 64˝ large-format presses that now sit side-by-side in the state-of-the-art facility. The new Rapida 205 81˝ will join the current two Rapida 64˝ presses with it’s own color management console as well as the KBA Densitronic Professional closed-loop color control system that provides the best quality and repeatability available, says Blackburn. All of the presses will communicate to the KBA Logotronic management system to provide up-to-the-minute data on jobs, workflow, throughput, and quality.
Having moved to a new, larger facility last year, the firm has the space to facilitate the new press addition as well as peripheral equipment. This includes a new automated platesetter for the computer-to-plate department giving Foster the ability to produce both 64˝ and 81˝ plates and a new automated cutting system.
“All of these purchases feature automated systems that will help us turn jobs quickly from pre-production, to press, to post-production,” says Blackburn. “Key to allowing this type of growth was the move to our new facility. It has been wonderful and has allowed us to grow our business even more. We have the space to facilitate this addition and keep our work flow productive and efficient.”
Foster’s continued success depends on catering to its current market of finishing houses, brokers, agencies, and small format printers with fast turnaround and a clear understanding of its customers’ business. “We pride ourselves on our service and ability to meet their tight deadlines,” says Blackburn. “Having the five-color conventional press and the six-color UV press provides us with the flexibility to perform for our customers. We’ve seen a lot of growth in our UV business and we see that continuing with the addition of the 81˝ press.”
Blackburn feels that the new press will allow the firm to continue to add new customers as well as additional work from existing clientele. “We anticipate that the Rapida 205 will open up new doors of opportunity for us with new customers as well as allowing our current customers to bring all of their work to one shop,” he says.
“We also plan to expand our sales positioning to other parts of the United States, not just Southern California. I feel very strongly that given the opportunity to print for a new customer, they will become a customer for life. When customers think of Foster Printing, they use adjectives such as customer-oriented, friendly, easy-to-work-with, understanding of their job, and quality. We are very confident in our pricing and service, and with the help of our new KBA presses, our quality is superb. We envision that our new KBA press will only add to our current growth for years to come,” Blackburn concludes.
Foster Printing was established in 1922 by Walter Foster, who printed and published the widely recognized instructional Walter Foster Art Books. In 1988, the Blackburn family purchased the printing assets from Walter Foster and restructured the company to include printing for the trade. Today, Foster Printing caters to its trade customers, which include brokers, printers, designers, corrugators, and distributors, as well as Walter Foster Art Books. The majority of its work is color packaging, point-of-purchase displays, signage, and posters, which is printed on a variety of substrates from paper to plastics.
KBA North America is located in Dallas, and a member of the KBA Group. Established almost 200 years ago in Wuerzburg, Germany, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) is the oldest and second largest press manufacturer worldwide. KBA's banner, 'People & Print', reflects its dual focus as a leading innovator for print entrepreneurs. The group's product range is the broadest in the industry; its portfolio includes commercial and newspaper web presses, sheetfed offset presses in all format classes, inkjet systems and presses, special presses for banknotes, securities, metal-decorating, smart cards and discs.