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Knepper Press : Extreme Makeover

May 2010 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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OLD NOTIONS tend to die hard, whether they involve people, places or entities. Pittsburgh has a reputation as a smokestack city, and some still harbor images of closed steel mills and massive jobs lost.

A new punching bag is needed, as this isn't your father's Pittsburgh. The city is now considered one of the most livable in the world by several publications, and boasts a bustling economy and strong corporate giants. Smoky is so 1974. So pick on someone else.

But cities aren't the only ones in need of a good PR makeover. Take Knepper Press, which is but a stone's throw from the Steel City in the suburb of Clinton, PA. Bob Hreha, company president, has had to correct many misconceptions regarding the product and service offerings of the commercial printer.

"We've had prospects say to us, 'We hear you run Didde presses and that you're in the newspaper business,' " Hreha relates. "Until they come out and see our operation first-hand, they really don't know what Knepper Press does. We have our work cut out for us to continue to improve that image in the marketplace, both locally and nationally."

Facts, Not Fiction

Certainly there's nothing wrong with Didde presses or newspaper work, and it is true that Knepper once used that equipment primarily and boasted a trio of weeklies. But that information stopped being relevant upwards of 30 years ago. For your convenience, we've prepared a brief FAQ on the subject of Knepper Press:

Q: What exactly does Knepper Press produce?

A: The company runs the full gamut of general commercial printing. Chairman Bill Knepper—who represents the fifth generation of direct family leadership—calls his company a true commercial job shop. Large corporations, consumer goods companies, colleges/universities, business-to-business catalogers and direct mailers account for much of its client base.

"We serve a diverse customer base across many different industries," notes CEO Ted Ford, who has known Bill Knepper since the age of two. "We're not locked into any one customer. The diversity of our accounts give us strength."

Q: What's the deal with being known for using Didde presses?

A: The company once did one-, two- and three-color spot work but, since the Berlin Wall fell, Knepper Press has moved into four-color sheetfed and web offset printing. Knepper still has an eight-color, 23˝ Didde web, but the current mountain kings consist of a new five-color, 38˝ manroland Rotoman heatset web press with in-line folding and Vits Rotocut sheeter, as well as a 10- color, 40˝ Roland 700 HiPrint sheetfed perfector. The 16-page Rotoman is the printer's first full-size web, while the Roland 700 has been retrofitted with a roll sheeter.


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