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 Rapida 106 six-color 41-inch press plus coater arrives at Crossmark’s New Berlin, WI facility this spring.
“We’re excited for the delivery of our new Rapida 106 press—our first from KBA,” says 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% 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% of Crossmark’s business is derived from printing on paper, a fast-growing area is printing on plastic, which now encompasses 20% of the firm’s output. For the last 2 ½ 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,” says 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, adds Dobrzynski Sr.
Another important criterion for Crossmark Graphics is maintaining the highest quality standards for its customers and their print projects. To that end, Dobrzynski specified the new press with an inline color control system. “The new QualiTronic ColorControl will read and monitor every sheet that goes through the press,” he says. “Its camera system is integrated directly into the press with LED illumination and permits fully automatic ink density measurements in control strips. The control strips can be positioned either at the front or in the center of the sheet. As soon as printing starts, the control strips are scanned directly in the press and the measured solid densities are presented on the screen in a live graphic display. The measurements are used as a basis for fast, dynamic inline color correction. It is also possible to create inline measurement reports in PDF format. It will give us high quality consistent color.”
Dobrzynski credits his firm’s success with its utilization of cutting edge technology and talented professionals who are in the business of building relationships. He and his family members have maintained a mantra of meeting and exceeding their customers' highest expectations and delivering "the impossible." To accentuate that point, Dobrzynski recently received an email from a new customer who wrote, “You and your company made us feel important, no matter if it is a small or large job.”
“We applaud Crossmark Graphics on its investment in this step-change printing and drying technology”, notes Steve Korn Director of national and key accounts for KBA North America. “This capital expenditure will pay dividends for many years to come by providing Crossmark Graphics with a significant competitive edge in the marketplace. The 41.73” wide and 29.13” around KBA Rapida 106 press, known industry- wide as the “makeready champion” will enable Crossmark Graphics to provide the highest quality offset printing and immediate drying with ease. Accompanied by high-level KBA technology, this new press will be the keystone for the second generation of owners at Crossmark Graphics. KBA is genuinely excited to partner with them.”
Founded in 1987 by James Dobrzynski Sr., Crossmark Graphics is led today by daughter Tammy Rechner, president and CEO, assisted by sons Jay, vice president of operations; Mark, vice president of sales; and Brian, production manager. Since then the 55-employee company has grown to include customers across the U.S. with an emphasis on pharmaceutical and retail work. It offers a full spectrum of services from pre-press and film, through mailing and fulfillment. In its quest to provide its customers with continuing high quality and consistency in printed products and services, the firm has achieved qualification as a G7 Master printer. The G7 process utilizes existing ISO 12647 Standards as the basis for quality printing. This process makes it possible achieve a proof to press and a press-to-press match with a greater degree of consistency and predictability than ever before.
KBA North America is located in Dallas, Texas and a member of the KBA Group. Established almost 200 years ago in Wuerzburg, Germany, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) is the oldest and second largest press manufacturer worldwide. KBA's banner, 'People & Print', reflects its dual focus as a leading innovator for print entrepreneurs. The group's product range is the broadest in the industry; its portfolio includes sheetfed offset presses in all format classes, commercial and newspaper web presses, inkjet systems and presses, flexographic presses, special presses for banknotes, securities, metal-decorating, smart cards, glass and plastic decorating. For more information visit the company's web site at www.kba.com.
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