TPC Printing and Packaging Uses New KBA Rapida 105 for High-End Packaging
When boutique folding carton printer TPC Printing and Packaging added a new eight-color, 41˝ KBA Rapida 105 press with full UV capabilities and inline coater along with board and plastic packages to its 150,000 sq. ft. facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., last spring, it had high expectations for its first KBA press. The company serves a group of world-class consumer retailers and well-known brand names in the distilled spirits, over-the-counter pharmaceutical, cosmetic, fragrance, and health and beauty industries that demand award-winning specialty decorated, shaped, and printed folded cartons for the retail shelf.
“The new KBA Rapida 105 completely exceeded those expectations," Joseph A. Schmissrauter III, president of TPC Printing and Packaging, said. "We’re yielding faster run speeds, more efficiency, and less waste. It’s a game-changer for us. We and our customers are delighted with the press. In less than a year after its installation, it’s already paying for itself.”
The new KBA Rapida 105 joined a meticulous pressroom with three other non-KBA sheetfed presses. TPC’s new KBA Rapida 105 is equipped with full automation including plate changing and specially-equipped board and plastic packages, full UV capabilities, plus KBA’s unique ErgoTronic ColorControl color measuring system.
“The new KBA Rapida 105 is positively affecting our company and our customers in many different ways,” says Schmissrauter. “Let’s look at efficiency. Most of our jobs call for multi-passes through the press. It’s even not uncommon for us to have a project that calls for 14 machine passes. Now instead of those two to three passes through the press per job, we now only need to do one pass with the new Rapida. In the first six weeks of operation, our company saved a half million sheets by running more jobs through in one pass. Instead of estimating 1,500 sheets of material for an eight-color job, we’re now only estimating 500 sheets. And because our clients utilize high-end unique substrates, such as laminate foil and holographic materials that can cost up to $2 or $3 a sheet, we’re seeing material savings as well. The press is performing quite well with these special substrates.”
Since the Rapida’s installation, makeready has been cut in half.
“The on-going trend in our industry has been to produce shorter run length jobs,” says Schmissrauter. “Our challenge is to reduce our makeready times and thus turn our jobs around much faster. We already knew that the press could reduce makeready after we visited the KBA factory in Dresden to test the press. We sent three of our most complicated eight-color jobs to test-run. The Rapida press was able to makeready all three in 53 minutes. That was very impressive.”
Nearly a year into its installation, the KBA Rapida has become the firm’s “showcase press” running at full capacity. And Schmissrauter is quick to point out how the press has contributed to the firm’s profitability.
“Our firm had a banner year in 2015,” he says. “From May through October 2015 after the press installation, we set an all-time sales record of 12% growth in sales. Our sales objective for this year is 12% again and we’re ahead of where we should be. The Rapida press gives us the platform to move forward for the next three years. We have plenty of capacity to keep growing strongly.”
Customers who visit the facility concur that the KBA Rapida press is an impressive installation. They are “amazed” and “astounded,” says Schmissrauter.
“This press steps up our entire game," he says. "Our sterling reputation of providing unique first-rate promotional packaging is reinforced with this press installation.”
Once the new KBA press was installed, Schmissrauter and his team began the rigorous certification process involved in becoming a G7 Master Printer. This qualification program identifies printing companies that have been trained to proof or print to G7 Neutral Print Density Curves and can meet print buyer requirements to produce proofs or printed output conforming to the metrics that reliably render brand images across print locations and different printing types. The qualification mark means that the printer uses the modern technology based on colorimetry, and employs G7 process controls.
“We waited for the KBA before we started the process,” he says. “And we were correct in doing so. The KBA press helped us to fly through the process in one day due to its technology and automation. Without the KBA press, we would have been tweaking our existing non-KBA presses, reducing dot gain, and making grey balance correction. It took us through the month of October to complete the process. It’s important to have the certification since a lot of our customers require G7 Master Printer certification.”