New enlarged facility and expanded printing and converting capabilities usher in a new era of growthKoenig & Bauer Press Investment Gains 30% New Business For El Paso Paper Box

  • New Rapida 106 41-inch perfector press provides added capabilities such as press automation and high-speed production for faster response to customer deadlines 
  • Tools on the state-of-the-art Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press provide its clients with consistency and repeatability
  • Texas-based high quality manufacturer serves major high-end consumer product clients throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean

In the past few years, El Paso Paper Box has expanded exponentially throughout the U.S., Mexico and into the Caribbean due in part to smart management decisions and a business-friendly environment. Sales for its paperboard packaging products have gained by 30% and new markets have been opened. But El Paso had already “set the table” for this growth by making a $15 million capital expenditure that included a new Koenig & Bauer seven-color, 41-inch Rapida 106 full inline UV coating sheetfed perfector press in 2016.

El Paso Experiences 50% More Productivity With Rapida 106

The impact of its new strategic press investment was extraordinary sales growth, faster speeds and productivity, and new customers that demand higher quality levels. “Our 30% sales increase has come both organically and externally, via the addition of new customers,” says John Dowd, El Paso’s Executive Vice President. “Since the net speed of the Rapida 106 is averaging up to 18,000 sheets/hour for our longer runs, we are yielding up to 50% faster speeds. This has increased our productivity and become a prime driver of new business for us. We also have the confidence imparted by the Rapida’s excellent color controls to seek out new business that we are now handling with ease.”

So much so that El Paso’s management believes that its current sales will double within five years and it will possibly add a satellite location within five to 10 years, says Paul Malooly, El Paso President and CEO.

World Class Uptime On New Rapida Press

When asked why they chose Koenig & Bauer, Manny Corral, El Paso’s printing supervisor, said: “The uptime on our Rapida 106 is world-class. The reliability of the press gives us a solid footing to tackle the most demanding jobs and deliver on-time. Its high speed production provides us with faster response to customer deadlines.” 

Like the majority of printers today, one of its most demanding areas is color control. Its operation’s team is mandated to insure that the printed product maintains superior color consistency from the beginning of the production run to the end. “The color of the packaging we produce must be consistent, both within the run itself and from one run to another,” explains Dowd. “Our clients value consistency and repeatability, and the tools for providing both are state-of-the-art with our Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106.” To that end, El Paso invested in the unique Koenig & Bauer LogoTronic software that delivers accurate presetting data from its prepress department.

Left to right: the team at El Paso Paper Box: John Dowd, executive vice president; Paul Malooly, President and CEO; and Carlos Espinoza, vice president and general manager

Unique And Differentiating Features on the Rapida 106

After initial startup, which generates 20% less waste than El Paso’s previous press, both the Koenig & Bauer ErgoTronic and QualiTronic software step up its game with solid color controls, ink densities and color measurement reports. The ability of the ErgoTronic camera to constantly measure registration, along with the QualiTronic measurement of color - for every single sheet – ensures El Paso can deliver 100% color control for all of its customers, says Dowd. 

Another smart management decision by El Paso was to configure its new Koenig & Bauer Rapida press in the perfecting mode. Since the installation, El Paso has been able to offer a variety of solutions such as six-over-one positions to its customers. “The perfecting capability of the Rapida106 has been a real plus for our business,” says Dowd. “A lot of formerly two-pass work can now be run in one pass since we can simultaneously print the front and reverse sides of the package. This gives us a “leg up” on our competition, as the costs to perfect are minimal compared to a two-pass run.”

Koenig & Bauer’s special enhanced training

Part of its investment philosophy at its 105,000 sq ft facility in the far southwestern region of Texas is to continually train its employees with the latest techniques that are being demanded by its customers. Recently, the firm hosted a coating seminar with Koenig & Bauer at its facility in which Chris Travis, Koenig & Bauer’s director of technology, conducted the session along with representatives from coating and roller suppliers. El Paso’s three lead pressmen were in attendance along with Manny Corral, El Paso’s printing supervisor.

“Customers have become increasingly demanding in the types and effects of the coatings they choose,” says Malooly. “From soft touch, to gloss UV, to matte aqueous, we are continually challenged to support the demand in new coatings for market differentiation for our client base. This seminar was invaluable for our knowledge and understanding. Having the added technical abilities of UV printing and new coating techniques on our Rapida 106 expands our offerings to our customers.” 

El Paso would highly recommend all of the benefits of continually investing in new equipment. “When you make major investments, like we did with our new Koenig & Bauer press, you indicate to your customers and your employees that you’re solidly focusing on fast-moving events in consumer trends, helping your customers better market their products, as well as exhibiting your determined dedication to the printing and packaging industry,” says Dowd. “We’re reaping the benefits of investment in seeing substantial growth in our business.”

El Paso Paper Box (EPPB) has been a designer and manufacturer of custom paperboard folding cartons for decades. It serves the electronic/electrical, automotive, consumer goods, beauty, food/confectionary, medical/healthcare, bakery/supermarkets, building trades, and paper goods/office supply markets. With a focus on the end-user’s shopping and buying experience, the firm brings a deeper level of service to its customers’ folding carton packaging needs. The retail package is extremely important in the process of getting the product to the consumer safely and appealing to the customer at their point of decision-making. EPPB has a deep understanding in areas from package usability to shelf appeal, and this new press will help provision them for continued success in the future.


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    Eric Frank
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