B&B Print Source ‘Gets More’ from its KBA Rapida 105 Press
WILLISTON, VT—11/27/07—KBA North America reports that B&B Print Source, a leading Portland, Oregon, commercial and publication printer, is experiencing higher quality, reduced makeready times and faster running speeds with their new KBA Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press with coater.
“Our need for a new press was twofold,” says Mike Stevenson, president of B&B Print Source. “First, we were experiencing tremendous company growth, and second, we could see incredible opportunities in long runs that our existing customers currently ran on a web. After reviewing equipment from four major press manufacturers, we chose the KBA Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press. With the higher speeds and greater net output of the 18,000-sheets-an-hour Rapida, coupled with the lower operating costs, which include quicker setup and makeready times, we were able to aggressively compete for the web business. Since we have always been known as a high-quality printer, the greater speeds of the Rapida still had to produce the high-quality print our customers are used to. I can tell you that the level of quality has actually increased with the Rapida press.”
Before Stevenson chose the KBA Rapida 105, he put the press through two difficult test forms to ensure that it would print to his high quality standards. One form contained a maximum printed image area with a 300 line screen gray balance image to test for streaking. The other difficult test form included a PMS Grey 293 full out solid with reverse out text.
KBA’s Rapida press passes the test
“The test form that we supplied to KBA was delivered in person by me the morning we arrived for our demo,” says Stevenson. “We wanted this test to be completely realistic. Sending a form two weeks ahead to prepare the press would not be realistic. I think this is the reason the other press manufacturers had such a difficult time with our form. The Rapida press produced both forms at full press speed with no issues whatsoever. KBA managed our difficult test form best, with smooth graduated screens, extremely accurate fit from corner to corner, and color consistency throughout speed changes. KBA was the only manufacturer able to do this. It was very impressive. The KBA team came through with flying colors.”
Once the press was installed, it was up to B&B’s crew to produce high-quality work and make the press accomplish the firm’s new goals. “We have always been known as a top-quality printer, but now our objective was to maintain our high quality level while reducing our cost to produce, which included compressing our setup times,” says Gregg Lazoff, B&B’s production manager.
The Rapida 105 was able to accomplish these goals thanks to its many features that are unavailable from any other press manufacturer, says Lazoff. Washup times are reduced because of KBA’s unique feature of disengaging any unused print or coating unit; replacement of coater blankets is now done using a tool-less semi-automatic plate feature; registration is achieved through an automatic camera feature; all air settings are preset and sent along with the CIP 3/4 information; and practically all print unit adjustments are made through the console rather than with tools at the print unit.
“We get more from our KBA press”
“Quality control has improved exponentially with the KBA Densitronic S, which provides report information from X-Y sheet scans for density and spectral values all in just seconds,” says Lazoff. “I’ve said this on many occasions since we installed the Rapida 105—we just get more with our KBA press.”
Press operators at B&B were also impressed with the Rapida 105. “I’ve run a number of presses in my 18 years in this business and must say the most impressive feature for me is the consistency from the new KBA press,” says Dennis Tapscott, B&B’s lead pressman. “From sheet to sheet, job to job, and day to day, and through a range of press speeds, the densities are extremely stable. Maintenance time is reduced with the intelligent layout of service points for the press. The remote maintenance feature also ensures maximum uptime.”
For nearly 20 years, B&B Print Source had purchased press equipment from a different German press manufacturer. Stevenson admits he was a bit apprehensive to venture away but decided that he needed to see what other options were available in the market.
“After looking closely at the four press manufacturers and giving them two difficult press forms to print, our decision to go with KBA was easy,” says Stevenson. “We based the decision on uptime, print quality, quality control features, cost of ownership, and most important, after-sales service.”
KBA engineers presses by engineers
But Stevenson and his management group were also impressed with KBA’s manufacturing processes and the company’s insistence that Stevenson and his group travel to KBA’s factory in Germany to inspect their new press. “KBA actually builds the press for individual customers rather than for inventory, which made a positive impression on us,” says Stevenson. “During our factory tour, we bumped into the lead design engineer for the 41-inch presses as well as the CEO who, we found out, is a practicing engineer as well.”
B&B Print Source is a full-service printer, providing prepress, press, and finishing services from business cards and brochures to books and packaging. Its more than 70 knowledgeable employees are committed to managing complex projects from design to delivery. B&B Print Source is also committed to saving the environment. The firm has earned certification from the Forest Stewardship Council in order to support the growth of responsible forest management worldwide. The firm also recycles all of its wastepaper, mixes its own Toyo vegetable-based inks in-house, and encourages the use of papers with recycled content. www.bbprintsource.com
KBA North America is a member of the KBA Group, a leading global supplier of sheetfed, webfed, and digital offset presses located in Williston, Vermont. KBA is dedicated to excellence in printing technology. The company’s greatest satisfaction comes from helping its customers succeed by building presses that enable their businesses to prosper. From engineering through production, KBA’s focus is on people, providing flexible technology, customized printing solutions, and personal service to help its partners differentiate themselves and be successful today and in the future. www.kba-usa.com