Crossmark Graphics in Wisconsin Invests in a KBA Rapida 106 Press with LED Drying

When Crossmark Graphics began to search for a new sheetfed press in August 2015, the general commercial firm had two important criteria: advanced press technology and forging a strong partnership with the press supplier. After thorough reviews of the major press manufacturers, Crossmark Graphics chose KBA and its popular Rapida 106. The new six-color, 41-inch Rapida 106  press plus coater arrives at Crossmark’s New Berlin, Wisconsin, facility this spring.

“We’re excited for the delivery of our new Rapida 106 press—our first from KBA,” said James Dobrzynski Sr., founder of Crossmark Graphics. “It will be our workhorse press day-to-day producing all types of print jobs including plastic, lenticular, and canvas. Our goal is to increase production by 20 percent and maintain our high quality levels from the first to last sheet.”

After narrowing its decision to the KBA Rapida 106, Dobrzynski and his team including daughter Tammy Rechner, president and CEO, and sons Jay, Mark, and Brian, interviewed current KBA Rapida 106 customers to gain their input on the press. Rapida 106 owners, they learned, said that KBA’s technology is more advanced than other manufacturers and that they forged strong partnerships with the firm long after the press was installed. These unsolicited comments, along with the press’s continual innovations to boost its performance, flexibility, and cost efficiency solidified the decision to move forward with the KBA Rapida 106. Upon its arrival at Crossmark, the firm’s new Rapida 106 will be configured with a host of automated features unique to KBA such as fully-automated plate changing, CleanTronic, ErgoTronic color control, QualiTronic, LogoTronic, as well as a VariDry HL Blue IR/HA/UV drying system.

While 80 percent of Crossmark’s business is derived from printing on paper, a fast-growing area is printing on plastic, which now encompasses 20 percent of the firm’s output. For the last 2½ years, Crossmark has had a non-KBA press equipped with LED, and seeing the benefits of LED wanted to be a complete LED printer, which provides low energy usage, no heat, no distortion of the sheet, and no odor.

“I’m very proud to say that we have had back-to-back record years in both volume and profit since adding LED UV,” explained Dobrzynski. “I give credit to our great team for helping to pull it off. We couldn’t have done it without them. Additionally, we are doing a lot more high-value work on plastic substrates, and we are more efficient when we run lenticular—and everyone knows how tough that can be to produce. And, as nearly everyone knows, those substrates are very expensive, so we watch the waste carefully.”

Crossmark’s new KBA Rapida 106 press will also have an extra LED on the press enabling the firm to do more special effects. It is equipped with an extra LED lamp along with docking ports after each print station to give the firm full flexibility, added Dobrzynski Sr.
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