KBA News Feed http://www.koenig-bauer.com/ en Koenig & Bauer AG Wed, 23 May 2018 16:23:26 +0200 Wed, 23 May 2018 16:23:26 +0200 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. 

     

     

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    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.

     

     

     

     

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    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

    en/investor-relations/financial-reports/

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    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.

     

     

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    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 Druppo, 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.

     

     

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    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

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    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.

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    news-917 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 01:22:13 +0100 KBA-Iberica Optima 106 K Die Cutter Provides “Staggering Improvements” To Productivity at Ellis Paper Box https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/kba-iberica-optima-106-k-die-cutter-provides-staggering-improvements-to-productivity-at-ellis-paper-box/
  • 63% increase in throughput; 32% increase in run speed
  • Push button automation, 8,000 sph run speeds
  • Improved uptime and quality has resulted in improved bottom line
  • KBA North America along with KBA-Iberica team improves long term commitment to Ellis
  • In today’s competitive folding carton industry, manufacturers are continually challenged by demanding customers who request unique value-added features. That’s become even truer when those customers are leading international pharmaceutical firms. Canadian packaging specialist Ellis Paper Box, a member of the Ellis Group, the country’s largest privately-held manufacturer of folding cartons, has made it its mandate---and ultimately its successful reputation as one of the most valued manufacturers in the industry---to understand and respect the demanding standards required by the pharmaceutical industry.

    “We’re successful due in part to our commitment to the industry, commitment to our employees, and our relentless pursuit to remain the most progressive carton company in Canada,” says Dave Ellis. “We offer a total in-house capability to control all aspects of structural design, electronic proofing, and die making. Our three phase electronic verification is critical to our assurance of full responsibility for product quality and compliance to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).”

    Left to right: Tom Fitzgerald, KBA-Iberica manager; Mike Gibson, Ellis Paper Box plant manager; and Dave Ellis, Ellis Paper Box president; are in constant contact and have developed a trusted partnership with the recent installation of the KBA-Iberica Optima K die cutter.

    That thought-process was critical in the purchase and installation of another new Optima 106 K die cutter from KBA-Iberica last summer. The purchase is part of the Ellis Group’s investment in new automated high-speed die cutters across its three facilities with another new die cutter purchased from KBA North America being installed at a sister facility, Ellis Packaging, later this year.

    Over the past several years, Ellis Paper Box has detected a number of important trends that are colliding with its 60,000 sq ft Mississauga, Ontario facility’s production throughput. Being squarely focused on pharmaceutical work is never simple but Ellis has maintained a consistent and growing client base due to its well-honed quality process and expertly-trained employees. By regularly adding new equipment, the firm has become a one-stop shop producing as little as 500 cartons with spot colors to five million eight-color specialty work with inline inspection. With its international clientele, a variety of languages imprinted on the boxes is no problem due to the firm’s 100% inline carton inspection systems.

    Recently, new legislation enacted in Canada has deemed that all pharmaceutical boxes must be redesigned to include additional compliance information for plain English text. Ellis has been instrumental in working with its clients to increase the size of the folding carton or add a fifth panel to existing styles to accommodate this legislation. In addition, its over-the-counter packaging is being designed with more value-added properties, such as inline cold and hot foil, embossing, inline Braille, and specialty coatings such as matte and high gloss.

    “The KBA-Iberica Optima 106 K die cutter has become our workhorse in the die cutting department,” says Ellis. “It is capable of handling production of paper, cardboard, plastic and corrugated boards up to 1.5mm. It is running at 8,000 sheets per hour. We currently operate it two to three shifts per day, five days a week. Our preference is to schedule all jobs containing detailed embossing and critical print to cut registration on this new machine.”

    Not only is Ellis receiving these benefits but it has also recorded the machine’s efficiency and savings. For example, the firm has witnessed a 63% increase in throughput and a 32% increase in run speed compared to the last six running months over the previous machine. This allows Ellis to provide faster speed-to-market and get its product to its customers in two weeks or less. It has also recorded a 20% to 40% reduction in makeready due to the Optima 106 die cutter. Ellis is also blanking more difficult jobs thereby reducing its stripping costs by $35,000 per year.

     “The improvements to our die cutting department have been staggering,” says Ellis. “Due to the Optima 106 K’s increased automation, there are less tools involved and our employees are pleased with its push button automation. Our quality has improved due to this new die cutter and we have no downtime because the machine is so dependable. Improvements to uptime and quality have resulted in improved bottom line. The new die cutter from KBA-Iberica has had a fantastic impact on our company.”

    Prior to signing the order, Ellis looked very closely at its other options and conducted extensive research into four other die cutting manufacturers and then narrowed the decision to two. The team considered price, the manufacturer’s commitment to service and quality, and last but not least the return on investment. Ultimately KBA-Iberica and its Optima 106 K machines prevailed.  Ellis believed that KBA-Iberica were the leaders in the industry in all three areas of concern. He noted that the Barcelona, Spain-manufactured machines are strong and well built by dedicated employees. “We felt that KBA-Iberica was moving in the right direction,” says Ellis. “We were sold on their commitment to producing a quality product. As our machine was being installed, the training for our crew was fantastic and if we had any questions or issues, they were responded to immediately.”

    The entire three facilities that make up the Ellis Group organization are centered amid the Toronto, Ontario region. Ellis Packaging is headquartered in Pickering, along the shores of Lake Ontario while Ellis Packaging West is in Guelph, further south and inland of Toronto. The Ellis Paper Box facility in Mississauga, south of Toronto along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, can’t be missed. It’s located in a gleaming modern two-story glass building.

    “The sales staff at KBA-Iberica have done an excellent job communicating with our team every step of the way,” says Ellis. “From the day the machine was ordered through transportation and installation, KBA-Iberica has continued to stay in contact and visit our plant regularly. We have developed a trusted partnership with them. We are very grateful and will continue to work closely with KBA-Iberica as they have proven to show a genuine commitment to Ellis.”

    Ellis and his management team have set high business goals for his firm’s future. “Five years from now The Ellis Group will be the largest manufacturer of folding cartons in Canada,” he says. “It’s due in part because we listen carefully to our clients to understand what drives their business. We have learned a lot about the challenges they face, from considerations in package engineering through to distribution issues. We recognized that to be truly different from our competitors, we needed to provide services that not only meet but actually anticipate and solve these challenges. When a customer describes our firm, they use words such as quality, service, and value.” 

    Founded in 1946 in Ontario, Canada, The Ellis Group is comprised of over 250 employees at Ellis Packaging, Ellis Paper Box and Ellis Packaging West servicing and specializing in the food, confectionary, pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and beverage industries. It has earned a superior reputation for the design, production and distribution of paperboard packaging. Its customers are comprised of North America's largest brand name companies due to its expert handling of projects from initial consultation, design and pre-press through to production and distribution. 

    ]]>
    news-916 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 01:19:07 +0100 KBA-Iberica Optima 106 K Die Cutter Provides “Staggering Improvements” To Productivity at Ellis Paper Box https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/kba-iberica-optima-106-k-die-cutter-provides-staggering-improvements-to-productivity-at-ellis-paper-box-1/
  • 63% increase in throughput; 32% increase in run speed
  • Push button automation, 8,000 sph run speeds
  • Improved uptime and quality has resulted in improved bottom line
  • KBA North America along with KBA-Iberica team improves long term commitment to Ellis
  • In today’s competitive folding carton industry, manufacturers are continually challenged by demanding customers who request unique value-added features. That’s become even truer when those customers are leading international pharmaceutical firms. Canadian packaging specialist Ellis Paper Box, a member of the Ellis Group, the country’s largest privately-held manufacturer of folding cartons, has made it its mandate---and ultimately its successful reputation as one of the most valued manufacturers in the industry---to understand and respect the demanding standards required by the pharmaceutical industry.

    “We’re successful due in part to our commitment to the industry, commitment to our employees, and our relentless pursuit to remain the most progressive carton company in Canada,” says Dave Ellis. “We offer a total in-house capability to control all aspects of structural design, electronic proofing, and die making. Our three phase electronic verification is critical to our assurance of full responsibility for product quality and compliance to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).”

    That thought-process was critical in the purchase and installation of another new Optima 106 K die cutter from KBA-Iberica last summer. The purchase is part of the Ellis Group’s investment in new automated high-speed die cutters across its three facilities with another new die cutter purchased from KBA North America being installed at a sister facility, Ellis Packaging, later this year.

    Over the past several years, Ellis Paper Box has detected a number of important trends that are colliding with its 60,000 sq ft Mississauga, Ontario facility’s production throughput. Being squarely focused on pharmaceutical work is never simple but Ellis has maintained a consistent and growing client base due to its well-honed quality process and expertly-trained employees. By regularly adding new equipment, the firm has become a one-stop shop producing as little as 500 cartons with spot colors to five million eight-color specialty work with inline inspection. With its international clientele, a variety of languages imprinted on the boxes is no problem due to the firm’s 100% inline carton inspection systems.

    Recently, new legislation enacted in Canada has deemed that all pharmaceutical boxes must be redesigned to include additional compliance information for plain English text. Ellis has been instrumental in working with its clients to increase the size of the folding carton or add a fifth panel to existing styles to accommodate this legislation. In addition, its over-the-counter packaging is being designed with more value-added properties, such as inline cold and hot foil, embossing, inline Braille, and specialty coatings such as matte and high gloss.

    “The KBA-Iberica Optima 106 K die cutter has become our workhorse in the die cutting department,” says Ellis. “It is capable of handling production of paper, cardboard, plastic and corrugated boards up to 1.5mm. It is running at 8,000 sheets per hour. We currently operate it two to three shifts per day, five days a week. Our preference is to schedule all jobs containing detailed embossing and critical print to cut registration on this new machine.”

    Not only is Ellis receiving these benefits but it has also recorded the machine’s efficiency and savings. For example, the firm has witnessed a 63% increase in throughput and a 32% increase in run speed compared to the last six running months over the previous machine. This allows Ellis to provide faster speed-to-market and get its product to its customers in two weeks or less. It has also recorded a 20% to 40% reduction in makeready due to the Optima 106 die cutter. Ellis is also blanking more difficult jobs thereby reducing its stripping costs by $35,000 per year.

     “The improvements to our die cutting department have been staggering,” says Ellis. “Due to the Optima 106 K’s increased automation, there are less tools involved and our employees are pleased with its push button automation. Our quality has improved due to this new die cutter and we have no downtime because the machine is so dependable. Improvements to uptime and quality have resulted in improved bottom line. The new die cutter from KBA-Iberica has had a fantastic impact on our company.”

    Prior to signing the order, Ellis looked very closely at its other options and conducted extensive research into four other die cutting manufacturers and then narrowed the decision to two. The team considered price, the manufacturer’s commitment to service and quality, and last but not least the return on investment. Ultimately KBA-Iberica and its Optima 106 K machines prevailed.  Ellis believed that KBA-Iberica were the leaders in the industry in all three areas of concern. He noted that the Barcelona, Spain-manufactured machines are strong and well built by dedicated employees. “We felt that KBA-Iberica was moving in the right direction,” says Ellis. “We were sold on their commitment to producing a quality product. As our machine was being installed, the training for our crew was fantastic and if we had any questions or issues, they were responded to immediately.”

    The entire three facilities that make up the Ellis Group organization are centered amid the Toronto, Ontario region. Ellis Packaging is headquartered in Pickering, along the shores of Lake Ontario while Ellis Packaging West is in Guelph, further south and inland of Toronto. The Ellis Paper Box facility in Mississauga, south of Toronto along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, can’t be missed. It’s located in a gleaming modern two-story glass building.

    “The sales staff at KBA-Iberica have done an excellent job communicating with our team every step of the way,” says Ellis. “From the day the machine was ordered through transportation and installation, KBA-Iberica has continued to stay in contact and visit our plant regularly. We have developed a trusted partnership with them. We are very grateful and will continue to work closely with KBA-Iberica as they have proven to show a genuine commitment to Ellis.”

    Ellis and his management team have set high business goals for his firm’s future. “Five years from now The Ellis Group will be the largest manufacturer of folding cartons in Canada,” he says. “It’s due in part because we listen carefully to our clients to understand what drives their business. We have learned a lot about the challenges they face, from considerations in package engineering through to distribution issues. We recognized that to be truly different from our competitors, we needed to provide services that not only meet but actually anticipate and solve these challenges. When a customer describes our firm, they use words such as quality, service, and value.”

     

    Founded in 1946 in Ontario, Canada, The Ellis Group is comprised of over 250 employees at Ellis Packaging, Ellis Paper Box and Ellis Packaging West servicing and specializing in the food, confectionary, pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and beverage industries. It has earned a superior reputation for the design, production and distribution of paperboard packaging. Its customers are comprised of North America's largest brand name companies due to its expert handling of projects from initial consultation, design and pre-press through to production and distribution. 

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    news-905 Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:59:22 +0100 Performance POP Fuels Growth With New Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 Seven-Color Press https://us.koenig-bauer.com/news/details/article/performance-pop-fuels-growth-with-new-koenig-bauer-rapida-106-seven-color-press/
  • Replaced three non-Koenig & Bauer sheetfed presses with one new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch press
  • Moving to 15 minute changeovers on new Koenig & Bauer from two hour changeovers on older presses
  • Gaining speed, efficiency, and flexibility for more special effects and complex products
  • When Performance POP signed a contract last year for the June 2018 delivery of a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 seven-color plus coater press, the deal capped a hunt for a new fully automated machine that would provide this innovative print and display solutions specialist with the room to grow its roster of specialized products for its Fortune 500 customers with additional special effects and custom solutions. 

    “We’re seeing a significant shift in our coast-to-coast customer base from traditional to more specific markets, such as nationwide retail and restaurant organizations as well as trading card suppliers and the beverage industry,” says Taylor White, CEO of the 200 employee Dallas-based firm. “It’s a very competitive market but with the installation of our new Koenig & Bauer press, we’ll be equipped to answer our clients’ demands and realize their designer’s dreams.” 

    Left to right: Chris Travis, KBA North America director of technology, visits with Taylor White, CEO of Performance POP, to discuss the new features on the soon-to-be-installed Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 seven-color plus coater press.

    Performance POP’s client roster is a who’s who of the leading names in the retail market. It is tasked with producing attention-grabbing point-of-purchase (POP) displays for retail or on-premise and off-premise promotions, eye-popping printed 3D or motion graphics, UV printing on both plastics and paper, metallic substrates, inline aqueous and UV coatings, and innovative dimensional print and display solutions and a wide array of in-house finishing capabilities. The firm produces 60% of its work on offset presses with the remaining 40% on digital and screen presses. Its work can be prominently seen in the aisles of beer, wine, and liquor stores, leading retail shops, and other major venues. 

    By inking the contract for its new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 press, Performance POP is signaling its intention to “up the ante” and boost its speed, efficiency, and flexibility as well as broaden its special effects capabilities such as metallic 3D, lenticular, water activated ink, temperature sensitive ink, scented ink, liquid coating and red reveal. Once the three non-Koenig & Bauer presses are removed, the pressroom will be anchored with a sleek new blue and grey press carrying the corporate logo and unique colors from Koenig & Bauer, an instantly recognizable mechanized machine with the latest features. 

    “We’re equipping the press with the latest 2018 systems such as the QualiTronic Measuring system, which will provide precise color control measurement of each sheet, together with FAPC Full Automatic Plate Changing, parallel washing and make ready features, and smart automated logistics,” says White. “These unique systems will provide us with ultra-fast 15 minute changeovers as compared to our two hour changeovers on older presses. We’ll be gaining speed, efficiency, and flexibility for more special effects and complex products. Our press will come with the latest drying package from Koenig & Bauer; the Koenig & Bauer VariDry together with the coating unit will support the special effects. We’ve also equipped the Rapida 106 with a unique drying package, which is a combination of traditional UV and the latest LED UV technology. This will allow us to set up the drying configuration specific to the stock we are running and job details we are producing. This is a big part of the press. Our highly-trained press operators are eager to begin production with the new press to derive better results on our new Koenig & Bauer press than our three existing older presses as well as flawless fulfillment.” 

    Performance POP, which is celebrating its 37th anniversary in 2018, provides a variety of innovative, point-of-purchase products and oversized and complex visuals, ranging from printing through fulfillment and installation, countertop displays to kiosks, and store rollouts. It has gained a reputation as a trusted advisor and partner in helping the nation’s leading retailers visually communicate with their customers. 

    White began his partnership with KBA North America in 2014 when he purchased a Koenig & Bauer Genius 52UV small format press, which is still a key production member for its short-run, quick turnaround jobs primarily on plastic substrates. When it came time to upgrade his 40-inch offset press models, White and his management team surveyed the printing press manufacturer landscape but in the end gave the nod to Koenig & Bauer. They won the bid because they could build a custom press with our press specifications, says White. “We also felt the mechanics of the press were much stronger. Plus we’ve had an on-going relationship with them and they are nearby neighbors in the Dallas area,” he says. 

    “Despite challenges in the retail market, we see point-of-purchase remaining strong,” says White. “That’s because our work is more critically important for retailers. Brick and mortar stores are being marketed as a destination environment. Our job is to provide high quality, custom solutions for our retail brand customers with imagination and impact, allowing them to stand up and out from the competition. Our business is growing and the new Koenig & Bauer Rapida press is critical to our success.” 

    Centrally located in Dallas, Performance POP offers the latest technology, state-of-the-art presses, a 10,000 sq ft design studio, a rapid prototyping shop and 150,000 sq ft of production, warehouse and distribution space. The 200-employee firm offers robust end-to-end services for a variety of Fortune 500 clients.

     

     

     

     

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