Audacious decision pays off

Six-colour Rapida 105 universal at Yiyao Printing in Tianjin

Würzburg, (PresseBox) - Notwithstanding the draconian import taxes China has imposed on medium-format sheetfed presses since late 2005, last year Yiyao Printing Co. Ltd. in the northern seaport of Tianjin placed an order for a Rapida 105 universal from KBA. The shift in focus from sheer volume to quality enhancement culminated in the biggest investment in the packaging printer's fifty-year history.

With input from KBA's Chinese sales and service subsidiary in Beijing, engineers in Radebeul configured a six-colour UV coater press that will furnish a solid basis for future growth. The Rapida, Yiyao Printing's first KBA press, went live in Xianyang Road early this year. Located in the heart of the booming Bohai-Rim region, the company is not only targeting vigorous expansion in the high-growth domestic market but in the medium term has also set its sights on establishing a thriving export business.

Dynamic growth

For general manager Zhou Di, general engineer Zhao Ming Qiang and plant manager Tia Guang Qi, their courage in adopting a new strategy has certainly paid off: by the end of April the Rapida's high performance and coating flexibility had helped drive up sales by 30 to 40 per cent compared with the previous year. As a member of the Chinese Packaging Association, Yiyao can now deliver work of a proven superior standard, and this quantum leap in quality has been rewarded by Yiyao's highly discerning customers - most of whom are in the pharmaceutical industry - with a much larger volume of orders.

Yiyao Printing is one of the biggest vendors of drug packaging in China, and also the leading printer of specialised packaging incorporating diverse security features. Its well-timed acquisition of the Rapida 105 universal has enabled the company to consolidate its position among the top four in the industry just as it approaches its 50th anniversary this summer, which it is planning to celebrate in style.

Only quality counts...

General manager Zhou Di says: "After years of production with four-, five- and six-colour presses from another manufacturer, we switched to KBA because we wanted the best equipment in terms of quality and productivity. To succeed on a long-term basis, you have to move up into the premier league. We chose KBA because we were impressed by their technological competence, customised UV and hybrid coating options, and highly professional service network."

KBA Rapidas on the advance

Mr Zhou continues: "As we discovered when we toured reference plants in China and Germany, we are not the only ones who have switched to KBA. The press installations at Leo Paper, Guizhou Yongji and Huzhou Tianwai really impressed us. We are one of an elite circle of Chinese print providers who have invested in first-class technology, and we shall continue to pursue this strategy."

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