New KBA Rapida 106 Press Technology To Expand Capabilities
With an eye toward continually meeting the current and future needs of its customers, McLean Packaging Corporation, an award-winning high-end designer of premium packaging and displays for a variety of consumer industries, is partnering with KBA North America for the first time to leverage the unique technology found on its new specially-configured KBA Rapida 106 41-inch hybrid eight-color press. This new investment will increase McLean’s product options and enhance its efficiency for premium packaging and display needs. The firm will install the new press in February 2015 at its 100,000 square foot, state-of-the-art folding carton manufacturing site in Moorestown, NJ.
“Our success is built upon continually exceeding the expectations of our customers, both for premium packaging and carton production,” says Joe Fenkel, chairman and CEO of McLean Packaging. “We differentiate ourselves from competitors by taking projects that are challenging and delivering a superb product. Our new KBA Rapida 106 hybrid press is a key investment for our current customers as well as our future growth. Our vision is to leverage the unique technology on this specially-configured press to create shelf appeal on our packaging products that outperforms any competitor.”
The new hybrid KBA Rapida 106 41-inch eight-color press being installed at McLean Packaging is configured with seven litho units, a coater, two drying stubs, an eighth litho unit, and second coater. The press can run both conventional and UV ink, providing a level of comfort for certain customers, and allowing McLean to be more cost effective as it enters into new markets. McLean’s management put special emphasis on sheet inspection and inline color density measurement by adding the KBA QualiTronic ColorControl system to ensure that the quality of every sheet is monitored. With this system in place, the press operators can scan in the approved drawdown, set tolerances, and the press will automatically adjust color as it runs. Other impressive features include the GATF award-winning KBA Sensoric Infeed, an electronically-controlled feeding that allows for color consistency and less makeready and waste; a touch-screen console allowing operators to view all sheets and reports during and after production; and fully-automated plate loading and plate clamping.
“After doing our due diligence among a number of press manufacturers, we chose KBA due to their commitment to support our vision and help us grow our business,” says Fenkel, who visited the KBA factory in Germany armed with five different test substrates and coating applications to test print. “This is our first KBA press. The decision to switch to a Rapida was clinched by the overall package of innovative solutions, such as the sidelay-free infeed, ability to use both conventional and UV inks, and the lightening-fast press speed . We found that KBA has a wonderful, very knowledgeable support team that caters to midsize independent firms like ours. Our KBA sales rep, Ed Heffernan, and Chris Travis are very well-informed and have helped us tremendously with the technological features that we needed on our press.”
Not only does the new KBA Rapida 106 bring additional flexibility and new techniques, it also offers increased production and capacity by having two offset presses on the Moorestown pressroom floor. “Our reputation is as the top set box manufacturer in the country,” says Jeff Besnick, vice president/general manager of the Moorestown facility, “and we’re growing our folding carton market niche. A second press with these unique capabilities provides our customers with faster turnaround and speed-to-market and allows us to be more innovative.”
Built in 2007, the Moorestown facility boasts a sparkling ergonomic workflow with one-of-a-kind printing and converting equipment. “Many of our customers come in to approve their jobs in person,” says Rob Watts, pressroom manager in Moorestown. “We are press proofing all of the time. We have some of the most demanding customers in the world and we get the toughest jobs that not many printers can fulfill. The unique configuration on the Rapida 106 opens the door for many different ink and coating combinations done more precisely than ever before. We’re excited to see what new challenging designs our customers and our staff will create.”
Those most demanding and intricate jobs produced by McLean have been recognized by highly-respected organizations. The Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) recently awarded McLean with a total of six awards, for both folding cartons and set boxes, ranging in categories from Women’s and Men’s Cosmetics to Self-Promotion. McLean received the First Place award in Women’s and Men’s Cosmetics for the Gucci G9 set box and the First Place award in Confections for the Godiva Holiday Collection. McLean has also been garnished with the New Jersey Packaging Executives Club (NJPEC) Package of the Year Awards. Recently, McLean won the Gold award in Food and Beverage for their Godiva Holiday gift box.
McLean’s environmental commitment also helped drive their choice of the Rapida 106. With its extensive automation and inline color control, the press saves a considerable amount of waste material and allows McLean to be more efficient. Being deeply committed to minimizing the impact of their activities on the environment, McLean is constantly evaluating operations and ensuring their maximum efficiency and actively promoting recycling. McLean also minimizes materials added to the waste stream by offering a product range that includes a percentage of post-consumer recycled content and sources and promotes a sustainable and recyclable product range. McLean Packaging is chain of custody certified by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) which are non-profit, non-governmental organizations recognized globally for promoting responsible forest management.
The new Rapida 106 press is expected to be in full production as McLean’s busiest season begins in the spring of 2015. “We are excited to begin working with the new press,” says Besnick. “KBA has done a great job preparing us for its installation and we are ready to hit the ground running with our new technology.”
McLean Packaging Corporation is a designer and manufacturer of premium packaging and item displays for a variety of industries including consumer packaged goods (CPG), food and beverage, cosmetics, and health and beauty aids. McLean Packaging offers the finest quality rigid paper boxes, folding cartons, thermoform trays and corrugated cartons and displays, using the most sustainable materials available. Founded in 1961, the privately-held company has three specialized manufacturing facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and generates more than $65 million in annual revenue. For more information visit McLean’s website at www.mcleanpackaging.com.