KBA Reorganizes Print Technology Activities in Germany
RADEBEUL, GERMANY—03/10/2009—In the past, three departments at the KBA sheetfed offset facility in Radebeul were focussed on the process technology aspects of printing: the customer center, the training center and the test printing plant. This organization meant keeping available considerable parallel press capacities, as just one of a number of negatives. The numerous interfaces and the lack of a consistent standardization concept impeded many decision processes.
The merging of all three areas under the responsibility of the sales department, however, has now established a highly advantageous symbiosis between technological development, customer demonstration and training. Process and technology developments can be incorporated into customer presentations and daily practice much faster than in the past – to the clear benefit of the users.
To flank the reorganization, the available equipment base has been restructured, and the configurations of the presses and production areas have been optimised in accordance with the latest market needs. Competent teams of specialists have been formed to provide support for assigned press series to the highest possible technical standard. Each team comprises a process engineer, three print instructors and a member of staff from product training. The concentration of the press equipment at just two locations — in the customer centre and the recently extended training centre — is similarly fast approaching conclusion.
The proposed standardization is to address not only press configurations and settings, but also concepts for consumables and staff training. Tests covering the full spectrum of consumables will be continuing into the second quarter of 2009 in cooperation with leading suppliers. On the basis of the test results, the two most suitable suppliers are to be selected for the different presses and technologies. Together with the chosen suppliers, the next step will then be to define sets of so-called “premium consumables” tailored to the Rapida sheetfed offset presses, alongside schedules for targeted further development. Subsequently, the designated premium consumables will be used for all print demonstrations, print tests, customer training and factory acceptance testing, as well as being included in the starter packs of consumables and accessories enclosed with new presses.
Dirk Winkler – a top specialist at the helm
The new print technology department, which has become larger through the reorganisation, but can nevertheless be characterised by its conspicuously streamlined processes, is to be headed by Dirk Winkler, who at the same time serves as head of process technology development. The customer and training centres remain in the hands of the current managers Wolfram Zehnle and Stefan Göbel, respectively. For particularly complex projects, the systematically planned print demonstrations, training seminars and presentations are to be accompanied by a process engineer. Following each print demonstration, the prospective user will receive a report containing all press-specific settings, performance parameters, and the consumables and accessories used. This will ensure that the result of the demonstration can also be reproduced under identical conditions on the customer's own press.