Koenig & Bauer News Feed http://www.koenig-bauer.com/ en Koenig & Bauer AG Thu, 18 Jul 2019 23:39:16 +0200 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 23:39:16 +0200 news-1407 Thu, 30 May 2019 00:19:09 +0200 Marrs Printing & Packaging Provides Positive Response to Consumer Brand Packaging By Adding a Third Rapida 106 Seven-Color LED-UV Press https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/marrs-printing-packaging-provides-positive-response-to-consumer-brand-packaging-by-adding-a-third-rapida-106-seven-color-led-uv-press/
  • Pro-active response to folding carton production in fast-paced consumer-driven sales
  • Third Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch press on site is hailed as the makeready champion and fastest press on the market
  • Increase in value-added specialty foiling enhancement orders for its high-end clientele
  • Consumer brand packaging providers are being challenged as they’ve never been before. Brands are asking package printers to develop vibrant, high-quality packaging that fit its specific need, brand personality, and market niche. Not only does the packaging have to reflect the brand’s logo and colors but also match each package on a store shelf with no color variation. In a word, these packaging suppliers need to keep their clients satisfied. 

    One of the leaders in this field is Marrs Printing & Packaging, a full-service digital and offset print provider located in a 45,000 sq ft facility in City of Industry. This Southern California converter has adapted its entire packaging production environment to solving the challenges of short-run, color consistent, rapid speed-to-market for today’s well-known consumer products. This includes the latest technology in digital presses and finishing equipment as well as the fastest offset press in the market—two recent installations of a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch press. 

    Marcus Schoen, Koenig & Bauer sales manager; and Scott Marrs, vice president at Marrs Printing & Packaging;

    Soon, this family owned and operated firm dedicated to its high-end packaging customers will add another level of pressroom power to its arsenal in the firm’s equipment base: a third new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 seven-color full LED-UV offset press with board and plastic packages, which is also having an Eagle Systems for cold foil applications being installed simultaneously. 

    “Consumers have a lot of choices on the store shelves today and they make split second decisions to buy products,” says Scott Marrs, vice president at Marrs Printing & Packaging. “Brands demand that each package has to stand out and match the one next to it; there can be no color variation. Our job is to protect brand integrity and ensure that color stays consistent on the packaging. We’ve chosen a third Rapida 106 because we’re at full capacity and need to remain flexible and fluid providing top job quality. Our two current Koenig & Bauer Rapida presses quickly and consistently deliver high-end packaging products to our West Coast retail customers mainly in the cosmetic and healthcare industries and we’re sure our third Rapida press will provide the same results.” 

    Having three Koenig & Bauer Rapida presses side-by-side will allow Marrs to drive maximum performance and yield significant results especially for short-run fast turnaround jobs. The Rapida’s significant speed of 18,000 sph along with its fully automatic plate changing system helps to reduce manual intervention during production and retain those higher press speeds. 

    Maintaining consistent and vibrant brand colors is one of the most important demands that Marrs answers. To provide its customers with the highest levels of color consistency and control throughout the job run, Marrs has equipped its new Rapida 106 with advanced inline and online systems, such as the Koenig & Bauer QualiTronic ColorControl and ErgoTronic Color Control. These systems automatically run color control and quality checks based on each individual brand’s logo and signature color recognition to provide assurance to Marrs’ customers. The newest member of the Marrs pressroom can print with both conventional and UV inks and coatings and handle a broad range of substrates, including plastics, up to 1.2mm thick due to the board and plastic packages. Eagle Systems, a premier cold foiling manufacturer, has been added to the Rapida 106 for producing folding cartons that will stand out even further in the market. 

    Its locale in southern California, the pioneering region for environmental and sustainable methods, has impacted Marrs to accentuate its green platform. Marrs specified its latest Rapida press with LED-UV technology. Not only was Marrs attracted to its environmentally friendly process but also its particularly high print quality, ability to stand out on critical uncoated and offset stock with sharp dots and high color brilliance, and the elimination of printing powder. For those like Marrs that want to embrace environmental stances even further, LED-UV consumes little energy, its ink systems are free from mineral oils, and it consumes only 20% of the energy needed by conventional UV processes. 

    “In today’s competitive market, packaging printers need to differentiate themselves apart from their competition,” says Marrs. “How do you do that? In our case, we have demonstrated to our customers that we are willing to invest millions of dollars to purchase award-winning technology from Koenig & Bauer that will set their package and product apart from the others on a store shelf. They have come to rely on us and we rely on Koenig & Bauer. Simply put, our goal is to always provide the highest quality products and services for our customers. Quality is not negotiable.” 

    Since its founding in 1972, Marrs Printing and Packaging has evolved into one of the most complete printing and packaging providers in Southern California. Marrs provides customers with high-quality printing services and custom packaging solutions. From the foundation of traditional print media, to the latest advanced packaging technologies, Marrs handles it all. And its wide-ranging capabilities enable them to service the needs of its customers in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. Incorporating technologically advanced printing capabilities, Marrs is renowned for flexibility and responsiveness, integrity and reliability, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and to craftsman-like excellence. These are the guidelines that have driven the firm’s near half-century of benchmarked success. 



    news-1374 Wed, 01 May 2019 00:00:48 +0200 New Koenig & Bauer-Iberica Optima 106K Die Cutter Boosts Production at Ingersoll Paper Box Co. https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/new-koenig-bauer-iberica-optima-106k-die-cutter-boosts-production-at-ingersoll-paper-box-co/
  • First new high-speed automated Koenig & Bauer-Iberica die cutter at its Ontario facility becomes key post-press machine
  • Ingersoll operators love its ease-of-use and service support
  • Capital investment improves speed, throughput, and turnaround for its pharmaceutical, consumer goods and food packaging customers
  • As Ingersoll Paper Box Co Limited nears its century mark of proudly being in the folding carton business, this 97-year-old Canadian firm continues to invest in the latest technology to maintain its strong growth. A few years ago the firm increased its print output with the addition of a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 seven-color 41-inch fully-automated printing press—the first of its kind in North America. Fast-forward to today and Ingersoll has opted for another Koenig & Bauer model for its post-press department---a new high-speed Koenig & Bauer-Iberica Optima 106K die cutter, which was operational in January.

    “When we installed the Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch seven color press, it gave us added capabilities, faster production speeds, and broadened our customer base,” says IPB president Sarah Skinner. “We produce billions of custom boxes of packaging for customers in such industries as pharmaceutical, consumer goods and food packaging—all with a commitment to quality control and continuous improvement. We are always seeking to expand our capital investments in newer and better equipment to ensure that we maintain our reputation as a trusted supplier of paperboard packaging. Our newest addition---the Optima 106K flatbed die cutter---continues to support that mandate.”

    Left to right: Aleks Lajtman, Koenig & Bauer Regional Sales Manager, Canada; Cory Sheritt, Post Press Supervisor of Ingersoll Paper Box; Tom Fitzgerald, Koenig & Bauer product manager; Murray Weir, Die Cutter Operator of Ingersoll Paper Box; and IPB president Sarah Skinner gather around the new Koenig & Bauer Optima 106K flatbed die cutter, which is improving speed, throughput, and turnaround for its packaging customers.

    The firm’s stellar reputation has been built by saying ‘yes’ to its customers, providing them with customized solutions for their packaging needs, and realizing the importance of being first-to-market with new products.  As its sales and productivity continued to gain and broaden especially with the fire-power of the Rapida 106 press, inevitably there would be a bottleneck in the post-press department. By adding the Optima 106K Ingersoll can continue to ensure customer satisfaction for faster productivity and efficiency.

    In addition to its lightning-fast speed, Skinner detailed the many other important reasons that she chose the Optima 106K flatbed die cutter: its quick turnaround, high productivity, user friendliness, and blanking capability. Although the firm has only had the Optima 106K in operation for a few months at its 85,000 sq ft facility, she has found that production in that department has increased exponentially and feels that it will continue to be boosted even further. Due to Ingersoll’s wide mix of packaging products, the KBA-Iberica Optima 106 K die cutter is an effective piece of equipment that helps to easily plan job production and is capable of handling paper, cardboard, plastic and corrugated boards up to 1.5mm.

    “The new Optima 106K is the perfect model for us due to its blanking capability,” says Skinner. “It provides high quality, high productivity, easy handling, and fast preparation. This newest generation of Koenig & Bauer-Iberica blankers is equipped with new tooling technology to do sheeting in a fast and easy method.”

    Ever since its installation of its Koenig & Bauer Rapida press, the two firms have formed a strong, steady relationship. “Support from both Toronto and Dallas has been excellent. The sales and service team are knowledgeable and responsive. It has truly helped to support our continuing growth,” says Skinner.

    Ingersoll has one of the most unique and interesting back-stories of its nine decades in business. When it was founded in 1922 it was initially known as Ingersoll Cone and Paper Box, a manufacturer of ice cream cones and the paper boxes that contained them. During the Great Depression, its employees would hand out broken cones to needy members of the local community. The Skinner family and business continue that philanthropic legacy today with its internal charity, Box of Kindness, which supports charitable organizations. They have a small internal area dedicated to the rich history of the company. This area is like a museum highlighting pieces such as letterpress and typesetting equipment, company and customer orders and documentation as well as old ice cream cone molds.

    Sarah Skinner, a fourth-generation leader of the firm, looks forward to celebrating this important upcoming 100th year mark. “Our 75 employees embrace our customer-centric focus,” she says. “They are proud to walk down a store aisle and see the many packages that they’ve produced. Our quality products can be found in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, nutraceutical, consumer, food, bakery and technology markets, shipping nationally and internationally. We pride ourselves in providing packaging solutions based on innovation and excellence for startups to established brands. Our latest investment, the Optima 106K, continues that mission. With business booming, we plan to add more employees.”

    Ingersoll Paper Box, a fourth-generation family-owned business, was established in 1922 by Robert Skinner. Today, the firm is headquartered in a modern facility in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada with 85,000 square feet of manufacturing space including a 38,000 square feet of warehousing space. The firm produces quality folding cartons from standard designs to custom design solutions, from computer-aided design (CAD) to printing, die cutting, embossing, and folding/gluing. Its diverse customer base includes the consumer, food, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Over the years, Ingersoll Paper Box has earned an enviable reputation for its ability to meet its customers' needs for highly flexible production from anywhere from a thousand up to a million folding cartons. The firm’s dedication to continuous improvement allows it to provide its customers with the highest quality folding cartons backed up by exceptional personalized service. This combination of quality and service has helped Ingersoll Paper Box to build long term partnerships with many of its customers.



    news-1369 Wed, 24 Apr 2019 22:29:11 +0200 Allied Litho Forecasts Competitive Advantage With Its New Uniquely-Configured Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-Inch Press https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/allied-litho-forecasts-competitive-advantage-with-its-new-uniquely-configured-koenig-bauer-rapida-106-41-inch-press/
  • Third generation family run printer estimates 50% reduction in makeready
  • First Koenig & Bauer Rapida to be delivered in late summer to Kansas City headquarters
  • Fastest 41” press on the market will deliver sheets two times faster than current press
  • Kansas City is well known for being the home of some of the nation’s most iconic brands: the recognizable crown on Hallmark Cards, the delicious line of crème-filled cakes from Hostess, the dynamic Kansas City Chiefs football team, its slew of mouth-watering steak houses, and birthplace to important American figures such as President Harry Truman and PGA pro golfer Tom Watson. It is also the proud headquarters of Allied Litho, a well-established third generation commercial printer firmly rooted in its Midwest values of producing the highest quality, providing excellent customer service and fast turn time, and remaining loyal to its nationwide clientele.

    Left to right: The Allied Litho team of CEO Tim Heier; Phil Greathouse, plant manager/sales; and Matt King, production/plant manager; chose a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch press for its speed---fast turnaround, fast makeready, fast flexibility to switch between a variety of different jobs, and improved efficiency.

    “We’ll be celebrating our 70th anniversary in business this year,” says Tim Heier, Allied Litho’s CEO, “and one of our very first clients in 1949 was Hallmark Cards. This established our reputation as a leading trade lithographer. Since then, we’ve grown to produce all types of commercial and large format work: top sheet litho laminates and corrugated board work, labels to point-of-purchase displays, posters to magazine inserts, to name a few. Our location in the middle of the country allows us to quickly and easily reach all of our clients.”

    As the firm has continued to expand its roster of clientele throughout the country, it has driven its success by adding new equipment that can appropriately handle the wide mix of commercial print work coming its way. Later this summer, its pressroom will be enhanced with a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch press---dubbed the makeready champion for its lightning-fast speed at 18,000 sph.

    “We foresee this press giving us a competitive advantage in the market and providing us with new opportunities that we didn’t have before,” says Heier. “It will definitely be a workhorse press for us.”

    To underscore this mandate, Allied has set itself apart by ordering a specially-configured 41-inch press that gives it the ability to print paper, plastics, and board, UV equipped throughout for maximum flexibility and a competitive edge in the marketplace, and is equipped with Koenig & Bauer’s industry-leading automation and technology. Allied’s press configuration is designed with six printing units, then a coating unit, followed by a printing unit, and finally a second coating unit. This specialized configuration will provide Allied with increased capabilities and ability to produce a broader range of substrates ranging from 60 lb. label up to 48 pts; paper, plastics, and packaging.

    But what was of prime importance to Allied in choosing a new 41-inch press was speed---fast turnaround, fast makeready, fast flexibility to switch between a variety of different jobs, and improved efficiency. “That’s the biggest trend in our market,” says Heier. “Getting customer files on press quickly and providing the fastest turn time and reducing makeready. We conservatively estimate that our new Rapida 106 will be 50% faster than our existing 40-inch press due to its tremendous automation, inline color control, and register. The new Rapida 106 will provide us with fully automatic plate change on all plates in under two minutes. Our operators are as excited as are we.”

    Heier and his team believe that the popular Koenig & Bauer QualiTronic inline color control system will ignite speed and increase efficiency on their new press because it will automatically read every sheet thus allowing the highest integrity of print available on the market. To network all of its operations together, the new production planning and control software LogoTronic Professional will serve as an expert workflow solution acting as the link between Allied’s MIS, pre-press, print, and postpress departments. Job, material, scheduling and PPF data are acquired from the MIS and prepress, and provided to the presses in the form of job lists and presetting data. LogoTronic Professional subsequently returns real-time production and resource data to the MIS. It will give Allied’s management team a 360° perspective of its entire operation.

    Another important aspect on the new Rapida 106 was to have a full UV system. With no UV system on the current 40-inch press, Allied needed to take its 40-inch UV jobs and upsize them to match the larger presses. This was not only inefficient but time consuming. With the new Rapida 106, Allied will have a Koenig & Bauer custom designed VariDry UV technology solution custom designed to match the uniquely configured press and both manufactured and completely warrantied directly by Koenig & Bauer.

    But the path toward a new press was not always straight and narrow. “We initially intended to purchase a 40-inch five-over-five perfector press,” says Matt King, Allied Litho’s production/plant manager. “But when we re-evaluated that decision along with the experts in sales solutions and product management at Koenig & Bauer, we determined that only 10% of our work is two-sided while 90% is one-sided and would race through the new 18,000 sph Rapida press being much faster and more flexible.”

    Headquartered along three-fourths of a city block, Allied’s three industrial buildings tie together the firm’s historic past and its successful current stage. Its original building used to be a streetcar barn from the early 1900s where train tracks carried vehicles along E. 9th St that needed to be repaired. Allied still has those historically-significant tracks running through its facility. Additional growth to next-door buildings in 1985 and 1995 provide the 65,000 sq ft facility in which Allied’s employees produce its work today.

    For many of its most recent years, Allied has been loyal to purchasing presses from a Koenig & Bauer competitor. When they decided to purchase a new 40-inch model, management chose to broaden its choices and evaluate all three major press manufacturers. Allied’s top trio of executives visited two of Koenig & Bauer’s leading customers with similar configurations to gain a better understanding of the press mechanism and Koenig & Bauer’s corporate culture. “We were very impressed with the overall construction of the press and the unique automated technology as well as the firm’s technicians and managers and their passion to support their customers,” says Heier. “That was a deciding factor. What narrowed our decision was visiting current Koenig & Bauer customers that have had such amazing results internally and externally for their own customers.”

    Steve Korn, Koenig & Bauer’s Director of National and Key Accounts, adds, “This new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press investment made by Allied Litho signals, once again, that one of the most known printers has made the switch to Koenig & Bauer.  We are proud that Allied Litho has chosen to invest with Koenig & Bauer to provide access to higher technology for its existing and growing roster of clients. We are truly honored to be part of Allied Litho’s capital investment strategy. This investment will drive further manufacturing efficiencies, and provide greater capacity with the latest industry leading sheetfed press technology."

    He continues, "We at Koenig & Bauer (US) appreciate the new partnership that we’ve forged with Allied Litho. We congratulate Tim Heier and his entire team on what they’ve accomplished, their remarkable growth in both sales and physical facilities, and even more important, on their extremely talented associates who relentlessly focus on customer service and satisfaction each and every day. We are certain that this new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press will efficiently drive more volume through Allied Litho’s production facility, fuel ongoing growth, and continue Allied Litho’s high quality and on-time service for many years to come."

    When the new Rapida 106 press arrives later this summer, it will be central to Allied’s future growth — increasing the company’s core 41-inch business, adding innovation, agility and efficiency, and providing new capabilities to leverage the company’s strong commercial mix of work. 

    For 70 years, Allied Litho has been a Midwest leader for high quality standard and large-format lithography. Headquartered in Kansas City, MO, the firm began in 1949 with two brothers, George and Chuck Heier, a used single-color press, a multi-lith and a very important trade client: Hallmark Cards. The reputation as “Lithographer for the Trade” carried great responsibility and challenge: new presses and expansion, while still maintaining excellent quality to keep trade clients more successful and more profitable. As demand for multi-color printing grew rapidly through the next few decades, Allied built and maintained a growing customer base through steady expansion of production facilities, equipment capabilities and increased bindery services. Today, the firm caters to nationwide clientele, from labels to point-of-purchase displays and posters to magazine inserts. The staff at Allied Litho is committed to providing cost effective solutions for all large format and printing needs.



    news-1361 Wed, 17 Apr 2019 22:42:15 +0200 SupremeX Folding Carton Makes Strategic Investment In 41-Inch Seven Colour Koenig & Bauer 105 PRO https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/supremex-folding-carton-makes-strategic-investment-in-41-inch-seven-colour-koenig-bauer-105-pro/
  • New fully automated UV-equipped 41” Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO
  • To be installed at Town of Mount Royal (former Stuart Packaging Inc.) in June 2019
  • Management selects Koenig & Bauer for its high productivity and enhanced quality
  • Improved efficiency, reduced waste, and improved throughput increase available capacity
  • When the Folding Carton division of SupremeX, one of North America’s leading envelope and packaging manufacturers, acquired Stuart Packaging and G2 Printing in the past two years, it made a strong statement to its customers and shareholders: it was accelerating into the thriving packaging market and positioning itself to be a leader in Canada and to the U.S. market.

    In June 2019, SupremeX Folding Carton will accelerate its competitiveness and growth in the high-growth folding carton market with the installation of its newest press: a fully-automated UV-equipped 41”, seven colour Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO. 

    “We evaluated a wide array of press manufacturers but in the end it was an easy decision to choose Koenig & Bauer,” says Stewart Emerson, President and CEO of SupremeX Inc. “Koenig & Bauer is an established leader and is celebrating its third century in business. We are confident that the addition of the Rapida 105 PRO to our current installed base of Koenig & Bauer presses will further enhance our capabilities, quality, competitiveness, and add much needed capacity. Simply put, we believe that this press is exactly what we needed and is the best of the best,” Emerson added.

    SupremeX Folding Carton was formed by the combination of Stuart Packaging and G2 Printing. Stuart Packaging was acquired in July 2017 while G2 Printing was purchased in May 2018. Together, these two highly respected businesses brought over 80 years of expertise and commitment to quality, service and flexibility to SupremeX. Today, SupremeX Folding Carton is leveraging the capabilities and capacity of its two folding carton operations in Laval and Montreal, along with its label plant in Laval to drive cost-effective growth.

    The company has formed a reputation as a leading, eco-friendly provider of premium quality folding cartons in a one-stop-shop for folding cartons, labels and inserts. As a BRC and GMI certified printer, it is fully dedicated to achieving the highest control and quality standards and is trusted by an array of multinational and strategic industry leaders. In addition to its growing folding carton business, SupremeX is among the 5 largest envelope manufacturers in North America and operates in the rapidly growing e-Commerce Fulfillment Packaging and Corrugated Packaging markets.

    “We remain focused on accelerating our double-digit growth in folding carton, label, corrugate, and e-commerce packaging products,” said Mr. Emerson. “We strive to be a ‘Best-in-class’ folding carton manufacturer through our excellence in quality, service, flexibility and by partnering with our customers to meet their ever-changing needs.  The investment in our new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO is a testament to this goal.”

    SupremeX Inc. is a leading North American manufacturer and marketer of envelopes and a growing provider of paper-based packaging solutions. It is the only national envelope manufacturer in Canada, with 12 facilities across seven provinces as well as three facilities in the United States, employing approximately 830 people. SupremeX’ growing footprint allows it to efficiently manufacture and distribute paper and packaging solutions designed to the specifications of major national and multinational corporations, resellers, government entities, SMEs and solutions providers. For more information visit the company's web site at www.SupremeX.com.



    news-1338 Mon, 01 Apr 2019 22:42:24 +0200 Sizzling Sales and Expansion Prompt Superior Litho to Invest in another Koenig & Bauer Rapida 145 57-inch 7-Color Press https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/sizzling-sales-and-expansion-prompt-superior-litho-to-invest-in-another-koenig-bauer-rapida-145-57-inch-7-color-press/
  • New large format Rapida 57-inch estimated to increase capacity by 40%
  • Double-digit sales and expansion catering to both folding carton and corrugated top sheet markets
  • Superior’s strong pride in attracting next generation of talented employees
  • A passion for customer service rooted in a culture of continuous improvement is Superior’s strength 
  • What is one of the biggest challenges for printers in today’s market? It is the effort to try to entice talented enthusiastic and energetic millennials to see potential careers in the graphic arts industry and join their ranks. One of the most successful printers in this endeavor is Superior Lithographics, a strong, thriving Los Angeles-based packaging printer, which is proud to be lauded by Printing Industries Association of Southern California as having the youngest employee base of their 900 members companies.

    “We’ve been able to attract and maintain younger employees for a number of reasons,” says Jeff Ku, Vice President of Operations for Superior. “Our company is very open to change. Unlike many other firms, we pride ourselves on empowering our employees to speak up and make suggestions that we listen to and enact upon. We have a very open environment that fosters people to take pride of ownership in what they are producing. Our employees are very attracted to seeing well-known packaging for big brands in a variety of Fortune 500 firms being produced at our facility and then seeing that package being sold on store shelves. We actively promote from within and our employees see a career ladder. Our jobs are always new and exciting and our employees respond positively to all of the new technology that we invest in.”

    One of the latest and fastest presses on the market will soon take center stage at Superior’s 80,000 sq ft facility. In early summer, the 115-employee firm will be showcasing its new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 145 57-inch seven-color press. With its facility soon increasing in square footage, management was given a window of opportunity to re-design its operational floor plan and place the new press in a premium position right in front of the customer lounge.

    “Our new Rapida 145 will be a main attraction at our facility,” says Ku enthusiastically. “Customers will be able to see their jobs being printed on the spot on this very impressive press. It builds excitement. Rather than hide our production, we’re selling our culture and our diligence to premium printing. Think of a high-end restaurant where customers can watch their meals being prepared. It’s just like that--very interesting and informative to watch.”

    Once Superior’s press operators have pushed ‘start’ for its initial press run, all eyes will be mesmerized by the Rapida’s speedy operation and high-quality output. Stoked with Koenig & Bauer’s unique automated features, the quick press will increase capacity at Superior by 40%, estimates Ku.

    “Speed, quality, and consistency are our calling cards,” says Ku. “That’s what has propelled our sales to grow by 16% in one year and find ourselves at capacity even with production running 24/7. We’re seeing growth in both of our main sectors; our existing corrugated market remains strong with 70% of our business even as we push further into the folding carton segment, which makes up 30% of our production.”

    Catering its folding cartons to a mix of well-known regional retail food vendors, Superior has adapted to the trend toward short orders and a premium on color consistency. An important consideration on the new Rapida is its 100% inspection system, which “can catch errors that an operator can’t catch between press pulls and ensures that all sheets are alike,” explains Ku. The new Rapida 145 is also Superior’s first seven-color press, providing it with an extra unit that opens doors to new products and increases production flexibility.

    Superior’s management team evaluated all three leading offset press manufacturers with an extensive vetting process before choosing Koenig & Bauer. “Over the past decade, we’ve found Koenig & Bauer’s service department to be extremely reliable, offer quick response when needed, and be very supportive. We are also impressed with their sales team. They continue to be a solid partner.”

    It’s that same mindset that Superior provides to its clientele, in which sales and operational support and service distinguish it from its competition. “We’re not just selling a product but we’re forming long-term partnerships with our packaging clients,” says Ku. “We try to pass along our manufacturing knowledge to our customers to help them make the best design and structural decisions for their corrugated and folding carton projects. We send our operators out to visit our customers and in turn we invite them to tour our facility. We recently gave an unprecedented 40 tours to demonstrate our amazing employees and their passion for continuous improvement.”

    Ku notes that Superior’s employees have formed a family atmosphere in which they volunteer along with their family and friends at the LA Food Bank to help support hunger relief in Los Angeles. The team also attends local university career fairs to publicize working in the graphic arts industry, Last year, Superior was recognized for its pro-employee atmosphere by being awarded the Best Workplace in the Americas (BWA) designation, Best of the Best, to recognize its exemplary human resources practices that create an outstanding workplace. Being designated a Best of the Best company demonstrates the significant commitment that Superior Lithographics has made to its employees by investing in their work environment, their personal goals and ambitions, and recognizing that an exceptional workplace also serves the needs of the company. Its founder Doug Rawson financially supports the efforts of Printing Industries of America of Southern California (PIASC) to encourage young qualified people to join the industry. He contributes to PIASC's RAISE Foundation and further offers financial support to cover costs of students and their families to attend the annual celebration of student competitions. Some of his other industry contributions include PrintPAC of California, PrintPowers America and the PIA’s PrintPAC.

    “It’s an important part of our success,” says Ku, “to be a part of our community, to encourage young talented people to join our market, and help us to become the most respected printer in the industry.”

    Founded in 1987, Superior Lithographics is located in an industrial center outside of Los Angeles in an 80,000 sq ft facility with 115 employees. The firm specializes in large format printing of litho sheets and top sheets for the corrugated box industry as well as printing and converting folding cartons.



    news-1326 Thu, 21 Mar 2019 07:19:00 +0100 Koenig & Bauer is targeting group revenue of around €1.5bn with EBIT margin of between 7% and 10% until 2023 https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-strebt-rund-15-mrd-EUR-konzernumsatz-mit-7-10-ebit-marge-bis-2023-an/
  • Highest EBIT in the company’s 201-year history
  • 7.1% EBIT margin substantially surpassing the mean for the German engineering sector
  • Revenue in 2018 limited by parts availability
  • Good order situation
  • Strong cash flows from operating activities
  • Equity ratio of 38.5%
  • 2.7% dividend yield with higher proposed dividend of €1 per share
  • Guidance for 2019: organic revenue growth of up to 4% and EBIT margin of around 6%
  • With the progress achieved in the structurally growing and less cyclical packaging printing, the Koenig & Bauer group made further advances in its strategically aligning towards sustainable profitable growth. CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “Driven by a record order intake, we have been able to widen our share of the global flexible packaging printing market to 9%. Revenue in marking and coding has risen by around 50% in the last three years. Since the acquisition of flatbed die-cutter business in 2016, revenue in this business field has climbed by more than 50%. The entry into the market for folder gluers and the planned joint venture with inkjet pioneer Durst for folding carton and corrugated printing are further milestones.” CFO Mathias Dähn: “Pleasing revenue and earnings potential can arise with our RotaJET digital printing platform for decor and flexible packaging printing following a greater substitution of the hitherto standard analogue printing processes and an increase in the internally-sourced production of decoration papers in the furniture and flooring industry. After a comprehensive evaluation process, the renowned packaging group Tetra Pak has opted for our large-format RotaJET for full-colour digital printing of beverage carton packaging. We have received two more RotaJET orders for digital decor printing.”

    Der Service-Umsatzanteil konnte 2018 im Konzern auf 25,9 % gesteigert werden (1)

    Earnings target for 2018 well achieved

    Group EBIT climbed from €81.4m in the previous year to €87.4m despite some adverse circumstances in the availability of parts and market conditions. With the increase in its EBIT margin from 6.7% to 7.1%, Koenig & Bauer achieved the target defined for 2018 of around 7%. CFO Mathias Dähn: “On the basis of an EBIT margin adjusted for special items of 5.4% in 2016, we are aiming for an annual improvement of 0.7% in this margin to around 9% by 2021 assuming linear execution of the group projects for boosting earnings by €70m. This translates into a target of 6.8% for 2018, which we exceeded substantially with a margin of 7.1%.”

    High order backlog

    The previously announced shifts of machine deliveries into 2019 as a result of bottlenecks in the parts availability burdened the achievement of our revenue target. At €1,226m, group revenue was only slightly up on the previous year of €1,217.6m. Koenig & Bauer had been targeting organic revenue growth of around 4% for 2018. With order intake coming to €1,222m (previous year: €1,266.3m), order backlog rose to €610.9m (previous year: €606.2m).

    Dividend of €1 per share proposed

    High tax expenses resulting from the consumption of deferred tax assets on loss carry-forwards left traces on net profit. At €64m, group net profit (previous year: €81.1m) translates into earnings per share of €3.86 in 2018 (2017: €4.91). “Thanks to the good group net profit and the retained profit generated by the holding company Koenig & Bauer AG, we are able to continue our dividend policy with a distribution rate at the upper end of the target corridor of between 15% and 35% of group 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 €1 per share at the annual general meeting on 22 May 2019. This is equivalent to a dividend ratio of 25.9% of group net profit and a dividend yield of 2.7% on the basis of the closing price of the share in 2018.

    Im größten Geschäftsfeld Faltschachteldruck konnte Koenig & Bauer die Weltmarkt- und Technologieführerschaft stärken (2)

    Sheetfed limited by parts availability

    At €613m, order intake in the Sheetfed segment was below the previous year’s figure of €656.2m. While the project situation is good, bottlenecks in the availability of parts dampened new business due to longer delivery times. The situation with regard to parts also caused revenue to drop to €647.4m, down on the previous year’s figure of €660.2m. This is also reflected in EBIT, which fell to €36.5m, compared with €37.5m in the previous year. With an EBIT margin of 5.6%, Koenig & Bauer was able to maintain the level achieved (2017: 5.7%) despite the continued price pressure being exerted by competitors. The lower order backlog of €199.1m compared with the previous year (€233.5m) was followed by good order intake at the start of 2019.

    Growth expenses burden Digital & Web earnings

    Orders in the Digital & Web segment rose from €139.6m to €167.6m, primarily due to the record order intake for flexible packaging printing, which reflects the initial success of the realignment of this business field. Whereas the demand for the HP press for digital pre-prints of corrugated liners was subdued, several presses were sold from the RotaJET digital printing platform for decor and flexible packaging printing, substantially exceeding the previous year’s figure. At €150.7m, revenue was slightly down on the previous year (€154.2m). Together with market-entry and growth-related expenses for digital, flexible packaging and corrugated board printing, the lower revenue exerted pressure on EBIT. Accordingly, EBIT fell to –€10.5m, compared with –€4.3m in the previous year. The order backlog widened from €61.5m to €78.4m at the end of 2018.

    Revenue up in Special

    Given large orders and with project business remaining generally favourable, volatility remained high in security printing due to often lengthy order placement and the domination of large-scale projects. Further market share was gained in marking and coding, while the market position in the tobacco and tyre industry in particular was expanded significantly. Lower orders for metal and glass/hollow container decorating presses caused order intake in the Special segment to drop to €502.4m, down from €533.7m in the previous year. Revenue climbed from €467.9m to €490.5m thanks to growth in security printing, marking and coding and glass/hollow container decorating. EBIT came to €49.7m in 2018, down from €53.7m in the previous year. With the order backlog increasing to €344.6m (2017: €324m) at the end of December, good capacity utilisation is assured over the next few months.

    Mit guten Aufträgen im Sicherheitsdruck hat Koenig & Bauer die Marktführerschaft mit über 90 % Weltmarktanteil gehalten (3)

    Strong financial power and balance sheet

    Cash flows from operating activities was particularly strong, coming to €66.3m, up from €23.8m in the previous year. The substantial improvement in free cash flow to–€19.5m compared with the previous year (–€59.6m) was burdened by high investments and the final payment instalment for the external funding of a part of the pension provisions. Together with the solid internal liquidity, the syndicated long-term credit facilities give Koenig & Bauer a strong and stable financial basis. The strong balance sheet structure was additionally enhanced with the increase in the equity ratio to 38.5%.

    Guidance for 2019

    CFO Mathias Dähn: “The order backlog, which rose to €610.9m at the end of 2018, together with the good order development in January and February 2019 gives us good forward visibility across the entire group until the summer of 2019 and, in security printing with its good order situation, until 2020. The printing production output of our customers all around the world is growing, especially in packaging and banknote printing. With the exception of the packaging printers in China producing for export markets, our order intake has so far largely shrugged off the effects of the recent political and economic developments. In the absence of any material deterioration in the underlying conditions over the next few months, we target organic growth of up to 4% in group revenue and an EBIT margin of around 6% in 2019. This includes the annual 0.7% improvement in margins on group projects to boost earnings as well as the margin impact from the growth offensive 2023, the cumulative costs of which we expect to reach around €50m for 2019 to 2021 with a heavier load in the first year. In the event of a slowdown in the economy, we cannot rule out an up to 2 percentage points lower EBIT.”

    Medium-term targets until 2023

    CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “With our growth offensive 2023, we want to actively exploit the currently available market opportunities in the cardboard, corrugated board, flexible packaging, 2-piece can, marking and coding, glass direct and decor printing as well as in postpress to achieve sustained profitable growth. The impact of volatile security printing will be reduced by higher packaging share of group revenue. For web offset presses for newspaper and commercial printing, we expect a further business decline. With all our initiatives and projects, we are targeting to increase group revenue to around €1.5bn with an EBIT margin of between 7 % and 10% until 2023. All three segments are to contribute to the growth in revenue and earnings. Our further targets include a dividend ratio of 15 - 35% of group net profit, an equity ratio of over 45%, a target corridor for net working capital of 20 - 25% of revenue, and a share of 30% in total revenue for service business.”

    Figures at a glance 

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

    news-1325 Tue, 19 Mar 2019 23:26:36 +0100 Koenig & Bauer (US/CA) Grows its Proactive Customer-Centric Focus in Sheetfed Service https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-usca-grows-its-proactive-customer-centric-focus-in-sheetfed-service/
  • New highly connected press technology for proactive services
  • Pre-installation meetings through post-installation remote maintenance ensures total press availability for maximum throughput
  • Enhanced service programs addresses market needs for operator training  
  • For a top-notch service department to excel and exceed the expectations of its clientele, it requires a variety of critical key components: experienced and skilled service technicians, committed service managers, and a well-established firm quickly providing parts, new customer-centric technology, and an outstanding relationship paired with advice and guidance. The service team at Koenig & Bauer continues to display all of these attributes and capabilities that span the customer experience from its first pre-installation meetings throughout the entire duration of the press installation and operation providing customers with long-term service solutions to ensure their outstanding success.

    “Our service department’s ongoing commitment is to our customers and their success and our people, who make the difference,” says Chris Talbert, vice president of service and operations of Koenig & Bauer. “We focus on training our customer’s team to ensure that they are achieving the highest uptime and throughput. We form partnerships with our customers and continue to advise them about new technology and advancements. Our unique philosophy is to provide a tailored solution for each of our customers. What sets Koenig & Bauer apart from other press manufacturers is our investment in pro-active connected services to support a printer’s long-term success.”

    Talbert, who has risen through the ranks at Koenig & Bauer for the past 15 years, has a three-pronged goal to provide the highest level of service: regionalized approach, pro-active response, and positive customer-centric attitude.

    “It’s extremely important that we address a customer’s needs quickly,” says Talbert. “We’re a critical department within the company that is built upon knowledge, skill, and continuous education. In today’s fast pace, our department requires a pro-active approach where we evaluate the demands of our customer to improve their productivity and pre-emptively address concerns. We know that customers need to deliver print products faster than ever before. For them time is money. Press uptime is a critical factor. Any type of press downtime has to be resolved in the shortest time possible.”

    Talbert and his team maintain a close relationship with their German counterparts and foster camaraderie between the two countries. In addition to daily communications, German management and technicians visit customers and the Dallas headquarters on a monthly basis contributing and sharing ideas and experiences.

    “Our effort is to ensure that the customer feels comfortable and connected when interacting with the service department,” says Talbert. “This starts with our pre-installation meetings where all of the coordination takes place before the press arrives. Our service team meets with the customer’s team well before the new equipment arrives at the facility, starting with a unique and custom-designed pre-installation meeting and a new relationship is formed  Every pre-install meeting is unique and custom-designed for each customer to ensure a seamless and on-time startup. Our job is to lessen the customer’s pre-installation concerns. We want our customer to feel comfortable when calling us throughout the entire process.”

    Talbert continues to strengthen his team with talented technicians that are serving as pro-active coordinators who implement his specific regional approach. Earlier this year, Koenig & Bauer welcomed two new regional service managers: Kevin Dorsett and Josh Tod who exemplify the knowledge as well as the values of a 200-year old company.  Dorsett has a B.S. in Computer Engineering Technology from the University of Houston and was previously the director of customer support for an international digital inkjet press manufacturer where he was responsible for all service activities in the US / Mexico and led a team of 22 field engineers. Tod was promoted to the position of regional service manager. He brings over 17 years of highly technical knowledge and experience with Koenig & Bauer as well as management experience as a former customer.

    Under the watchful eyes of Michael Eichler, sales director of Service Select, a team of five experienced and accomplished customer service specialists with well over 100 years of combined experience have been chosen to represent the company across the country. They work hand-in-hand with the firm’s sales department offering technical advice such as upgrading to new advanced equipment.  They also offer retrofits programs and system upgrades to improve make-ready times, enhance print quality and increase overall equipment efficiency to help extend the life span and efficiency of the press.  Among other offerings are press inspections to proactively identify problems before a downtime event occurs, along with print quality tests to ensure high standards are maintained.

    “Each of my team members has slightly different backgrounds and unique skills,” says Eichler. “But as a team, their combined unique backgrounds utilize that experience to cross-train each other and share that knowledge. Our goal is to be pro-active and provide early recognition service solutions by offering advice on press performance, operating cost savings, better efficiency, and enhanced productivity, all in an effort to meet evolving customer demands, introduce new innovation and product development, and increase the performance of the press.”

    Eichler’s team encompasses all regions of the U.S.: Steve Oswald, who has more than 30 years of experience, was hired for the Midwest territory after serving as a plant manager of a commercial printer; Richard Donato is a UV specialist who joined the company after serving as a technical director of manufacturing for a Koenig & Bauer UV printer; Stefan Schwarz oversees the West and brings electrical knowledge and press performance analysis skills; and both Matthias Olk and John Starratt, who handle the south-central and southeast respectively, were previously Koenig & Bauer print demonstrators who transitioned into customer service roles.

    Koenig & Bauer’s service department prides itself on leading the industry with the latest technology systems to improve a customer’s quality and production. Its remote maintenance hotline, available at any time, whether by phone or e-mail, is one such vital tool. Remote maintenance experts can call up diagnostic software and control data via a direct online link. Almost 80% of all cases are solved successfully by remote maintenance, says Talbert, and it ensures that the correct parts and technicians are sent to the customer site, if so needed. The online link via VPN guarantees maximum data security through special hardware encryption measures, therefore, the firm’s remote maintenance experts can secure fast and cost-effective access to a customer’s installed machines.

    In addition, Koenig & Bauer offers an enhanced remote service package that includes Visual Press Support.  Modern augmented reality technologies bring intelligent support directly to a customer’s mobile device (smartphone or tablet). Through its new interactive live video tool Visual Press Support, the team of remote maintenance specialists has exactly the same view of a customer’s machine as the local technician and can thus provide optimum assistance and instructions to analyze and resolve problems. At the same time, a customer’s technician can communicate directly with the remote specialists by phone or chat – all from any point on the actual production line, without needing to interrupt work.

    “When a printer purchases a new Koenig & Bauer press, they know they’ll always have professionals at their side throughout the entire life cycle of the press,” says Talbert. “As we contend with shorter response times, higher customer expectations, and more technologically advanced equipment, the customer service department becomes even more integral in the total success of the company. Taken another way, think of a triangle with the customer solidly in the center and at each point is service, sales, and operations working together to give them the best experience possible. Our approach is to create trust and long-term loyalty to the Koenig & Bauer brand.”



    news-1312 Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:35:32 +0100 You’re Hired! Koenig & Bauer (US) Launches New Unique Apprenticeship Programs https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/youre-hired-koenig-bauer-us-launches-new-unique-apprenticeship-programs/
  • First of its kind program in the U.S. to target hands-on technical students
  • Two initial hires are women graduates who have begun program
  • Program encompasses field training in the U.S. and classes at the Koenig & Bauer German factory
  • Partnered with Texas State Technical College for qualified candidates
  • In light of the tight labor market and the acute need for qualified candidates to join the printing industry, Koenig & Bauer (US) took the decisive step to invest in its future and develop new unique apprenticeship programs to fill its technical positions. For the past two years, the Dallas-based division has been working in collaboration with the Training and Human Resources Departments at its factory in Germany along with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to establish a unique Technician Apprenticeship Program and recruit qualified students. The purpose of the program is to attract and develop new technical talent for the printing industry. 

    “When we speak to college students, we emphasize that we are offering a long-term fulfilling career, not simply a job,” says Ericka Luneau, Koenig & Bauer (US) Human Resource director. “This is a huge unique opportunity that they might have never considered before. We interviewed a lot of candidates looking for the passion and excitement to join our industry. We are pleased to announce that our first applicants have been chosen—two extremely competent women, who are currently participating in our programs.”

    Left to right: Kaitlin Sullivan joined Koenig & Bauer (US) as an Electrician Apprentice and Amanda Beltran has entered the company’s apprenticeship program in its machine shop as a new Machinist Apprentice.

    In mid-Janaury 2019, both Kaitlin Sullivan, a recent TSTC graduate with a A.S. Degree in Wind Energy Technology (WET), joined Koenig & Bauer as an Electrician Apprentice and, at the same time, Amanda Beltran joined the company’s apprenticeship program in its machine shop as a new Machinist Apprentice; she graduated with an A.S. in Mechatronics Technology, a complex interdisciplinary field that combines the study of mechanics, electronics, automation and computers.

    Both women took different educational paths to eventually choose an exciting career at Koenig & Bauer (US). After being introduced to Koenig & Bauer at a campus career fair, both graduates changed their job trajectories and became excited about the print industry and working on large complex printing presses.  

    “When we visited Amanda and Kaitlin’s classrooms, it opened up their eyes to a new industry and changed their career course,” says Luneau. “Our program had all of the elements that they desired.”

    Sullivan is based in Dallas and is reporting to a regional service manager. She will work in the field with mentors for the next few months until she moves to Germany this spring. Beltran will be based in the Dallas machine shop but her training will also include some fieldwork and specialized training in Germany. Since both women are the first in these particular apprenticeship programs, Koenig & Bauer (US) is encouraging them to provide feedback on how the program can be improved.

    To be considered for the program, applicants are required to have a two-year related technical degree. The 18-month program encompasses field training with mentors here in the U.S., classes at the German Apprenticeship School located at the Radebeul factory near Dresden, German language classes, work experience in its assembly hall at the factory, and specialized training in its training center at the factory. Apprentices are paid a salary and given a housing and transportation allowance while living in Germany. They will live and train in Germany for a period up to one year with intermittent field training here in the U.S. Upon completion of the program, an apprentice will resume a service technician position in the field here in the U.S., usually near an airport due to the necessary extensive travel.

    After many visits with faculty and an in-depth evaluation of its technical programs, Koenig & Bauer (US) chose to partner with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) to recruit qualified candidates for its Apprenticeship Program. Luneau said that they liked the TSTC model as it is a nice blend of theory and hands-on education including extensive safety training. Koenig & Bauer (US) also appreciated the opportunity to visit students in the classroom with a team of members: Chris Travis, the director of technology, who provided information on opportunities in print; current electricians and mechanical engineers who answered questions about technical aspects; and Ericka Luneau who discussed salary and benefits. Although Koenig & Bauer (US) hopes to add to the Apprenticeship Program year-after-year, it is currently a limited program with approximately two openings per year. 

    “The instructors at TSTC have been phenomenal,” says Luneau. “We have partnered with them to identify their ‘bright star’ students as they enter the school, not just their graduating class. We prefer to establish a relationship with them early on before they become enticed into a different industry.”

    Although the program is in its infancy stage, Koenig & Bauer (US) is planning to extend and duplicate it across the country. “Our plan is to partner with other colleges, perhaps in the Northeast or Midwest, where we have large clusters of customers,” says Luneau. “Our president and CEO, Mark Hischar, is very supportive of the program and sees it as part of his vision for growth in the U.S. He went to Germany to explain the program and gain its enthusiastic support. Our entire organization backs it as well.”



    news-1301 Tue, 05 Feb 2019 22:17:35 +0100 Great American Packaging Invests In Koenig & Bauer-Flexotecnica EVO-XD Press https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/great-american-packaging-invests-in-koenig-bauer-flexotecnica-evo-xd-press/
  • New press will drive opportunities for sustainability and more sophisticated branded packaging
  • Southern California printer experienced rapid growth rate of 75% in last eight years
  • Creating more sophisticated images in both process and spot color
  • Press will be installed at the firm’s 40,000 sq ft headquarters in Los Angeles
  • In today’s flexible packaging market, there are two main drivers influencing brands and their customers: a demand for both sustainability and more sophisticated colorful branding. Sustainability is a key trend especially for manufacturers of food and retail products. New mandates from government and major retailers are driving the demand for eco-friendly alternatives to non-recyclable multilayer stand-up pouches and films. Manufacturers are also being asked to produce recyclable multi-layer pouches and films with sophisticated colorful artwork in a cost-effective manner.

    It is in this environment that Great American Packaging, a vertically-integrated manufacturer of custom printed flexible packaging, is being asked to extrude, print, and convert top notch branded products for businesses in a wide range of styles and sizes.  Founded more than 50 years ago, the well-known firm has placed a premium on expanding its deep ties with its existing customers as well as focusing on new customer growth.

    This path has proven very fruitful. “We have grown and evolved exponentially in recent years,” says Greg Gurewitz, GAP’s CEO. “Our firm has added technologically advanced equipment, steadily enhanced our workforce, and set our sights on new and exciting products. It is this evolution that has allowed us to a serve a larger, more complex customer base, while still caring for the loyal and dedicated customers who got us here. In the last eight years, we have grown an astounding 75%.”

    Left to right: The Great American Packaging team---Marlene Gurewitz, executive; Greg Gurewitz, CEO; Bruce Carter, president; and Beth Smith, marketing and project manager;--- chose the new Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica EVO-XD press for the new capabilities and increase in productivity it brings to GAP’s production environment.

    To meet its ever-evolving consumer demand, Great American Packaging decided to purchase a new Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica EVO-XD eight-color press. Bruce Carter, GAP’s president, explains that the decision grew from the firm’s need for extra capacity due to its high growth, an ability to process print, to improve quality in terms of better control and error detection, and to become more cost competitive.  

    “We are excited about the opportunities the new Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica EVO-XD press will bring to Great American Packaging,” says Carter. “The new capabilities and increase in productivity it brings will be key in delivering success in our production environment. The new press will give us the tools and resources to grow into new markets we have not yet been able to penetrate.  The EVO-XD will bring us greater efficiency and productivity through increased printing widths, faster printing speeds, quicker changeovers, better quality control and process print capabilities. This competitive advantage will allow us to produce recyclable multi-layer pouches and films with sophisticated artwork in a cost-effective way.”

    The Flexotecnica EVO-XD eight-color press will be the main workhorse press for Great American Packaging.  It will increase the six-color custom printed products currently being produced to eight colors as well as allow the firm to create multi-color images in both process and spot color to meet the demands of all of its customers and the ever-increasing demand for sophisticated images and branding. Art and decoration on flexible packaging is one of the key differentiators in the market place today.  The management team at Great American Packaging has set goals to provide better, more highly decorated products for its customers and consumers.

    Great American’s press operators are eager to take advantage of the high level of automation on the EVO-XD, which include optical error detection, automated viscosity control, auto washup, auto impression setting, servo control, memory of all-important job settings, automatic splicing, and automatic tension control.

    “When we compared the major flexographic press manufacturers, we found Koenig & Bauer to offer the right combination of build quality, company size, technology, and commitment to the U.S. market, sales support and value to make it the right choice for our company,” says Gurewitz. “They offered superior reliability paired with a sleek and functional design. We were especially won over by the cutting-edge support systems for maintenance and repair. Interactive glasses allow our print operators to connect with a Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica technician and give them a real-time view of our equipment.”

    Founded more than 50 years ago in Los Angeles, Great American Packaging is a family-owned-and-operated, multimillion-dollar company with multiple extruders, printing presses and converting equipment. It is located in the heart of the city’s manufacturing district in a 40,000 sq ft facility. While the firm now operates as a mature, sizable company, its core beliefs in customer collaboration, problem solving and industry-best standards drive Great American Packaging’s operations at every level, every day.  For more information, visit the company’s website at www.greatampack.com.



    news-1336 Fri, 01 Feb 2019 20:45:00 +0100 Koenig & Bauer Continues Strong Leadership Position In Folding Carton Market https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-continues-strong-leadership-position-in-folding-carton-market/
  • Printers increasingly eye expanding folding carton market to broaden their base
  • Ultra-fast makereadies, cold foil, and double coaters are particularly attractive for folding carton makers in medium and large format presses
  • QualityPass allows folding carton printers to provide extensive reports on the quality and consistency produced
  • When leading folding carton printers from 41-inch to 64-inch format size seek to find the best solutions for their customers, where do they turn? The market leader in providing the fastest, most technologically-laden presses for advanced folding carton applications is Koenig & Bauer, which is consistently rated for its high quality solidly-built manufacturing process, superior service, and enhanced solutions for the complex needs of folding carton customers.

    “As the world market leader in the manufacture of folding carton printing presses, we have kept our fingers firmly on the pulse of the ever changing market and maintained this position by offering the highest quality presses and services while partnering with some of the most high-profile leading folding carton printers,” Chris Travis, director of technology at Koenig & Bauer (US/CA) states. “Printers are charged with the mandate to light up store shelves with sophisticated, colorful folding cartons; our goal is to help them deliver those products, not just with the press but with the process as well.”

    In today’s competitive market, folding carton printers need to quickly respond to the unrelenting demands of their consumer-facing customers in the diverse fields of pharmaceutical, food, beverage, cosmetic, spirit, and other segments. Speed, precision, and service are required to maintain a positive customer experience. Store shelves are brimming with a wide variety of containers that require eye-catching point-of-sale shelf appeal. Brands are asking folding carton printers to design custom crafted award winning packaging for their products that also protect against counterfeit packaging. Speed to market is essential in an ever-changing, fast-paced environment in which print quality and consistency needs to be at the forefront as well as special print services such as coating applications, finishing, embossing and other enhancement methods.

    “One of many reasons that folding carton printers continue to invest in additional new Koenig & Bauer presses whether medium or large format is our ability to uniquely configure the press for their needs,” says Travis. “We’re seeing a resurgence in double coaters to provide those necessary special effects all inline in one pass. Cold foil is continuing its momentum as a superior special effect especially for folding carton printers. As for features, simultaneous processes for fast-paced print operations and PMS colors that are automatically controlled and reported upon are nearly always ordered. Plus we receive many questions and requests for applications for our custom-built VariDry low-energy curing system.”

    Folding carton manufacturers are finding that a key trend is to perform ultra-fast makereadies for shorter run, seasonal boxes and to successfully compete against digital printing carton production. Koenig & Bauer has the solution. Its Rapida 106 has been the undisputed makeready world champion in medium format since 2008. Not only that, its production speeds up to 20,000 sheets/h prove it is the fastest press in its format class. Due to a raft of unique automation solutions, such as the sidelay-free infeed, quick job changes and smooth handling on the Rapida 106 provide the speed needed by folding carton printers. Logistic systems ensure continual throughput and complete inline color control along with simultaneous process allow folding carton producers to be more competitive than ever. Expensive waiting time is transformed into efficient production time.  Alongside consistent implementation of the revolutionary DriveTronic dedicated drive concept, it is quality management which here plays a decisive role. With inspection options, which even include inline PDF comparisons, the Rapida 106 is yet again the technology leader in the field.

    Curtis Packaging, a renowned Connecticut printer known as a luxurious packaging provider, recently partnered with Koenig & Bauer to manufacture and install a new custom-built Rapida 106 11-color double coater press, the only one of its kind in the world and specially designed by Curtis management. Its high-end folding carton customers represent some of the world’s most well-known brands for cosmetics, liquor, health and beauty, confectioneries, biomedical and sporting goods. This key press, which was built for one pass efficiency and unique capabilities for short-run fast changeover jobs, includes 10 printing units, a coater, an additional printing unit and coater. The first two printing units are cold foil capable. Curtis is experiencing significant improvement in makeready times and higher run speeds for total faster throughput.

    With more PMS colors on a folding carton, printers need to have quality and color control systems to reduce variability. Koenig & Bauer is leading the way with its newest Version 8 of its popular and unique QualityPass software for sheetfed presses. This dynamic product provides extensive reports on the quality and consistency of print produced and provides a score as a percentage against the required fields of the ISO 12647-2 standard such as CIE LAB values, dot gain (TVI) and trapping. The trend reporting function allows printers to be able to demonstrate color consistency throughout their folding carton production run via reports produced at the end of the job by the software and provides great reassurance for the printers’ customers. QualityPass reports are generated as a PDF for every job produced and contain every measurement taken by either the ErgoTronic Color Control device for inline color density measurement or the QualiTronic ColorControl inline system. The viewer of the report can analyze the quality of print produced and make the required adjustments to improve the scoring, for example; tensioning blankets or making alterations to the plate output curves.

    “Last year, every press installed in North America was configured with an inline color control system,” says Travis. “That’s how important it is. Our folding carton customers tell us how essential it is for them to quantify their data and be able to give a detailed report to their brand customers.”

    Not only is quality and color control necessary for folding carton printers to provide tight color control with minimum variation but productivity and efficiency. Koenig & Bauer has developed systems for folding carton printers to alleviate these areas as well. With an increased use of colors being used on folding cartons and more versions due to the increasingly individual cartons being printed, printers require speedy automated roller wash-up systems to help maximize efficiency from job to job and quickly wash colors up and move on to the next job. Koenig & Bauer’s DriveTronic SRW (Simultaneous Roller Wash) provides increased productivity and is a huge time saver by having the ability to wash the rollers while producing as well as providing high color quality and consistency. Folding carton press operators appreciate its fully automatic plate changing in which all plates are changed in incredible fast times without any human intervention.

    Wausau Container Corporation, a prominent Wisconsin folding carton manufacturer, noted that Koenig & Bauer built a special size of Rapida 105 PRO that competitors couldn’t match. "It is a special larger maximum sheet size and larger maximum image size than is normal for a standard Rapida 105 PRO press-a Koenig & Bauer exclusive,” says Chuck Plier, president of Wausau Container Corporation. “It is providing us with greater throughput, better print quality, and has the ability to provide precise press documentation to support our customers. Its inline inspection system captures each and every sheet, even while running at top speeds, and ensures that the job matches what the customer has sent to us. It provides us with a high level of reporting for credibility that we can share with our clients."

    Many folding carton manufacturers are tasked with meeting a wide range of needs from their brand customers. This includes multi-color printing in a single pass using a variety of coating applications on different substrates along with specialty effects such as embossing, foil, and other techniques. As e-commerce continues to grow, folding cartons play an important role in delivering a positive end-user experience as well as protecting the product within. Brands are placing increased emphasis on these effective packaging tools.

    “What distinguishes Koenig & Bauer from any other press manufacturer is our resolve to guide our folding carton customers into profitable solutions with our sophisticated technology,” says Travis. “As the world leader in large format presses, we’ve built the finest reputation for producing unique offset presses in all format sizes that provide value-added, tailored solutions to their business. We understand that the folding carton market is fast moving and competitive---that’s why we continue to monitor trends in the industry and keep abreast of what our customers will need in the future.”