Philipp Lithographing Adding a Third KBA Rapida Large-Format Sheetfed PressAugust 7, 2012
“Having been in business for nearly 100 years, we have built an excellent reputation as a dependable, ultra-high-quality, fast-turnaround firm with superior value-added service,” says Peter Buening, president and CEO of Philipp Litho. “Our customers like to give us challenging jobs because they know we can handle them. To continue to maintain this level of service, we decided to invest in a new large-format KBA press to produce our existing work faster and more efficiently and to open up our capacity to allow for even more throughput.”
Buening and his management team first learned about the new press from an introductory presentation by the KBA sales and technical force before the press was officially unveiled at drupa 2012 in May. What left an impression, says Buening, were the unique features not available on any other press of this size from any other competitors.
Of specific interest was the Rapida 145’s extremely fast makeready, minimal makeready sheets, fast running speeds, and the KBA QualiTronic color control, which scans the sheets in the press while running and automatically adjusts density. Furthermore, the overall press size fits nicely within the company’s 55,000-sq.ft. plant and the maximum sheet size of 41x57˝ will accommodate much of Philipp’s work currently being run on the 64˝ press.
“We applaud Philipp Litho for taking the initiative to invest in this “Step-Change Technology”, says Steve Korn, KBA director of national and key accounts. “This capital investment will yield the benefits of expedited job to job change-over and higher throughput at lower operating costs and it will quite simply provide Philipp Litho with a competitive edge in the marketplace for many, many years to come.”
Philipp Litho has built a solid customer base in the large-format market providing printed sheets for the point-of-purchase (POP) display industry and top sheets and litho labels for the corrugated industry. Buening says the point-of-purchase market is growing and is relatively unaffected by offshore manufacturing. He finds that many corrugated companies have moved into the POP display market because it lends itself to their food and consumer product clients.
“As always, marketing allows little time for production, so lead times are very short,” notes Buening. “It is not uncommon for us to receive files in the morning from a client, get a proof out later that day, be on press with their job the next day, and ship a few hours later.” T
To accomplish these shorter and shorter turnaround times, the shop leans heavily on its press automation, its experienced craftsmen, and its extremely knowledgeable customer service reps. Philipp’s current KBA presses are being used for packaging and POP. The printer also has a full arsenal of presses capable of handling sizes as small as 19x 23˝ all the way up to 59.5x 80.5˝.
“The advantage to having multiple presses is that we can easily accommodate our customers’ varying needs,” says Buening. “We can print our customers’ multiple press forms at one time across all of our equipment, saving them time (due to simultaneous press approvals) and the hassle of having to source parts of a project to multiple printers.”
He cites KBA as one of the reasons his company has had so much success. “KBA is the reason we are in business today. KBA is a very professional organization and continues to be the leader in large-format technology. It has provided the means for us to upgrade from the old technology on our old Harris presses to the most technologically-advanced large format, sheet-fed presses today,” Buening stated.
“Our first KBA press, a Rapida 162A (64˝), was installed in our plant in July of 2002 and our Rapida 205 (81˝) was installed in December of 2005. After the addition of each of these presses, we saw dramatic efficiencies take place as well as an increase in sales. We can’t wait for the installation of our new Rapida 145 in September to see the same.”
Formally introduced at drupa 2012, the 57˝ KBA Rapida 145 is available with a host of options, such as a maximum production speed of 17,000 sph in straight printing and unique automation, including the sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS and DriveTronic SPC direct drives for fast, simultaneous plate changing; the CleanTronic Synchro system (two washing beams) for simultaneous washing of ink rollers, blankets, and impression cylinders parallel to plate changing.
A new program for extremely fast inking unit washing (CleanTronic ReInk) and further parallel makeready processes contribute to significantly higher net production output. The new coater offers a simultaneous coating form changing (DriveTronic SFC) and a fast, one-man replacement of the exchangeable anilox roller sleeves (AniSleeve).
The press’ new ErgoTronic console with wall screen, picture-in-picture function and integrated color measurement and control system (QualiTronic ColorControl) for quality monitoring are available. In addition, the new large-format Rapida presses feature inline register control (QualiTronic ICR), and with QualiTronic PDF it is possible to perform an inline comparison between the print result and the original PDF file.
KBA North America is located in Dallas and a member of the KBA Group. Established almost 200 years ago in Wuerzburg, Germany, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) is the oldest and second largest press manufacturer worldwide. KBA's banner, 'People & Print', reflects its dual focus as a leading innovator for print entrepreneurs. The group's product range is the broadest in the industry; its portfolio includes commercial and newspaper web presses, sheetfed offset presses in all format classes, inkjet systems and presses, special presses for banknotes, securities, metal-decorating, smart cards and discs.