McCowat-Mercer Packaging Partners with KBA for New Rapida 105 Press

DALLAS, TX | KBA North America announces that McCowat-Mercer Packaging, a Jackson, TN-based producer of customized retail packaging for the automotive, pharmaceutical, medical, textile, and food markets, has recently signed a contract for its seventh KBA press. A completely new Rapida 105 41-in. six-color coater press with UV will be the first new post-Drupa press installed in North America by year’s end.


Nearly 140 years in business, McCowat-Mercer Packaging, Inc. was established in 1873. During the last 50 years, the firm has focused on producing high quality customized retail packaging for a wide variety of industries. Folding cartons, blister cards, skin pack cards, and clamshell inserts are the main manufacturing mix, as well as custom designed packaging. Quality and service are McCowat-Mercer commitments to all of its valued customers as well as absolute quality control.

“Our solid long-time relationship with KBA has been very important to the growth of our company,” says Tom Butler, president of McCowat-Mercer Packaging. “Since the mid-70s, we’ve been purchasing KBA presses for their quality and durability. We feel that KBA presses are a perfect match for printing our high quality paperboard products, thus providing us with a clear technological edge. They’ve become workhorses for our business.”

Speed, efficiency, quick makeready, and color control are the main reasons that McCowat-Mercer chose to purchase the newly launched KBA Rapida 105. While the firm is replacing an older press, Butler notes that the new KBA Rapida 105 will generate additional capacity. Its faster speed and premiere automated capabilities will provide the firm with a competitive advantage.

“Our customers hold us to the highest levels to provide a quality product with critical color matching,” says Butler. “It’s mandatory for us to continue to build upon our equipment base with the most top-notch automation and press equipment to cater to our customers. The new KBA Rapida 105 provides us with that ability. We’ve also upgraded our finishing department with two new gluers this past year.”

One of the key features on the new Rapida 105 press being installed at McCowat-Mercer is the new KBA ErgoTronic ColorControl automatic color measuring system. Its motorized measuring head is able to scan control strips at any position on the printed sheet. After scanning of the control strip, the measured solid densities are presented on the screen in a graphic display. The measurements then can be confirmed as a basis for single or dynamic corrections of the ink key settings. After setting up the measuring system, including calibration for the substrate white, the printer takes a sheet from the press delivery and places it on the console inspection desk for measurement. Subsequently, the proposed corrections can be accepted and transmitted to the press for automatic modification of the ink profile.

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