- Versatile customer-focused packaging producer continues explosive sales growth
- Increased demand for faster turnaround, high quality, color specific packaging for nationwide clientele
- Cites Koenig & Bauer’s steadfast relationship and advocacy as well as technologically-advanced innovative press manufacturing
In today’s evolving business environment, successful corporate owners need to make decisive moves in unison with the marketplace. Chip Smith, president of Marshall & Bruce, can be counted among these visionary owners. As the printing industry has shifted, Smith, with the support of his brother Dudley, recalibrated his Nashville business from primarily a commercial shop to a packaging producer, in which he has increased his nationwide base of clients in such industries as health and beauty, personal care, and office supply to 80% of his packaging and blister card output and maintained 20% of his commercial work.
The reward? His firm’s explosive sales growth has prompted him to add a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch seven-color press---his fourth from the leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer---to accommodate his increased workload. The new press dominates the 105,000 sq ft printing operation on the banks of the Cumberland River headquartered just across the river from Nashville’s thriving city center.
Powerhouse press provides more output, more efficiency, broader capabilities
“This new powerhouse press is supporting our growing packaging market and is giving us more output, more efficiency, and a broader degree of capabilities than we’ve had before,” says Smith. “In the past year, it has doubled our job productivity over our previous press because we’re able to run jobs through in one pass rather than two.”
Ever since it made its debut as the undisputed world makeready champion, the award-winning Rapida 106 has offered an array of unique automation solutions and a long list of industry-leading innovations, such as its 20,000 sph speed, the sidelay-free infeed, lightning fast job changes and quick handling, expert inline color and quality control, and inspection options.
“The new Rapida 106 press is advancing our goal of providing better efficiency, productivity, and quality, as well as even faster turnaround and producing high-end critical color jobs,” says Smith. “With our packaging customers, we’re seeing shorter run lengths due to better inventory management and skew proliferation. An ongoing trend is toward more versions of a particular carton so we’re faced with needing to answer that challenge of faster makeready and improved efficiencies.”
Accentuating its color capabilities
High-end color control is another important consideration that Marshall & Bruce faces from its demanding customers, especially in the packaging market. The firm depends on the new Rapida 106 to provide color control and display its efficiency in getting up to color much faster. He notes that his customers call for expensive substrates, such as foil and plastics, in which he needs to hold color and reduce waste.
With that goal in mind, the new Rapida 106 is equipped with Koenig & Bauer’s QualiTronic ColorControl for inline color control with touchscreen and quality control system. This popular system utilizes a camera system installed after the coating unit that measures every sheet for constant print quality over the whole length of a run. The system permits automatic measurements of optical density in the freshly printed color bars.
“We’re intent on broadening our base, especially in the print packaging market, while we continue to support our commercial customers” says Dudley Smith, vice president and sales executive. “Our reputation is to support a wide range in all areas, from catalogs to blister cards, folding cartons, clam shell inserts, window clings, top sheets, litho labels, header cards, signs, gift cards, ensuring that the corporate image is consistent. That’s the beauty of our new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106. It is providing us with the highest level of color, productivity, and versatility that our customers demand.”
Strong partnership with Koenig & Bauer
Smith praises his strong relationship with Koenig & Bauer and especially his long-term sales manager, Sam Creel. “Sam has been by our side since we purchased our first Koenig & Bauer press in 2003. He knows our entire team and our business in depth and has been our advocate all along. During those 17 years, we’ve installed a seven-color Rapida 105 41-inch, a 20-inch Genius 52, and a six-color 57-inch Rapida 145 and have seen first hand the industry-leading automation, first class technology, and amazing service that Koenig & Bauer has given us. It’s such a rarity in this business.”
“What’s the secret behind our success,” asks Smith. “Our customers find us to be versatile, customer-focused, and produce high quality work. We’re always laser-focused on the client, asking, ‘What can we do to help them?’ My brother Dudley plays a critical role in the vision and success of our company, pushing us into new markets and bringing his wisdom and insight into any major decisions. He and our team are always searching for ways to be creative and achieve the best possible results for our customers.”