- Double coaters plus Corona treatment tower expand Mittera further into specialty packaging and plastic printing
- Rainbow fountain printing capability provides high security assets and special effects
- Ronkonkoma, Long Island, NY Mittera Koenig & Bauer press only one of two with this configuration in the entire world
Calling it a “game-changer”, the new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO eight-color 41-inch press at the New York facility of the Mittera Group, a North American leader in print and integrated marketing services, is serving up double-digit efficiency and productivity for its valued clients. Officially launched at its Ronkonkoma, Long Island facility in early December 2020, this unique customized press is only one of two in the world and the only one here in North America.
“We’re experiencing robust growth,” says Mittera CEO Jon Troen. “Our specially-configured Rapida press from Koenig & Bauer is helping us to print more work with less effort, setting a new standard for high quality printing ranging from unique marketing and packaging pieces to specialty security printing. It was a very strategic purchase on our part, and it has positively influenced our current production, our future growth, and, most importantly, the high expectations of our customers.”
“Mittera has gained a solid reputation for the breadth of its abilities,” says Michael Clark, the Ronkonkoma facility’s President, with much of its production focused on the packaging and display work markets, along with commercial, and high security work. In its sixth month of operation, the new Rapida press has allowed Mittera to be approximately 40% more efficient and easily move between different segments as business cycles demand.
The firm specified its new Koenig & Bauer press with the unique configuration of a Corona Tower and two coaters, which is leading the firm to expand further into specialty packaging and plastic printing. It handles sheets up to 29 x 41-inch, prints eight colors UV, and the two coaters are used for either aqueous, UV coating or flexographic inks. It runs from 3 pt. to 48 pt. stock. The press regularly runs at its top speed of 17,000 sph.
Mittera is capitalizing in two specific markets that the Rapida serves. One, printing on plastic is one of its fastest growing segments. The Rapida’s Corona tower allows Mittera to print on almost any surface. To print on plastic correctly, you need to have an increased surface energy, or you won’t have good adhesion, explains Clark. Using the Rapida’s Corona tower, Mittera is able to dial in levels well above the desired 40 dynes, which, he says, is very impressive. Plastic can be problematic with its tight window for water and adhesion issues, says Clark, but the new Rapida has given Mittera the tools to produce outstanding results. It is delivering quality and efficiencies not available at most other printing companies, he explains. “Since we’ve installed the Koenig & Bauer Rapida press, we’ve reduced waste across the spectrum of expensive substrates we print on,” says Clark. “This is especially important when you’re printing on plastic because of its high cost.”
Second, growth in luxe packaging has exploded and continues to accelerate. To deliver optimum critical color for its high-end clientele, says Clark, Mittera utilizes its inline Koenig & Bauer QualiTronic system. The system’s camera inspects every sheet going through the press to ensure consistent color. “This is a very big deal for our packaging customers because they don’t want consumers to see a difference in color from box to box on a store shelf,” says Clark. “Color can have a psychological impact on the consumer. For example, if you’re looking at a shelf full of products where you associate a color with a brand and that color varies within its own group, your brain will register an interruption which can signal poor quality. Our luxe customers expect below a 2 Delta e or better! Because the QualiTronic system is capable of holding color below a 1.0 Δe, I believe it is one of the best features on this press,” according to Clark.
Mittera is achieving a lot of goals by utilizing all the Rapida’s many features. The firm is famed for its high security anti-counterfeiting printing techniques such as Rainbow Fountain and Fine Guilloche reproduction. The team at Mittera is producing these sophisticated printing processes very efficiently with incredible quality. “In security work you have tertiary colors that in the past were very difficult for us to control saturation levels,” explains Clark. “Currently on our new Rapida, tertiary chroma readings are within 1.0 Δe. The gears on our press are so precise that if there is any movement at all it’s likely under 5 μm (a human hair is 60-70μm). This kind of precision is necessary to deal with the rigors of Guilloche fine line reproduction. You really have to respect German engineering; this machine is solidly built!”
“Our customers are taking full advantage of the way we configured this press,” says Clark. “It is giving them so many options and leaving imagination as their only limitation. Having two coaters allows us to create some incredible effects in one pass and eliminating that second pass makes it affordable to go outside the normal design/budget guidelines.”
Troen is pleased with what he has seen in the past six months. “Our team of professionals in New York have done an outstanding job navigating the complicated science of security printing and plastics printing,” says Troen. “It made all the sense in the world to operate this new investment at the Ronkonkoma facility.”
“When we purchased this press from Koenig & Bauer, we didn’t just buy a Rapida, we bought an entire company,” says Clark effusively. “The way everyone from Koenig & Bauer treats us is incredible, just fantastic. We’re very impressed with the professionalism and dedication that everyone displays. You can see that they love what they do! Our very high expectations have been and continue to be met in full. Koenig & Bauer has really delivered a high level of satisfaction. We are very pleased with the excellent results!”