“Ever since we opened our facility in Iowa in 2011, our first KBA Rapida 145 press has become the workhorse producing folding carton work,” said Marc Anderson, president and CEO of Walter G. Anderson, Inc. “Today, that press is running round-the-clock with three shifts. The growth in our company, the requirements of our valued customers, and overall market demands precipitated a second press. We needed to increase our capacity and flexibility. Our second large-format KBA Rapida 145 with its latest technological advances was up and running within six weeks from delivery and operating like our first KBA press. We’re very pleased with the production both presses give us.”
The firm installed its first Rapida 145 57-inch press with coater in August 2011 “under wraps” prior to its official debut at drupa 2012. This press was installed at WG Anderson’s 175,000 sq ft facility in Newton, IA, outside of Des Moines, which was purchased in February 2011. Anderson required the additional space with the continual growth of its business and to better serve its customers.
“We looked really hard at the entire market of large format presses,” said Mr. Anderson. “When we first learned about and saw the Rapida 145 in action, we knew it was the breakthrough press we were seeking. KBA has a strong leading reputation in large format and our prior eight KBA presses have operated very well.”
“The technological ingenuities on this press are amazing,” he added. “The run speed of 17,000 sph is the highest among large format presses in this class and we’re certainly taking advantage of it. Plus we were impressed with the redesign of the feeder as well as the new delivery extension and delivery. All of these features provide a real advantage to our business. I would certainly recommend this press for its fast run speeds and its quick changeovers. It’s a quantum leap forward in large format.”
Not only is Mr. Anderson impressed with the Rapida 145 and its production capabilities but so are its customers. Anderson reports that he has had a steady stream of visitors coming to Newton that are very happy to witness in person the Rapida’s capabilities. They appreciate the design changes on the press and its much higher run speed. It gives them pause, he notes, when they come to visit the plant.
“Our customers are sending us jobs with more color and shorter run lengths, which precipitates on our part quicker changeovers,” said Mr. Anderson. “We’re investing in new equipment to provide a solution to their needs. Speed is paramount. We’re listening to our customers and planning for the future. Our goal is to help our customers succeed.”
“KBA has been a genuine partner with us,” Mr. Anderson added. “They continue to be supportive and offer on-site training as we bring new press operators onboard. The training has been superb and the KBA staff has been very patient. It was imperative to have them by our side to support the start-up for both new presses. Everything has gone very smoothly.”