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Kreber--Turnkey Solutions

May 1999
From creative design to full-service prepress to both traditional offset and digital printing, Kreber Enterprises has capitalized on a regional niche, serving the dominant furniture industry of High Point, NC—to the tune of $32 million a year.


It's difficult to get a handle on exactly what Kreber Enterprises is. It doesn't fit into any single category. But that doesn't keep Howard Smith, president of the High Point, NC-based company, from trying.

"We're a turnkey solution to the graphic arts industry," Smith explains nonchalantly.

Turnkey, meaning Kreber does it all—from creative design to a photographic studio that's bigger than most warehouses, to a full-service prepress department and traditional offset and digital printing. And much, much more.

The Kreber family has been involved in printing since 1905. The company originated in Columbus, OH (where Kreber Graphics continues to operate under Jack and Jim Kreber). Through the years, it has purchased engraving, printing, separation and photographic studio businesses, enroute to creating the monolith known as Kreber Enterprises.

The company operates under one roof in a building on six acres in High Point, NC, ideally located to serve the regionally dominant furniture industry. The company boasts annual sales of $32 million.

Though there's plenty of history at Kreber, the company is nothing if not cutting edge. From digital photography and proofing to its own SmartSeries database and content management system, Kreber offers clients the latest digital solutions.

Digital Photography
In its enormous studio, the company has 45 bays (comprising 150,000 square feet) for shooting furniture for the region's numerous manufacturers. It operates 10 Leaf 4x5 digital cameras, in addition to film cameras. The digital images are routed immediately to a Kodak Approval digital proofing system for random proofing. It saves both steps and ensures color accuracy.

"In the past, even though we would shoot images digitally, to produce hard copy for review we had to output film and then a proof. This eliminates that extra step," says Brian Brown, prepress operations manager.

But more important, it produces "a very, very accurate proof. The color match is just dead on," Brown says. "With digital, you're always doing guesswork in color corrections. With the Approval system, we've found we have the reliability of a good prepress proof. We're going straight to press with it."

Actually, the company invested in direct digital color proofing both to proof its digital photography (which accounts for 30 percent of DDCP output) and to proof digitally composed pages (which accounts for the other 70 percent). Being able to proof directly from digital layouts is of growing importance, as more and more of Kreber's prepress customers are using direct-to-plate technology.

 

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