KBA North America, a global press manufacturer based in Dallas, Texas, announces that Southern Champion Tray, a large international packaging printer of paperboard, boxes, trays, and other paper food packaging for bakery and food service, has installed a new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch seven-color sheetfed press at its Mansfield, Texas facility in September 2010.
“In our particular market, we live and die by response time,” says John Zeiser, president and CEO of Southern Champion Tray. “While total volume has risen, the average sheet length of each job has become much smaller with more copy changes. We needed to add capacity but also shorten make-ready times and get to color faster. This new KBA Rapida press will do all that and reduce the load on our press crews.”
The KBA Rapida 106 41-inch high-performance sheetfed press, dubbed the “makeready champion” for its 18,000 sph output and cutting-edge automation, is equipped with a bevy of new technology, including the popular KBA Logotronic Professional management system, the KBA Densitronic combined density and color measuring system for quality control, as well as the Drivetronic feeder, with its pre-setting capabilities that help to reduce waste and allow for rapid job changes.
This particular KBA press will bring many new features and capabilities to Southern Champion Tray. “First of all, we gain an increase in speed,” says Zeiser. “Our new press is rated at 18,000 sph, which is a step up from the 15,000 sph we are used to running. Its cutting-edge automated technology – fully-automatic pile changer at the feeder, fully-automatic plate hangers, and automatic wash-up for both blanket and impression cylinders – allows our press crew to focus on job quality. We will use the automatic registration feature to simultaneously register the units and the CIP 3 interface to automatically preset ink fountains. These features will reduce make-ready sheets and get us to color faster. And finally the design of the press will give us huge benefits. Its non-contact side guide provides no sheet marking and its 12-foot extended delivery allows for better coating flow and more complete drying at high speeds.”
The new KBA Rapida 106 will be the second seven-color press with coater at the firm’s Texas facility. It will provide additional capacity plus scheduling flexibility while the firm continues to operate its existing KBA Rapida 105 41-inch seven-color press with coater. “A seven-color press with coater and extended delivery is a proven fit for our customer base,” says Zeiser. “It allows us to gang multiple items without sacrificing control on spot colors. On other jobs, it gives us the option to use multiple spot colors or run Hexachrome and still have a unit available for that extra spot color or metallic ink.”
When the firm decided to purchase a new press to add to capacity, they looked no further than KBA. “KBA has some very good competition,” says Zeiser, “but at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone understands the needs of carton printers like KBA does. It shows up in their engineering and in the features they build into the press to allow the pressmen to focus on the things that matter most to our customers. We originally chose KBA for the very rigid construction and their reputation in serving paperboard packaging printers. We’ve had great experience with our last two KBA presses, which have given us outstanding productivity and minimal downtime.”
Not only have the KBA presses been a boon to Southern Champion Tray but the sales representatives, service technicians, and management have contributed to the positive relationship. “KBA is an excellent partner with good people throughout the organization,” says Zeiser. “They understand our business and they have demonstrated a willingness to go beyond the contract in making sure that we are satisfied. It’s also a plus that they relocated their U.S. headquarters to Dallas – about 45 minutes from our Mansfield, Texas facility. Our sales manager, Sam Creel, has consistently provided us value that is above and beyond the purchase price.”
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.
KBA North America is a member of the KBA Group, a leading global supplier of sheetfed, webfed, and digital offset presses located in Dallas, Texas. KBA is dedicated to excellence in printing technology. The company’s greatest satisfaction comes from helping its customers succeed by building presses that enable their businesses to prosper. From engineering through production, KBA’s focus is on people, providing flexible technology, customized printing solutions, and personal service to help its partners differentiate themselves and be successful today and in the future.