Knepper Press: Extreme Makeover

Knepper Press senior management, from the left, includes Bob Hreha, president; Ted Ford, CEO; and Bill Knepper, chairman.

Knepper's newest sheetfed press is a 10-color, 40˝ Roland 700 HiPrint perfector equipped with a roll sheeter.

A lack of full-web press capacity in Western Pennsylvania prompted the installation of a five-color, 38˝ manroland Rotoman 16-page heatset web press with in-line folding and Vits Rotocut sheeter.

The relocation into a new, 100,000-square-foot facility in 2008 allowed Knepper Press to design a plant configuration that maximizes productivity.

“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.

Q: Is Knepper located in one of those closed steel mill plants?

A: OK, no more stupid questions and put away the Terry Bradshaw Steelers jersey. Less than two years ago, Knepper Press relocated to an immaculate, new 100,000-square-foot facility, a move that took nine months to complete in 2008. Yet the company didn’t miss a beat with its deliverables. manroland was instrumental in assisting with the relocation process.

Walking the Talk

The irony of it all is the perception of Knepper Press stands so far behind the times, yet the company is ahead of the curve. The printer purchases 100 percent of its electricity from wind-generated sources; in fact it was ranked 15th on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership Top 20 printer partner list. It is top ranked in the state of Pennsylvania. It ain’t easy being green, as Kermit the Frog once opined, and Bill Knepper himself would confirm that it’s not cheap being green, either.

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  • Karl Sparn

    A very interesting article on Knepper Press. I taught Commercial Printing in the Pittsburgh Public Schools at Connelley Skill-Learning Center. One of my former students and close friend works at Knepper: Peter ‘Scott’ Nock.