KBA News Feed http://www.koenig-bauer.com/ en Koenig & Bauer AG Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:41:49 +0200 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:41:49 +0200 news-1075 Tue, 10 Jul 2018 23:48:35 +0200 Battlefield Press Finds Superior Technology In New KBA-Iberica Optima 106 Die Cutter https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/battlefield-press-finds-superior-technology-in-new-kba-iberica-optima-106-die-cutter/
  • Impressive factory and well-built die cutters with unique grip edge removal
  • Push button automation, top running speeds
  • Ability to die cut all types of substrates including clear plastic
  • Professional, knowledgeable sales team; well-trained support staff 
  • Ever since Battlefield Press was founded in 1964, this family-owned full-service modern print shop located in Burlington, Ontario, Canada has striven to be the best. Now in its third generation, Battlefield has separated itself from its North American competitors by applying its superior trade of craftsmanship with particular know-how especially using UV techniques. Central to its success, Battlefield’s management team has had to make hard decisions to better offer its customers top quality, fast turnaround, and competitive pricing. This incisive decision-making process was on full display when the firm had to replace a sub-par die cutter from a different manufacturer with a new KBA-Iberica Optima 106 die cutter earlier this year.

    “Since we serve very high-end customers, it was very important to us to buy the best-made die cutter,” says Jerry Theoret, president of Battlefield. “For us, that meant it had to be European built. Due to our prior bad experience, we would not consider anything made in China, so that eliminated a lot of machines.”

    Left to right: Jerry Theoret, president and CEO of Battlefield; and Matt Theoret, Battlefield director of production; join Aleks Lajtman, Koenig & Bauer regional sales manager, at the new KBA-Iberica Optima 106 die cutter.

    Instead, Battlefield turned its discerning eye to KBA-Iberica’s brand of die-cutters. The firm learned that the Optima 106 machine is capable of handling production of paper, cardboard, plastic and corrugated boards up to 1.5mm, providing much needed flexibility to the firm’s varied jobs. It could also offer top running speeds for faster productivity and efficiency. Wanting to see where the die-cutters are manufactured, Battlefield’s management team traveled to the factory in Barcelona, Spain to see how the machines are built.

    “After our visit, we left the meeting very impressed,” says Theoret. “So much so that we signed an order three days later for a KBA-Iberica Optima 106 die cutter. We felt the sales team was very professional, knowledgeable, and responsive. From the moment we met them, they answered all of our questions immediately and were alert to our needs throughout the entire process.”

    In early May 2018, the 45,000 sq ft one-story facility outside of Toronto took possession of the new die-cutter. The installation, says Theoret, was performed very well and went smoothly. The KBA-Iberica training team came to Battlefield’s facility to teach the operators how to use the new die cutter. The Battlefield operators were so impressed and learned so much from them that they hope they will be able to visit again for some future training.

    “Although we’ve only had the die-cutter up and running jobs for less than a month, the early reviews from our team are that the machine is providing faster makereadies, runs much faster than our previous machines, and the sheets are much easier to strip,” says Theoret. “We’re thrilled with its operator friendly innovations and ease of handling. It’s been an important addition to our post-press department allowing us to keep all of our jobs inhouse and permitting us to die-cut from 29.5-inch up to 41.5-inch press sheets. Plus, it has performed magnificently for our customer’s demanding work.”

    Theoret adds that his company is looking forward to utilizing some of the special features on the KBA-Iberica machine, particularly, its unique grip edge removal and its die cutting of clear plastic substrates. Battlefield’s new Optima 106 is equipped with a grip edge removal system with pneumatic clamps that fixes the wooden templates for perfect and secure positioning and make-ready reduction time. With this unique system only found on KBA-Iberica models, effective removal of grip edge trim is achieved on each job.

    “A big part of our business is to produce very high quality work on diverse substrates, including clear plastic,” says Theoret. “We’re pleased that the Optima 106 features an anti-static kit for feeder head and table providing us with improved performance when die-cutting plastic materials. We didn’t have these features or operation on our previous die cutters.”

    As the 60-employee business looks to the future, it is well-positioned for increased growth and revenue. With the installment of the new KBA-Iberica die-cutter and other important equipment purchases, Theoret believes that the company can grow by 15-20% per year, with a goal of posting a 50% increase in revenue in the next three years. “The Optima 106 was the perfect investment for our company, providing us with high productivity and a rugged long-life piece of machinery,” says Theoret.

    Battlefield Press was founded in 1964 and was one of the first in Ontario to offer four-color printing. In the 1990s, the firm led by incorporating digital printing and workflow technology. It was also the only printer in Canada to offer 12-colour perfector printing in 2005. In 2016, it was the first Canadian printer to win Sappi's Printer of the Year Award. It has built its fine reputation by producing automotive, pharmaceutical, in-store POP, direct mail and product package printing. Battlefield prints catalogs, books, maps, decals, boxes, banners, signs and more using specialty coatings from matte and gloss UV (usually in a single pass) to clear foil deboss and it prints on everything from 40lb text to 40pt vinyl right off the roll.




    news-1063 Tue, 26 Jun 2018 22:30:26 +0200 Large Format Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 Press Launches the Next Generation for Accurate Box https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/large-format-koenig-bauer-rapida-164-press-launches-the-next-generation-for-accurate-box/
  • Certified woman owned business serving nationally-recognized brands
  • Fulfilling additional press capacity with ever expanding customer base
  • E-commerce growth propels need for high graphic packaging 
  • One of the key reasons that New Jersey-based Accurate Box has remained extremely successful over its 74 years is investment: in its employee base, in its equipment, and in its customer’s ongoing needs. With a stellar reputation for providing exceptional high quality graphics for corrugated packaging for nationally-recognized brands such as Kellogg's and Pepsico that line the aisles of big box retailers like Costco and Sam's Club, this third-generation, woman owned business consistently seeks the best and brightest local employees, the most automated and technically-advanced equipment, and keeps its fingers on the pulse of the fast-moving trends in its niche of the market.

    Founded in 1944 by Henry Hirsh, Accurate Box has remained in northern New Jersey, first in Newark and for the past 35 years in Paterson, NJ. Its 400,000 sq ft headquarters sits in an industrial area of the city and draws its 270 employees from the nearby community. Henry’s son Charlie led the company from the 1960s until 1997, guiding the company through tremendous growth as a folding carton manufacturer specializing in large format packaging. When his daughter, Lisa Hirsh, joined the family business and officially took over in 1997, she maintained that tradition of reinvesting in the company’s future. Since then, she has built on the solid foundation laid by her father and grandfather, modernizing and expanding its capacity, and building it into one of the largest independent box manufacturers of litho-laminated packaging in the U.S. 

    At the end of June, Lisa Hirsh, president and CEO of Accurate Box, will be adding to her firm’s pressroom firepower with a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 seven-color press, which will enable the firm to continue to create high quality packaging for the club store, e-commerce, and quick service food industries.

    “We continue to deepen our relationship with our customers,” says Lisa Hirsh, president and CEO of Accurate Box. “Our goal is to help them stand out—whether it be on store shelves or as an e-commerce delivery, not blend in. Our team is constantly collaborating with our customers’ product management and graphics teams to find new ways to enhance their packages and increase wholesale club store sales or direct to consumer sales revenue. We want the graphics to entice customers to purchase the products. To achieve those results, we are always seeking to leverage the innovations and advanced technologies available to our market.” 

    At the end of June, Accurate will be adding to its pressroom firepower with a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 seven-color press. The newly designed blue and gray model will operate 24/7 alongside the firm’s two existing Koenig & Bauer Rapida 162 64-inch seven-color sheetfed printing presses, providing Accurate with even more press capacity, faster speeds, improved set-up, new computerized quality systems and enhancements. An additional key feature of this fast large-format Rapida is a logistics system for the feeder.  

    Working with major brands and their specific color schemes, logos, and graphics, it is imperative for Accurate to match those shades and images box-to-box and run-to-run. Aiding in this endeavor is the combination of Koenig & Bauer inline QualiTronic Color Control capability and System Brunner Instrument Flight print quality measuring system on the new Rapida 164. Having earned a reputation as the leading inline color control system on the market, the Koenig & Bauer QualiTronic Instrument Flight emphasizes color balance and gray balance, taking into account more than 30 process variables. This will allow Accurate to produce the highest quality images on strong corrugated material that will withstand shipping, storage, and display. 

    “Our reputation has always been as a world class manufacturer that produces high graphic corrugated boxes,” says Hirsh. “As the marketplace continues to rapidly transform, our strategy is to fully embrace the e-commerce sector. Marketers who focus on online consumers are searching for other ways to create a different type of branded consumer experience. High graphic, corrugated packaging offered through our company has often filled this void through its process of creating unique packaging for online consumers strategically branded on the inside. As the e-commerce market grows, the ‘unboxing’ experience is increasingly more important to online consumers.” 

    As its customers continue to require high quality brilliant graphics, Accurate decided to equip its new press with LED-UV technology, providing the firm with greater color fidelity and even more stunning results. The added benefit of the LED-UV technology is its ability to speed job cycle times and deliver a bindery-ready sheet to Accurate’s post-press department. Having the press specified with the high-speed package will provide Accurate’s press operators a major increase in productivity. 

    While the management team at Accurate Box did look at other competing press manufacturers, their decision to purchase a new Koenig & Bauer press rested on a number of issues. “We determined that Koenig & Bauer brings exceptional value to its customers,” says Hirsh. “There are a lot of fine presses on the market but Koenig & Bauer delivered on the capabilities that we needed. Plus, our on-going relationship with KBA North America and our sales manager Ed Heffernan was definitely an important factor. In the end, we were quite comfortable with our decision. Koenig & Bauer produces exceptional presses.”

    About Accurate Box Company Inc.  

    Accurate Box Company is one of the largest, family owned manufacturers of high graphic corrugated packaging in the United States. We specialize in offset lithography and have the ability to print 7 colors plus UV coating in a single pass on both small and large runs. We are experts in creating high quality packaging for the club store, e-commerce, and quick service food industries. Our facility is food safety certified and is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery in every department. In business since 1944, and women owned since 1998, Accurate Box manufactures in New Jersey and ships competitively throughout all of North America. Visit www.accuratebox.com to find out more about our capabilities and services.



    news-1024 Tue, 05 Jun 2018 23:12:00 +0200 New KBA-Iberica Optima 106 Die Cutter Significantly Boosts Capacity At Lithographic Industries https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/new-kba-iberica-optima-106-die-cutter-significantly-boosts-capacity-at-lithographic-industries/
  • Blister packaging market is growing and expanding
  • Calls KBA-Iberica Optima 106 “best in class” piece of equipment
  • Die cutter offers quick makeready, smooth operation, and substantial waste reduction
  • With an expanding market and the “best business in years,” Lithographic Industries, a privately-owned, third generation packaging printer located in Broadview, IL, chose to invest in its business by adding a new KBA-Iberica Optima 106 die cutter after thoroughly investigating what was competitively offered in the marketplace. The firm, which is known for its high-quality blister card printing in combination gang runs, has always remained a bit under the radar in its one-story facility on a quiet street in this suburb of Chicago. But its customers have long recognized the firm’s fine heritage as the oldest combination blister card manufacturer in the U.S. since 1961, its superb quality, and its service-oriented philosophy.

    For nearly six months, the KBA-Iberica Optima 106 has proven its ruggedness, efficiency, and high speed as an integral part of the firm’s production, providing Lithographic Industries with a competitive edge as the demand for blister packs has posted a sharp rise. It is paired with the firm’s unique 11-color Koenig & Bauer Rapida 41-inch sheetfed offset press, the only one of its type in the U.S., offering two sided printing for nine-over-two combination blister card and insert card printing.

    “We produce unique solutions for our customers and we depend on equipment that is operating smoothly and efficiently with minimal downtime,” says Louis A Ebert, president of Lithographic Industries. “The superior technology from KBA-Iberica on the Optima 106 die cutter has significantly increased our throughput and led to enhanced client satisfaction. This new die cutter has completely eliminated variability right from the start. It registers the sheet perfectly. Additionally, it reduced waste and increased our productivity, which is especially important as the need for more capacity has grown.”

    “We applaud Lou Ebert and his entire team at Lithographic Industries for investing in this ‘step-change technology’ at its Chicagoland location,” says Steve Korn, KBA North America director of national and key accounts. “This capital investment offers a very quick payback schedule of under two years and has already enabled Lithographic Industries to reach the first step of its business growth goals in the blister packaging market space.  It will, quite simply, provide a competitive edge in this unique market for many years to come. On a personal note, it is with great pride and pleasure to once again be trusted with an order from Lithographic Industries. They are outstanding people running a top-notch operation.”

    Left to right: The team at Lithographic Industries celebrates its new KBA-Iberica Optima 106 die cutter: Louis Ebert Jr, Vice President Sales; Roman Ebert, Vice President Manufacturing; Louis A Ebert Sr, President & CEO; and Lalo Abarca, Die Cutting Operator.

    One of the key features of the KBA-Iberica Optima 106 flatbed die cutter, according to Ebert, is its grip edge removal system. His operators have found that its pneumatic clamps fix the wooden templates for perfect and secure positioning and reduce makeready time. Having this new system in place at Lithographic Industries allows the operation to effectively remove the gripper edge trim fully automatically so there are less downstream steps on each job, which saves approximately 25% in time and related labor expenses.

    With capacity increasing and the growing need to more efficiently run jobs through the die cutter, Ebert has found that the Optima 106 is ruggedly built and matches his Koenig & Bauer 41” press and provides 6% in additional square inches on each sheet cut. This results in a productivity bonus in relationship to the previous die cutter from a different manufacturer that was replaced. This extra room allows the firm to be able to produce larger combos to help maximize its sheet size.

    “The KBA-Iberica Optima 106 die cutter is our workhorse,” says Ebert. “We’re running it day in and day out at 8,000 sheets per hour. Due to its increased automation and technology, we’re finding that our sheets are running through the die cutter very smoothly, without the jerky motion of our previous die cutter. As a result we need significantly fewer nicks, which also saves time and we’ve seen an increase in improved quality due to the Optima 106. Plus there’s been no downtime because the machine is so dependable. It is a real time-saver for our operators and our company, and let’s face it, time is money.”

    Lithographic Industries has long held a deep partnership with KBA North America, especially noting its decades-long relationship with Steve Korn. Ebert was also impressed with Tom Fitzgerald, KBA North America’s product manager of post-press products, who provided his own expertise and tips to using the new machine and has become a trusted resource.

    “Like our Rapida 105 press, which I feel is far superior to any other press model on the market, our new Optima 106 die cutter is designed and built by KBA-Iberica to be very industrial, precise, and of course very well-engineered and gives us more production, an increase in throughput, and a very high level of quality and consistency that can’t be matched,” says Ebert. “It will deliver higher returns for our company and we’ve calculated an extremely fast payback on our investment. We replaced a die cutter from a different manufacturer and are delighted with our decision. Koenig & Bauer is a first-class company to do business with and you can trust their people to deliver on any promise made.”

    Lithographic Industries, Inc. prints blister cards and skin packaging used for marketing merchandise. The company offers carded packaging products and services such as folding and gluing, foil stamping, off-line heat seal coating, and custom printing services. It was established in 1961 by brothers Louis and Roman A. Ebert, Jr., and dedicated to the premise of providing the highest possible quality at the lowest possible price. Located in Broadview Illinois, Lithographic invented the concept of producing many different blister cards on the same sheet. This concept was called combination gang runs or "combos" for short.



    news-1019 Mon, 21 May 2018 23:21:10 +0200 Commercial Printer Brown Printing Sees Incredible Growth After Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 Installation https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/commercial-printer-brown-printing-sees-incredible-growth-after-koenig-bauer-rapida-106-installation/
  • Makeready reduced by 50% and production run time reduced by 35%
  • Replaced existing sheetfed press with firm’s first-ever new Rapida 106 41-inch
  • Loyal customers cite quality, expert service, and family-owned values 
  • How does a commercial printer with nearly 80 years of experience plan for success in a fast-changing industry? In the case of Brown Printing, a Portland, OR, family-owned business, it is creating a truly differentiated experience for its customers with the help of a new fully automated Rapida 106 41-inch six-color UV press. The firm decided to purchase its new press to maximize the advanced technologies and unique innovations from Koenig & Bauer selected specifically by its executive team to continue its growth into the next generation of ownership.

     “We have developed a reputation for giving our clients personalized attention, professional knowledge, competitive pricing and timeliness,” says Randy Murray, Brown’s vice president. “Using environmentally-friendly practices, our goal is to provide our customers with a quality print job, no matter how large or complex. When a newly-installed existing 40-inch sheetfed press was not performing as promised, my team and I began to seek out a new press manufacturer that could deliver exactly the technology and automation needed to provide our level of quality to our customers. In a decisive move, we removed the existing press and replaced it with the new Rapida 106 press. Since its installation five months ago, we’ve reduced our production run time by 35%, found that we have less preplanning for each job, and most surprising, we’ve reduced our makeready times by 50% and even more on difficult runs. The print quality is excellent and we’re just getting started.”

    Left to right: The team at Brown Printing: Peter Ochs, Brown’s lead pressman; Shawn Irish, pressroom manager; Randy Murray, vice president; and Don Murray, president/owner; are finding that their new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press is producing more work more efficiently than ever before.

    Murray was also pleased with the fast start-up of the new Rapida 106 allowing his firm to bring in new unexpected business. For example, Brown has just finished a large push of catalogs that it would not have had the capability to complete without the new Rapida 106. By equipping the new press with full UV technology, Brown has been able to win new work for jobs such as specialty coating and packaging. 

    “Our goal is to keep ahead of our competition,” says Murray. “Now that we have full UV printing and coating, high speed output, and color control with our new Rapida 106, we are able to differentiate ourselves in our market. We’re seeing rapid growth because we have the ability to turn projects fast at the highest quality.” 

    Since its start as a family-run business in the early 20th century, Brown has evolved into a solid full-service commercial printer with offset and digital press options. Over the last eight decades, the company has built its reputation on being a first-adopter of new technology. “Ten years ago, we were a 20-inch two-color shop; our decision to move into a 40-inch press with UV as well as adding digital printing capabilities has made a huge positive impact for us,” says Murray. “We’re going to continue to invest in new technology. It allows us to be more competitive and produce higher quality work.” 

    Quality is one of the key mainstays of Brown’s success. Its customers note that Brown’s print output is exceptional and unmatched by any other printer. It was important to Murray to include the Koenig & Bauer’s QualiTronic ColorControl inline color measuring system on its new Rapida 106 to maintain its color expertise and enhanced color accuracy for its customers. This unique system uses an inter-deck camera system integrated directly into the press. The control strips can be positioned either at the front or in the center of the sheet. This ensures that printing jobs maintain color integrity on all customer work and provide limitless printing applications. 

    “We are extremely impressed with the expert method that Koenig & Bauer builds its presses,” says Murray. “Our Rapida 106 is a strong, well built machine equipped with unique automation that allows us to produce more work more efficiently than ever before. We needed a new press that could accommodate our continued fast growth. The advanced technology on the Rapida 106 increases our company’s output capacity and has immediately delivered efficiency and cost savings. It’s no wonder that it has gained a reputation as the makeready and production output world champion in medium format.” 

    Its healthy mix of high-end commercial customers from the Pacific Northwest are drawn to the firm’s personable approach and convenient location near the famous Rose Garden in downtown Portland. Customer service is one of its strong distinctions amid the current competitive landscape as well as its specialty equipment and services that help clients with projects that require letterpress, foil stamping, embossing and its ability to offer custom ink mixes. The firm maximizes the value and beauty of each of its perfectly printed products with a variety of finishing techniques such as die-cutting, folding, gluing, and kiss cutting. 

    With a strong anchor in the commercial printing market, Brown has begun to diversify its services by adding packaging to its repertory. To accommodate a variety of run lengths, Brown is utilizing the state-of-the-art automation modules, such as the DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed, on the Rapida 106 to quickly complete job changeovers and shorter production deadlines.  The fast run speeds of the Rapida 106 equate to less time on-press as well as shorter delivery times. Since its installation, the press has performed at optimum conditions and become Brown’s “go-to” press. 

    Brown Printing is a family-owned commercial printing company providing a complete range of services for clients large and small. The Portland, OR business offers a full range of services—from simple one-color jobs to six-color inline printing with in-house foil stamp and die-cut. For nearly 80 years, it has gained a reputation for giving its clients personalized attention, professional knowledge, competitive pricing and timeliness. Using environmentally friendly practices, its goal is to provide its customers with a quality print job, no matter how large or complex. 



    news-1018 Wed, 09 May 2018 22:56:36 +0200 Southern Champion Tray Maintains Strong Partnership With Koenig & Bauer As It Pushes ‘Start’ On Its New Rapida 106 Seven Color Press https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/southern-champion-tray-maintains-strong-partnership-with-koenig-bauer-as-it-pushes-start-on-its-new-rapida-106-seven-color-press/ ·        New Rapida 106 41-inch press provides footprint to support continued growth

    ·        Expecting a 20% overall improvement in OEE on this new machine

    ·        Retail-based packaging customers require shelf appeal with bold graphics

    As one of the most important market players in the global food service and custom packaging segments, Southern Champion Tray, headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, relishes its status as a dominant force in the production and distribution of paperboard packaging products for the bakery, food service and custom retail markets. One of its most important divisions sits further south in Mansfield, TX, part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. This 90 year old, third generation packaging printer with approximately 700 employees throughout its entire company, has been making significant investments at its 120-employee Mansfield site. In the past 24 months it has increased the facility with an additional 25,000 sq ft and completed an office renovation. New equipment, such as a paperboard sheeter, die cutter, LED-UV curing to lift the level of its graphics, scrap reclamation system, and digital printing systems, has been added. Why the infusion of capital? The investments align with the growing Dallas/Fort Worth market and more importantly, is a vote of confidence toward the firm’s highly devoted and talented staff based in the Mansfield operation. Plus, the Mansfield plant supplies cartons to multiple states in the Southwest region of the U.S., and even transfers product to the Chattanooga, Tennesse area for national distribution. 

    With the foodservice packaging market growing at a very rapid pace, management saw fit to add another key piece of equipment. Its pressroom has recently seen the installation of a new towering iconic blue Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch seven-color press. This new multi-million dollar investment is being located next to another Rapida 106 seven-color press that was installed several years ago.

    (Far left) Rich Dreshfield, KBA North America senior vice president of sheetfed sales; and Scott Brown, KBA North America regional sales manager (far right); join SCT Mansfield employees Deven Dye, production manager (second from left); Robi Siklosi, manager of print and digital technology (third from left); and John Moreno, pressroom manager (second from right); to celebrate the installation of the new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 seven color press.

    “Our Mansfield operation is a fast-paced manufacturing environment that has to address all of the evolving trends in our market,” says Brian Hunt, SCT’s COO. “Our customers are demanding higher-end graphics, shorter run quantities, and faster turnaround. We’ve solved these demands by ensuring that our new Rapida 106 is running at its maximum press capabilities to print our cartons and improving make-ready speeds---all of which are game changers. The new Koenig & Bauer ColorTronic ink control system has made a big difference in reducing our make-ready times. Our new digital printing system is a great solution for small volume items and matches well with the capabilities of our Rapida 106.  We are quite confident that we can handle all of the demands requested by our customers in the area of folding cartons.”

    While SCT has dominated the food paperboard packaging market, it is seeing fast growth in many other end-use segments including nutraceuticals and pet pharmaceuticals. Consumers are also increasingly shopping for organics and supplements. To set themselves apart on the store shelf, manufacturers are turning to bold colorful graphics to entice the consumer’s eye. For example, says SCT, it is running strike-thru varnish to increase impact at the retail shelf. To respond to the ever changing needs of the retail consumer, manufacturers are asking SCT for shorter run lengths and quicker turnaround.. SCT has also broadened its capabilities to further expand  warehousing of its customer’s packaging.

    The new press brings a host of new automated features that add speed and efficiency to SCT’s output, according to John Simpson, SCT’s general manager of the Mansfield facility. The Rapida 106’s color management system is adding value in consistency and getting up to color much faster, he says. Sheet delivery is also much improved allowing for higher machine speeds. Pressmen are impressed with its operator consoles allowing them to be much more efficient and effective.

    “We expect a 20% overall improvement in OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) on this new machine,” says Simpson. “There’s no doubt that this machine runs well at rated speed. We intend to take full advantage of this improved efficiency and tout its unique features to our customers. Internally, we’ll be seeing improved efficiency in make-ready and run speeds that will improve our cost competitiveness.”

    When SCT determined that it needed another new press, part of its calculation was to keep its Mansfield plant humming without interruption. “One of the hallmark attributes of KBA North America is its service mindset,” says Hunt. “In the fast-paced business of supplying packaging to food manufacturers, we cannot afford to be without a printing press. The entire KBA North America Company understands that mindset and is focused on keeping us operational.” 

    Adds Hunt, “As in any competitive business, one must evaluate all suppliers to understand innovations in technology and/or features and benefits that could be of value in an ever-changing business environment. We have had an outstanding relationship with KBA North America and already have two other of its presses in our converting system. In this case, having a Rapida 106 in operation made us more inclined to pursue a new Koenig & Bauer press.”

    Although SCT has celebrated more than nine decades in business, it continues to set new goals for the future. “Our customers identify SCT as having best-in-class service,” says John Zeiser, president and CEO of Southern Champion Tray. “With the advent of E-commerce and the speed desired by consumers, we are continually challenging our leadership team. To respond, we are continually investing in our employees, capital equipment, and facilities to ensure that we are always exceeding our customer’s expectations.”

    Established in 1927, Southern Champion Tray is a third-generation family-owned business producing a wide variety of folding cartons used throughout the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. A team of over 400 employees are based in the firm’s converting plants in Chattanooga, Tenn. and Mansfield, Texas. The company serves a broad base of markets, including bakery, foodservice, supermarket, institutional, industrial, retail, computers and electronics, personal care, hardware, automotive, medical, office supply, pet supplies, toys, textiles, and sporting goods. Its advanced sheetfed lithographic and flexographic web presses in six- and seven-color configurations along with converting capabilities such as slitting, sheeting, die cutting, gluing, windowing, clamshell, and tray forming provide a wide array of products for its customers.





    news-1004 Thu, 03 May 2018 07:23:00 +0200 First quarter of 2018 in line with expectations https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/erwartungsgemaesser-start-ins-geschaeftsjahr-2018/
  • Order intake lower due to the previous year’s substantial security press project
  • Well filled project pipeline in all business fields
  • Revenue and EBIT below prior year due to stronger concentration of deliveries in H2
  • Service revenue up
  • Increase in order backlog to €648.5m with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.15
  • Increase in equity ratio to 37.9%
  • Net liquidity including securities of €103.7m    
  • After fully achieving and even exceeding its guidance last year thanks to strong revenue and earnings performance in the fourth quarter, the Koenig & Bauer group remains on track to meet its targets for 2018, underpinned by a high order backlog and a well filled project pipeline. In addition to good group-wide capacity utilisation, the progress that has been made in the projects for achieving further EBIT gains by 2021 is providing a solid basis. Service revenue climbed from €67.4m in the previous year to €71.8m in the first quarter of 2018.

    At €250.9m, group order intake in the first three months of 2018 was down on the previous year’s figure of €321.5m, which had been influenced by a major security project. CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “Alongside our expansionary service business, we made further progress in the flourishing packaging printing. With our customer-centric solutions, we were able to increase order intake in cardboard and film printing, metal decorating, marking and coding printing. As expected, demand for digital printing presses was subdued.” Group revenue (€217.3m) and EBIT (–€1.9m) were down on the previous year (€259.1m and €5m, respectively) in Q1. CFO Mathias Dähn: “Due to the delivery dates requested by our customers, press installations in 2018 will be concentrating on the second half of the year and particularly Q4 to an even greater extent than last year.”

    Mit proaktiven Serviceangeboten wie umfassende Analysen zur Prozessoptimierung und Effizienzsteigerung der Kundenanlagen konnte Koenig & Bauer die Serviceumsätze steigern (1)

    Order gains in packaging printing

    Order intake in the Sheetfed segment, which is dominated by packaging printing, rose by 5.3%. Ralf Sammeck, the management board member responsible for this segment: “After widening our share of the global market across all format classes in 2017, we expanded our market leadership in large formats in Q1 2018.” Sheetfed EBIT was down on the previous year due to the delivery-related decline in revenue. Despite the growth in new business for flexible packaging, Digital & Web order intake fell short of the previous year as fewer orders were received for digital and newspaper web presses. With revenue up slightly, EBIT came under pressure from the low revenue level and R&D expenses as well as expenses on future growth. Despite the significant growth in metal decorating and marking and coding, order intake in the Special segment fell short of the previous year, which had included a large order for a security printing press. CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “With a good project pipeline in security printing, the booking of the usually large orders is not spread evenly over the individual quarters.” EBIT in the Special segment was also slightly lower than in the previous year due to the delivery-related decline in revenue.

    Balance sheet strengthened substantially

    Cash flows from operating activities rose substantially over the previous year (–€14.9m) to €20.3m. The free cash flow was burdened by the final payment instalment of €34.8m for the external funding of a part of the pension provisions. CFO Mathias Dähn: “Following the transfer of our reinsurance claims against the insurer to the beneficiary active employees, we netted the financial receivables against the pension provisions. This reduced the balance sheet total by €59.9m, causing the equity ratio to rise to 37.9%.”

    Die im Großformat gestiegenen Bestellungen trugen zum Anstieg des Auftragseingangs im Sheetfed-Segment um 5,3 % bei (2)

    Group targets for 2018: revenue growth of around 4% and an EBIT margin of around 7%

    Looking ahead over the next few quarters, the management board expects a positive order development thanks to the ongoing expansion of the service business, growing demand in the packaging markets and expected new orders in security printing alongside the high order backlog. CFO Mathias Dähn: “The significantly increasing revenue momentum in the second half of the year together with further progress made by the cost-cutting projects in security printing, purchasing and production will lead to a clear improvement in group earnings. In the absence of any material deterioration in global economic and political conditions for our international business, we expect to achieve organic growth of around 4% in group revenue and an EBIT margin of around 7% in 2018. This will put us on track to achieving our EBIT margin target of 9% and an organic revenue growth rate of around 4% p.a. by 2021.”

    Progress made in projects for additional profitable growth

    Koenig & Bauer is working intensively on further applications in packaging, digital and industrial printing to achieve additional profitable growth beyond its medium-term goals. CFO Mathias Dähn: “One focus is the large and significantly growing market for analogue direct printing on corrugated board, for which we have developed the CorruFLEX and CorruCUT sheetfed flexo presses, both of which have a number of unique features. An important milestone was reached with the first CorruCUT order from the renowned pilot customer Klingele. After the completion of initial testing at our new demonstration centre in Würzburg, the CorruCUT will be installed on the first customer’s premises at the beginning of 2019. As a globally leading supplier of presses for 3-piece can decorating, we want to expand our profile by entering the 2-piece can market. The newly developed CS MetalCan offers users decisive advantages. Following two contract signings at the end of last year, we will be commencing intensive field-testing shortly with the target of sales launch at the end of 2018.”

    Figures at a glance 

    The financial statements can be downloaded as a PDF file from here


    news-956 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 22:47:45 +0200 Koenig & Bauer Large Format Rapida 164 Eight-Color Supports Explosive Demand and Growth at Huston Patterson https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-large-format-rapida-164-eight-color-supports-explosive-demand-and-growth-at-huston-patterson/
  • New large format Rapida 64-inch will fuel further growth in all segments
  • Koenig & Bauer Rapida will provide exponential additional sheets per year to increase even faster turnaround for customers
  • Increase in value-added specialty coating orders for high-end alcohol, food & beverage, and cosmetic clientele
  • When Tonya Kowa-Morelli took over the reigns at Huston Patterson, her family’s privately owned package printing business in August 2013, the industry as a whole was still rebounding from economic and digital challenges. But in those past four years, she has re-shaped and re-invigorated the company to compete effectively and efficiently posting double-digit sales and demonstrating that the next generation within the family has the leadership chops to continue its fast-paced growth.

    Kowa-Morelli, the third generation to operate the business, was named president of the firm after serving in various sales, marketing and leadership roles for nine years. In her first year as president, her sales team notched a 30% increase while reducing spoilage and seeing increased efficiency in the pressroom. Under her guidance both Illinois facilities---Huston Patterson in Decatur and Sigma Graphics in Ottawa---continue to add the latest technology to benefit their clients. This month under her watchful eyes, Kowa-Morelli signed a contract for a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 64-inch eight-color press with coating to be installed later this year at its 110,000 sq ft Decatur facility.

    Left to right: Zach Kowa, director of post press operations; Joseph R. Morelli, vice president of sales and marketing; and Tonya S. Kowa-Morelli, president; chose a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 64-inch eight-color press with coating to support the firm’s explosive demand and growth.

    After careful consideration, the new press was chosen to provide additional capacity for the extraordinary increase in sales, boost its capabilities especially for the growing specialty coating market, and further its fast-turnaround and flexibility for the large format package printing industry it serves. The new press will be installed alongside the firm’s existing Koenig & Bauer 64-inch seven-color with UV, 64-inch six-color, and 56-inch six-color as well as the Rapida 105 40-inch seven-color UV press at Sigma Graphics.

    “The name of the game in our industry is to stand out on a store shelf,” says Joseph Morelli, Huston Patterson’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We want to provide our clients with that ‘wow’ factor. If you’re going up against high quality well known brands, the way to get attention is to use specialty coating effects to draw a consumer’s eye to your products.”

    For added flexibility and speed, Huston Patterson specified the new Rapida 164 with UV and sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS technology. The latter automatically aligns every single sheet calmly and effortlessly. With an additional press having UV capability, Huston Patterson can provide quicker turn times with fast instant cure UV drying as well as the flexibility to utilize those specialty value-added coatings, such as strike through, spot, soft touch, and gloss.

    “This will be our go-to press,” says Morelli of the new Rapida 164. “It will be handed the bulk of our work but its three sister presses will remain important to boosting our capacity. In the last two to three years, our company has exploded with new job orders. It’s been an exciting development for us.”

    An important capability for Huston Patterson is its ability to match its client’s specific brand colors on its printed jobs. The firm is proud to have achieved G7 Master Printer status in utilizing its technology from proof to press. Its clients benefit in cost savings, efficiency, and the reliability and quality in the best color management methods. The new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 is equipped with QualiTronic ColorControl, a popular technology that utilizes a camera system installed after the last printing or coating unit. The system permits automatic measurements of optical density in the freshly printed color bars. These measurement values serve as a basis for fast dynamic inline control of the ink key settings. 

    Over the years that Kowa-Morelli has been involved in the business, she has maintained a long-lasting partnership with KBA North America and Steve Korn, KBA director of national and key accounts. “We’ve visited the factory in Germany and have seen up-close the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into building their printing presses,” says Kowa-Morelli. “Our previous four Koenig & Bauer presses have displayed the high quality printing output and the outstanding stalwart engineering that the firm is known for. Those presses allowed our firm to expand our footprint and are a big reason for our success.”

    Steve Korn, KBA director of national and key accounts, adds, "This capital investment signals that Huston Patterson, one of the oldest independent family packaging printing companies in North America is once again making a significant investment for its clients to drive further improvement and to answer the capacity needs due to Huston Patterson’s growing customer base and increasing sales volume.  We congratulate the Kowa family and their dedicated team of customer centric employees on their fifth KBA press investment and the step-change technology advancements that come with it, this time for another large-format 64˝ press providing even greater speed to market and unprecedented 64” redundancy at Huston Patterson in the large-format market space for their clients.”  He continues, “We cherish the genuine partnership and trust that we’ve created together over so many years with Huston Patterson. We are certain that this new KBA press will help to efficiently move more projects through production, fuel future growth, and continue Huston Patterson's legacy of the highest quality printing and on-time service organization for many years to come."

    As a world-class printing organization and a full service package printer, Huston Patterson specializes in providing both offset and digitally printed top sheets and litho labels to the corrugated industry. Huston Patterson provides unparalleled value and performance, through the effective use of craftsmanship and technology by incorporating the principles of trust, integrity and commitment. Located in Decatur, Illinois Huston Patterson is strategically headquartered to meet the logistical demands of clients from coast to coast. Having been in business for more than 115 years HP is the longest-standing package printer in North America. For more information, visit www.hustonpatterson.com.



    news-947 Tue, 27 Mar 2018 23:07:03 +0200 Curtis Packaging Opts for New Customized Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41” Ten Color https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/curtis-packaging-opts-for-new-customized-koenig-bauer-rapida-106-41-ten-color/
  • Customized press with double coating capability boosts capabilities
  • Projected 60% improvement in makeready; projected 40% improvement in run rates
  • Koenig & Bauer’s print technology and service are superior over competitors 
  • Headquartered in the rolling hills of the Berkshire Mountains of Connecticut amid the leafy ambiance of a quiet upscale neighborhood, Curtis Packaging Corporations opens its red-brick two-story facility to some of the largest, well-known consumer brands in the world. Its intentional motif---a combination between an Ethan Allen showroom and a quaint New England bed-and-breakfast---provides a relaxing respite for its clients to design and deliver some of the most decorated, award-winning innovative and inspirational packaging solutions for world renowned companies that none of its competitors can match. 

    Here in its 150,000 sq ft facility in Sandy Hook, Curtis will soon be taking possession of a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch 10-color double coater press this spring. The new 41-inch press will join two current Koenig & Bauer Rapida 130 51-inch large format presses while a third Rapida 130 will be removed for the new press installation. Management’s intentions are to leverage the innovations and advanced technologies found on this fully automated 41-inch model to address its significant growth rate with additional specialty coating capabilities. 

    “When our customers describe our company, the three words they use are: excellent quality, sustainability, and innovation,” says Kerry C. Brown, Vice President of Operations at Curtis Packaging Corporation. “Our new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 will address all of those apt descriptions. It will be a key press for us, dedicated to short-run, fast changeover jobs. We have completely customized its capabilities with a unique double coater formation and other exclusive configurations. Once it begins operation this spring, we’re projecting a 60% improvement in makeready and a 40% improvement in run rates.” 

    Left to right: Don Droppo, President and Kerry C. Brown, Vice President of Operations of Curtis Packaging Corporation.

    Due to its reputation as a print producer of the highest levels of complexity and innovation, Curtis wanted to maintain its perch as having the utmost inline color control and to distinguish itself among its competitors. To that end, Curtis Packaging chose to have the new Rapida 106 press specified with the combination of Koenig & Bauer inline QualiTronic Color Control capability and System Brunner Instrument Flight print quality measuring system. Having earned worldwide acceptance and notoriety as the leading inline color control system on the market, the Koenig & Bauer QualiTronic Instrument Flight emphasizes color balance and gray balance, taking into account more than 30 process variables. It has been expanded to include new balance control apps and new global standards. The unique five-star appraisal system will notify a Curtis press operator of the print quality achieved under the selected standard and can ensure compliance with different standard specifications every day. 

    “Having this 41-inch press specified in this unique configuration of a double coater lets us print in one pass rather than two,” says Brown. “It makes us more efficient and more innovative. It distinguishes us from our competitors. We already have a reputation for producing a higher level of complexity and innovation. We’re pleased and humbled that brands seek us out to introduce and create new packaging with us. We have a fantastic group of supply partners that knock on our door wanting to launch products with us.” Curtis management was also preparing ahead when it specified that the new Rapida 106 would be prepared for eventual cold foil applications. Brown says that the firm is anticipating its use in the future. 

    For Curtis management, it was critical to be able to record and analyze its press data to ensure excellent print quality. The performance data of the new Rapida 106 press will be automatically captured for analysis via Koenig & Bauer’s LogoTronic Professional, which will provide detailed reports on every activity taking place on the press. The system has also been extended to include Logotronic Cockpit, which provides detailed reports on the OEE performance of the Rapida 106 press.  

    “Our corporate mantra is, ‘Good isn’t good enough; we expect excellence,’ says Brown. “That philosophy extends throughout the entire business; from our hiring, to our maintenance, to our service, and to our products.” 

    Another important aspect at Curtis is its environmental stance. As consumers and brands have become more concerned about the environmental impact of packaging, they are seeking printers that share their commitment. Curtis has found that its green commitment is a valuable tool for its clients as they can market their products as having a reduced impact on the environment. Curtis has an exemplary environmental record and has placed responsible sourcing and material innovation as its core business practice. It proudly advertises that it is the first packaging company in North America to be 100% carbon neutral, use 100% renewable electricity, and be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified. In late 2016, it made a $2.5 million renovation to improve energy efficiency at its headquarters. 

     “We’re very proud that we’ve reduced our energy consumption at our facility by 40% since 2012,” says Brown. “Our most recent project that included conversion to natural gas, new energy efficient HVAC and lighting systems and a roof-top solar array will result in energy cost savings of $4.5 million over the life of the project. Our new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 is projected to be 40% more efficient than our current presses. Once installed, it will only continue to contribute to our environmental philosophy.” 

    “We did test three other press manufacturers before choosing Koenig & Bauer,” says Brown. “After careful consideration, we felt that Koenig & Bauer delivered better print quality, better service, and was laser-focused on packaging. We feel that we have formed a long-term partnership with Koenig & Bauer. They completely understand our business, our goals, and long-term vision.” 

    “We congratulate Curtis Packaging for investing in a new customized Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press,” says Edward Heffernan, KBA North America sales manager. “The management team at Curtis is always seeking to provide the latest innovation for its customers. It has a rich heritage of excellence in production. We deeply appreciate our partnership with this provider of luxury packaging.”

    Curtis Packaging is a leading provider of luxury packaging solutions for some of the world’s top brands. It manufactures high quality folding cartons for the most discerning global brands. It draws inspiration from the creative human spirit, which it uses to create high quality products of outstanding beauty and enduring value. Every paperboard carton the firm creates passes through the hands of many experienced packaging professionals. Each touch exemplifies the dedication, knowledge, and tradition cultivated since Curtis was established in 1845. It is a global leader in both printing innovation and environmental stewardship. Curtis has a rich heritage of excellence in production, and an exemplary environmental record. Curtis is the first packaging company in North America to be 100% Carbon Neutral, use 100% Renewable Electricity, and be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified. Responsible sourcing and material innovation are a core business practice.



    news-942 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:26:00 +0100 Koenig & Bauer achieves or exceeds targets for 2017 https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-erreicht-bzw-ueberschreitet-ziele-2017/
  • New orders up 10.1%
  • 4.3% increase in revenue
  • Book-to-bill ratio of 1.04
  • 8.7% increase in order backlog
  • EBIT margin of 6.7%
  • Equity ratio of 36.4%
  • Net liquidity including securities of €121m
  • Dividend of €0.90 per share proposed
  • Group targets for 2018: revenue growth of around 4% and an EBIT margin of around 7%  
  • Driven by strong revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter, Koenig & Bauer fully achieved or exceeded its guidance for 2017. The printing press manufacturer’s consolidated figures show that with the increase in revenue, earnings and order intake achieved last year it is well on track towards achieving its medium-term targets by 2021.

    Growth in the packaging markets and service business, further market share gains

    With security business remaining strong, Koenig & Bauer achieved growth in the packaging markets for cardboard printing, metal, glass and hollow container decorating and coding as well as with new products such as rotary and flatbed die-cutters. Market share was widened in all business fields. CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “In addition to the market success of the rotary die-cutter, the sharp rise in new contracts for flatbed die-cutters over the previous year exceeded our expectations substantially.” Moreover, the group’s revenue and earnings growth was particularly underpinned by expansion in service business. Thus, the proportion of group revenue generated by service business widened from 23.5% in the previous year to 25.6%. CFO Mathias Dähn: “This shows that the group-wide service initiative launched at the beginning of 2016, with which we want to widen the share of service business in group revenue step by step to 30% by 2021 in the interests of greater earnings potential and stability, is now beginning to bear fruit. We want to create satisfied and loyal customers by offering excellent service. At the same time, rising service revenue is an important measure of customer satisfaction for us.”

    Für den großen und signifikant wachsenden Markt des analogen Direktdrucks auf Wellpappe hat Koenig & Bauer die Bogen-Flexomaschinen CorruFLEX und CorruCUT (mit integrierter Rotationsstanze) entwickelt. Eine CorruCUT wird Anfang 2019 beim Pilotkunden Klingele installiert (1)

    Progress made in projects for additional profitable growth

    Koenig & Bauer is working intensively on further applications in packaging, digital and industrial printing to achieve additional profitable growth beyond its medium-term targets. One key aspect is corrugated board printing, which is flourishing at above-average rates thanks to long-term trends such as home-shopping as well as more sophisticated and colourful outer packaging. CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “We have already started marketing the sheetfed flexo presses CorruFLEX and CorruCUT (with an integrated rotary die-cutter), both of which have been developed with a number of unique features. In early 2019 we will be installing a CorruCUT system at the pilot customer Klingele.” A further target market is 2-piece can printing. Explains CFO Mathias Dähn: “As a globally leading supplier of presses for 3-piece can printing, we want to expand our profile by entering the 2-piece can market. Presented in May 2017 with a number of important advantages for users, the newly developed CS MetalCan press for 2-piece can decorating met with strong customer interest. Following two contract signings, we are now able to commence intensive field-testing with the target of sales launch at the end of 2018.” In digital printing, Koenig & Bauer sees an additional growth option as digitisation no longer poses any substitution risks in the markets addressed by the company.

    Good group business performance in 2017

    At €1,217.6m, group revenue reached the target corridor of up to €1.25bn defined in the guidance. With revenue up 4.3% over the previous year (€1,167.1m), Koenig & Bauer fully achieved its mid-term organic revenue growth rate of around 4% p.a., thus more than making up for the further decline of €25m in revenue from newspaper and commercial web presses. The group’s new orders rose substantially by 10.1% over 2016 (€1,149.7m) to €1,266.3m. With orders up 29.7% over the previous year, the fourth quarter was particularly strong. The book-to-bill ratio came to 1.04, while order backlog stood at €606.2m, up 8.7% on the previous year.

    EBIT margin of 6.7% exceeded guidance of around 6% for 2017

    The increased revenue in tandem with more service business across the Group caused the profit rise. In addition to expenses for portfolio additions, new products and IT systems, earnings came under strain from production service provider KBA-Industrial Solutions and the measures to optimise flexible packaging printing. Adjusted for the non-recurring income in the previous year, EBIT climbed from €62.9m to €81.4m. Driven by the positive earnings development and outlook for the group, a tax income of €12.7m arose again from the recognition of deferred tax assets. At €81.1m, group net profit (previous year: €82.2m) translates into earnings per share of €4.91 in 2017 (2016: €4.98).

    Mit dem Abschluss von zwei Kundenverträgen für die für den 2-Teil-Dosendruck mit vielen Alleinstellungsmerkmalen entwickelte CS MetalCan starten intensive Feldtests mit dem Ziel der Verkaufsfreigabe Ende 2018 (2)

    Dividend of €0.90 per share proposed

    “Thanks to the positive earnings performance and the retained profit generated by the holding company Koenig & Bauer AG, we are able to continue our dividend policy with a distribution rate of between 15% and 35% of the group’s net profit,” said CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann. Accordingly, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will be asking the shareholders to approve a dividend of €0.90 per share at the annual general meeting on 9 May 2018. This is equivalent to a dividend ratio of 18.4% of Group net profit.

    Order and earnings momentum continuing for Sheetfed

    Driven by innovative, bespoke solutions for folding carton and commercial printing as well as a broader sales and service footprint in the markets of the future, order intake in the Sheetfed segment, which as the largest segment is dominated by packaging printing, rose by 15.2% over the previous year (€569.7m) to €656.2m. Revenue climbed by 7.3% over 2016 (€615m) to €660.2m. EBIT increased from €31.3m in the previous year to €37.5m, with the EBIT margin widening from 5.1% to 5.7%.

    Digital & Web investing in the markets of the future

    Digital & Web order intake and revenue fell short of the previous year primarily as a result of the expected further decline in orders for newspaper and commercial web presses. Segment earnings came under strain from optimisation efforts for flexible packaging printing as well as R&D expenses, resulting in an EBIT of –€4.3m, down on the previous year’s figure of €0.5m. CFO Mathias Dähn: “With the measures taken in flexible packaging printing, a turnaround is apparent, although it will be important to continue to take the right actions to close the gap between our company and the successful leaders of this attractive market.”

    Besonders erfreulich war die Auftrags-, Umsatz- und Ergebnisentwicklung 2017 im Geschäft mit Flachbettstanzen (3)

    Order intake, revenues and profit up in the Special segment

    Growth in orders for security printing, metal and glass/hollow container decorating as well as coding boosted order intake by 16.1% to €533.7m (2016: €459.7m). Revenue grew by 5.3% from €444.3m in the previous year to €467.9m. Following a segment profit of €44.3m in the previous year, EBIT of €53.7m was recorded in 2017.

    Stronger balance sheet and financial power

    Cash flows from operating activities increased slightly from €21.9m in the previous year to €23.8m despite the higher net working capital. Following the successful efforts to reduce working capital in large parts of the group, the measures already taken to optimise receivables and inventories in security printing will not have short-term effects. The free cash flow of –€59.6m (2016: €2.3m) was burdened by high investments (€48.5m) and payment instalments (€36.8m) made for the external funding of a part of the pension provisions. As well as the internal liquidity generated by operating business, the group has access to credit facilities provided by a syndicate of renowned banks. In addition to a guarantee facility of €200m, the syndicated finance includes a revolving cash credit facility of €150m with an option to increase it by €50m. The facilities have a term of five years plus two one-year renewal options up until December 2024. The solid balance-sheet structure was additionally improved with the increase in the equity ratio from 31.1% to 36.4%.

    Group targets for 2018: revenue growth of around 4% and an EBIT margin of around 7%

    In the absence of any material deterioration in global economic and political conditions for our international business, Management Board expects to achieve organic growth of around 4% in group revenue and an EBIT margin of around 7% in 2018.

    CFO Mathias Dähn: “In addition to the favourable global economy and the outlook for the consistently growing packaging and industrial printing industry, our forecast is based on the 10.1% increase in order intake and the further gains in market share achieved in all business fields. A strong basis is also provided by the 8.7% rise in the order backlog to €606.2m and the progress made in the €70m EBIT increase projects by 2021. The incremental growth in the revenue share of service business to 30% and the performance improvement project in security printing should each contribute around €20m and the integrated production network and strategic purchasing each around €15m to earnings growth. At the same time, we will be raising the prices of our entire product range by 3.7% effective 1 April 2018 in response to rising costs. Even so, the targeted growth investments are leaving traces on our cost position. Our guidance for 2018 put us on track to achieving our EBIT margin target of 9% and an organic revenue growth rate of around 4% p.a. by 2021. We would expect to reach the lower edge of our EBIT guidance of between 4% and 9% in the event of more adverse conditions in the global economy and the end markets, particularly as a result of volatile security printing business.”

    In the first quarter of 2018, Koenig & Bauer will be completing the partial external funding of its pension provisions commenced in 2017 and initially planned for a period of five years. The final payment will be in the same amount as all the previous payments made in 2017. At the time of transfer of the claims to the beneficiaries, the reinsurance claims recognised within financial receivables will be netted against pension provisions. This reduction in the balance sheet will additionally improve the equity ratio and will bring it closer to the target of over 45%.

    Figures at a glance 

    The financial statements can be downloaded as a PDF file from here

    news-919 Wed, 07 Mar 2018 02:44:20 +0100 Preferred Printing and Packaging Installs New Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 Six-Color https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/preferred-printing-and-packaging-installs-new-koenig-bauer-rapida-105-six-color/
  • Serves the retail, food, cosmetic, and medical packaging markets
  • New 41-inch six-color fully automated sheetfed press added to pressroom
  • First Koenig & Bauer press installation
  • With only a few weeks into the new year, Preferred Printing and Packaging is busy installing the newest member of its pressroom: a new fully automated Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press plus coater. The new multi-million dollar press is a welcome addition to this busy southern California packaging specialist in which it will provide faster throughput, higher quality, and more efficiency for its retail, food, cosmetic, and medical packaging clients. 

    “For more than 25 years we've worked alongside the world's most amazing brands, pushing the limits of what's possible in design and packaging, and always exceeding what is expected,” says Robert Zens, president. “But now our customers are becoming even more demanding. We felt that our new Koenig & Bauer Rapida press will give us the ability to meet their needs. In addition, it will support our initiatives and production and provide a clear boost to our quality and throughput.” 

    Left to right: Marcus Schoen, Koenig & Bauer sales manager, congratulates Don Ledbetter, Preferred’s plant manager; and Bob Zens, Preferred’s president; on the firm’s new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 41-inch six-color sheetfed press plus coater.

    Zens explains that for the first time in his firm’s history, he wanted to invest in a brand new press with the latest technology. “The Rapida 105 was the logical choice. We have developed a very high confidence level with KBA North America over the years and have watched it launch extremely impressive press models and features. Its new technology will allow us to be more competitive in the marketplace providing our customers with high-end packaging. We felt this was the perfect time to invest in new machinery,” says Zens. 

    In its 50,000 sq ft facility on a busy thoroughfare east of Los Angeles in the city of Ontario, Preferred Printing and Packaging is facing numerous challenges including increased complexity of its customers’ packaging designs and structure. The print format and production output of the new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 will be the backbone in producing beautiful product and packaging designs that engage customers. The firm’s team of talented printing and structural experts partner with its well-known clients to produce packaging that nearly jumps off the shelf at consumers.  

    “Our team relentlessly focuses on customer satisfaction each and every day,” says Zens. “We’ve built a reputation for creating beautiful, impactful, eye-catching packaging design that is engineered to draw the consumer’s attention. In many cases we are called on to develop a scalable brand design that will carry across an entire line of products. We’re excited to have our new Rapida 105 up and running to contribute to these efforts.” 

    Founded in 1991 and located in Ontario, California, Preferred Printing and Packaging is a full-service packaging manufacturer. The firm specializes in food packaging design and branding of consumer goods for beauty, health, fitness, and technology. Its 50,000 square foot folding carton packaging plant uses a turn-key production process, housed in a fully integrated production plant. Its technical sales staff provides expertise ranging from prototyping to concept and structural design to testing and manufacturing best practices. Its customer service staff is recognized for stellar service seen by few companies in the age of technology.