Making Big Impressions
Holger Garbrecht, the new president and CEO of KBA North America, took a few minutes to answer some questions regarding his company, the marketplace, new technology and the upcoming Drupa exhibition.
As a relative newcomer to the American printing market, what are your observations of the U.S. printing industry in comparison to that of Western Europe?
Holger Garbrecht: The U.S. market is more diverse. An example is that many printers are looking more toward large-format printing or long presses with UV and high automation. On the other hand, we are working with many customers that are looking for entry-level presses that will allow them to step up to a larger format size.
The American entrepreneurial spirit is what brought me to this market. Americans enjoy expanding their businesses by entering new markets to ensure their growth. This is one of the many reasons why I joined KBA; I appreciate being able to offer printers all format sizes, from 20˝ to 81˝.
KBA stresses its ability to offer customized press configurations, in a range of press sizes, to meet customers’ individual requirements. Why is this so critical in today’s marketplace?
Garbrecht: Printers are investing in highly automated presses that can produce materials more efficiently than ever before. One KBA example is our 2007 GATF award-winning Sensoric Infeed System that allows our presses to run faster with less waste and dramatically reduced makeready times. At the same time, printers want presses that can run a wider range of substrates, from paper to board to plastic. This all results in higher profitability and, equally important, more diversity in the printer’s product portfolio.
What do you expect to be the predominant themes when the Drupa exhibition opens in Germany this spring?
Garbrecht: Printers always expect to see the leading technology at the Drupa show, and this one will be no different. At Drupa 2004, we introduced a completely new portfolio, including our 81˝ Rapida 205 press and our 20˝ Genius 52 UV press. This time, our focus will be on enhancing the large-format products for even greater productivity; we will also highlight quality and color management systems.