K&D Graphics — A Nice Printing Racket

Bird(ies) of a feather: The executive team at K&D Graphics, shown from left, Gus Chew, vice president; Kim Chew, chairwoman; Don Chew, president/CEO; Bebe Chew, vice president; and Montri Chew, CFO.

Plant Manager Mark Phongsasavithes (left), President/CEO Don Chew and press operator Jim Chang inspect a press sheet from the 12-color Speedmaster XL 105.

Jim Chang, press operator, quarterbacks the Heidelberg XL 105 from its console.

He has hired five coaches and invests a good deal of money in training and sponsorship fees. In fact, the facility hosted players from 16 countries in July for the U.S. Open, marking the 14th consecutive year at O.C. Badminton Club.

“I’m happy to pay back to my adopted country,” Chew says.

Printing has been in Don Chew’s blood and heart for about as long as badminton, dating back to his days working on a Heidelberg Windmill at the age of 14. He came to America in 1972 and, after working in different industries, decided to open a print shop in his garage as a part-time venture in 1981. It was important to Chew that his business become his legacy, something he could pass on to sons Montri and Gus, and daughter Bebe. Three years later, Don Chew and his wife, Kim, both quit their day jobs to devote full attention to K&D Graphics.

K&D, which employs 60, started out as a commercial shop, but migrated into paperboard packaging in 2000. Its commercial and packaging clientele consist of pharmaceutical, health and beauty, automotive and telecoms. Printed products include marketing materials, labels, catalogs, publications and folding cartons.

For 2008, K&D Graphics posted sales of $10.28 million, with a lion’s share of its growth coming from the packaging side. What has really allowed that aspect of the business to explode is the company’s acquisition of a 12-color, 41˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 UV press. At 120 feet, it is easily one of the longest sheetfed offset presses in the world. The machine, which perfects six colors on both sides of the sheet in a single pass, is equipped with double in-line aqueous/UV coaters and a CutStar roll feeder.

The late 2008 acquisition is the centerpiece of a $10 million capital expenditure initiative, a veritable Heidelberg shopping spree that included a Stahlfolder TH 82 folder, an ST 450 saddlestitcher, a Diana X 135 folder/gluer, a Bobst Expertfoil 104 FR foiler/diecutting press and new Prinect Printready workflow software (along with a 3,200-square-foot second-floor expansion). The company has always primarily been a Heidelberg shop; it also operates two six-color, 40˝ Speedmaster CD 102 sheetfed presses.

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