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August 2007
Group Visits KBA’s German Head­quarters

RADEBEUL, GERMANY—KBA North America invited a select number of U.S. and Canadian printers, as well as industry journalists, to visit its headquarters and sheetfed press manufacturing facility here recently. The group was treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the factory assembly hall; the R&D facility; product demonstrations on the new-generation, 41˝ Rapida 105 five-over-five perfector press and the large-format, 56˝ Rapida 142 four-over-four perfector; and visits to several area printers that are utilizing KBA presses in sophisticated markets. Time was also spent sightseeing in Dresden and Leipzig.

“Our open house in Germany provided printers with an in-depth education on how to decide on one of our popular presses, from a long perfector 41˝ press to a large-format press, or even a large-format perfector, which only KBA can deliver,” says Ralf Sammeck, outgoing president and CEO of KBA North America (he has accepted a new assignment effective this month with KBA in Germany), who accompanied the group. “This was accomplished by showing them makereadies for commercial, packaging and label jobs, including hybrid technology, and comparing costs and throughput on both types of presses.”

First stop for the group was the KBA headquarters Customer Center, where attendees learned about the benefits of KBA 41˝ perfectors and Rapida large-format presses. The trip included a guided tour through the assembly halls, as well as demonstrations at KBA’s R&D facility in Radebeul, outside of Dresden. After demonstrations on KBA’s 41˝ and 56˝ presses, the group saw firsthand the manufacturer’s unique method of individually building presses for each of its customers, then shipping the units, and having the same German press crew rebuild the press at the customer’s site. Participants learned how KBA builds its perfector presses and saw a couple of long perfector presses, including special configurations with coaters on each end, being test-printed and prepared for shipping.

The group also visited Ellerhold Grossplakate, one of the biggest poster printers in Europe, which laid claim to the world’s first Rapida 205 81˝ sheetfed press in January 2004. A production run on the huge press showed how Ellerhold produces posters within 24 hours.

The tour’s next stop was at the high-tech facility of United, a 100 percent online ordering-based printer whose sales have been doubling each year. Producing 1,000 jobs within a 24-hour period, its 320 employees all wear space-age white suits. United relies on 14 KBA presses, ranging from a 20˝ model to large-format machines—all linked via KBA’s Logotronic management system.


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