Tell us about your business
We design and manufacture packaging solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. Products are printed, die cut and glued on various cartonboards. We use SBS boards for pharmaceutical and cosmetics clients, freezer-grade boards for frozen food manufacturers and grey-back and grease-proof boards for other clients.
Our point of difference is that we react quickly and offer shorter lead times than some of the bigger suppliers in the market; we are flexible and extremely customer focused. We are one of the larger privately owned label manufacturers in the country so our sales teams around the country make good inroads for us. Cartons and labels are certainly a tightly knit market, so we are fortunate in that sense.
What have you bought?
We invested in a KBA Rapida 105 with coater.
What does the new press do?
It’s a combination press so we can run aqueous inks and coatings and a combination of UV coatings for higher finishes, as well as a range of special effects and hybrid effects. We are still trialling different things, and it has really transformed how we view certain jobs. We can now print on heavy boards, directly onto corrugated materials, films, plastics and lighter weight label stock.
Why did you choose this machine?
We felt KBA was a reliable and progressive partner. The press lets us offer our clients technology and service that give them an advantage in their respective markets.
Did you consider any other presses?
We looked at a number of other presses. There were some good alternatives out there, and it made for a difficult choice. Going with KBA was a difficult decision, but, in hindsight, a correct one.
What features do you like most?
Most of the new-age presses have similar features – quick start-up, automatic plate mounting, auto wash-up. All of these are terrific features. The printers and supervisors are very happy with some of the technical aspects of the press, particularly the Drivetronic feeder.
One aspect the guys like is the skewed sheet corrector at the feeder head. The CIPLINK function means pre-press files get sent directly to the press. That cuts down makeready times and increases output.
Is there anything you wish it had that it doesn’t?
At the moment, we are enjoying its benefits. One thing about the process we appreciated was once we sorted out what press suited us, KBA really focused on what we needed and they didn’t really try to sell us features we would seldom use.
How fast is it?
It is rated at 16,000 sheets per hour. Much quicker makeready times and wash-ups all count for a much more efficient operation.
How reliable is it?
I guess we wouldn’t expect too many problems at this early stage. We haven’t had anything major, only a few minor teething problems.
How easy is it to use?
Once our operators were trained and up to speed it is quick and easy. Confidence was the key thing.
Has it won you any new business?
Yes. The UV capabilities mean we can print on plastics and polypropylene. The press is still very new and the next 12 months will broaden our horizons in terms of what style of work we will attract. Time will tell, but there are some exciting times and challenges on the horizon, that’s for sure.
Has it saved time and money?
Definitely. A larger press is more expensive to run, however, the savings we are seeing outweigh the negatives.
Were there any difficulties surrounding the installation?
The installation was relatively smooth and efficient. It’s probably fair to say there were more difficulties and issues around the preliminaries but once all the print units were in place, things went smoothly. We didn’t lose any production time really, and decided to keep the old press running until the KBA was up and running.
How has the pre- and after-sales service been?
Once we had made the decision to go KBA it was simple: we have good support and access to their technical support staff and demonstrator.
Would you buy another one?
Yes. It is definitely a good packaging press.
The installation of the KBA Rapida 105 at Labelcraft was a massive step for the company, as they traded in two old presses for it. Their productivity has risen dramatically since as a result. We were thrilled to receive this order from the company and to assist them.
Dave Lewis, KBA Australasia
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