Foster Printing Co adds two more converting lines

Left to right: Dennis Blackburn (CEO), Tim Blackburn (President) and Kris Blackburn (VP of Sales).

Responding to ongoing customer needs, Foster Printing, a large format trade packaging printer, is adding new converting capabilities, such as folding-gluing and die-cutting, to its production offerings as its corrugated converters, mid-format printers, brokers, and print buyers look to Foster as a one-stop-shop for their folding carton orders.

After seeing an impressive live demonstration at a Koenig & Bauer Dallas open house, the Southern California printer chose to invest in a new Koenig & Bauer Allpro 145 folder gluer and a Koenig & Bauer iPress 145 K PRO blanking die-cutter to expand its capabilities into converting for the folding carton market. The two new machines will be delivered in the spring.

“Our goal with this strategic investment is multi-pronged,” says Kris Blackburn, VP of Sales, Foster Printing. “We have customers who have been pushing us to add post-press equipment to become a ‘one-stop-shop’ in which we can print, die-cut, fold, glue, and finish their folding carton job all at our 46,000 sq ft facility in Santa Ana. We also service customers who have converting capabilities on the corrugated side and now on the folding carton side. With our new equipment, we can be an asset to them and their overflow work. It’s an exciting time for us to open the door to a whole new market and to have the ability to print and finish in-house.”

Higher speeds, faster turnaround, extra capacity, versatility, and more efficiency are the capabilities that Foster anticipates it will gain. Foster’s team was impressed with the versatility of the iPress to die-cut several types of substrates including paper, plastic, board and corrugated material. This, says Blackburn, will allow Foster to support its customers packaging needs to whatever extent they need and what its new equipment can handle. Another important capability is the new blanker for high-speed production on the iPress. “All of our equipment in-house has newer automated technology, which allows for higher run speeds and to finish larger runs at a quicker pace,” he notes.

Foster’s management team was drawn to the Allpro 145 folder gluer for its flexibility, efficiency, and versatility. It operates at top speeds of 300m/min and produces a variety of standard carton styles such as straight line, double wall, crash lock, 4 and 6 corner, and auto bottom as well as complex carton jobs. Its full glue inspection and ejection system unleashes higher productivity and customer satisfaction. “We’re excited to be supporting the growing folding carton market,” says Blackburn. “Having this versatile folder gluer allows us to meet our production requirements, maximise productivity and profitability, and produce endless carton box design possibilities.”

Blackburn anticipates both pieces of converting equipment working in tandem. “Having the two large format Koenig & Bauer presses on our floor already, it will be easy to feed the finishing equipment with high quality printed sheets,” he says. “And with the feeder on the iPress being the same as the feeder on our Rapida 164 six-colour press, we anticipate the learning curve to be much easier on our current staff.”

Choosing Koenig & Bauer equipment was a no brainer for Foster. “We’ve been loyal Koenig & Bauer customers for more than 15 years,” says Blackburn. “Our Rapida 205 81-inch press, installed in 2012, and our Rapida 164, installed in 2021, are powering our print output. This has allowed us to see first-hand the high print quality and first-class customer service and support they offer.”

Foster prides itself on providing an amazing high level of customer service and offering its customers the flexibility to rearrange jobs to facilitate a customer’s need. “We are in a service-based industry and have invested in equipment that allows us to offer our customers the fastest turnaround and highest quality,” he concludes. “Our operators are eager to be assigned to this new post-press equipment and we’re just as excited to open new doors for our business.”

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