Canadian Packaging

Commercial printer Brown Printing sees incredible growth after Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 installation

By Coastlne Public Relations   

Automation General Printing Brown Printing DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed KBA North America KBA Rapida 106 Koenig & Bauer oenig & Bauer Group QualiTronic ColorControl inline color measuring system

Unique innovations and advanced technology differentiate this Pacific Northwest shop with makeready reduced by 50 percent and production run time reduced by 35 percent.

How does a commercial printer with nearly 80 years of experience plan for success in a fast-changing industry?

In the case of Brown Printing, a Portland, Oregon, family-owned business, it is creating a truly differentiated experience for its customers with the help of a new fully automated Rapida 106 41-inch six-color UV press manufactured by Koenig & Bauer.

The firm decided to purchase its new press to maximize the advanced technologies and unique innovations from Koenig & Bauer selected specifically by its executive team to continue its growth into the next generation of ownership.

“We have developed a reputation for giving our clients personalized attention, professional knowledge, competitive pricing and timeliness,” says Brown Printing vice-president Randy Murray. “Using environmentally-friendly practices, our goal is to provide our customers with a quality print job, no matter how large or complex. When a newly-installed existing 40-inch sheetfed press was not performing as promised, my team and I began to seek out a new press manufacturer that could deliver exactly the technology and automation needed to provide our level of quality to our customers. In a decisive move, we removed the existing press and replaced it with the new Rapida 106 press. Since its installation five months ago, we’ve reduced our production run time by 35%, found that we have less preplanning for each job, and most surprising, we’ve reduced our makeready times by 50 percent and even more on difficult runs. The print quality is excellent and we’re just getting started.”


Murray was also pleased with the fast start-up of the new Rapida 106 allowing his firm to bring in new unexpected business.

For example, Brown has just finished a large push of catalogs that it would not have had the capability to complete without the new Rapida 106. By equipping the new press with full UV technology, Brown has been able to win new work for jobs such as specialty coating and packaging.

“Our goal is to keep ahead of our competition,” says Murray. “Now that we have full UV printing and coating, high speed output, and color control with our new Rapida 106, we are able to differentiate ourselves in our market. We’re seeing rapid growth because we have the ability to turn projects fast at the highest quality.”

Since its start as a family-run business in the early 20th century, Brown has evolved into a solid full-service commercial printer with offset and digital press options. Over the past eight decades, the company has built its reputation on being a first-adopter of new technology.

“Ten years ago, we were a 20-inch two-color shop; our decision to move into a 40-inch press with UV as well as adding digital printing capabilities has made a huge positive impact for us,” says Murray. “We’re going to continue to invest in new technology. It allows us to be more competitive and produce higher quality work.”

Quality is one of the key mainstays of Brown’s success. Its customers note that Brown’s print output is exceptional and unmatched by any other printer. It was important to Murray to include the Koenig & Bauer’s QualiTronic ColorControl inline color measuring system on its new Rapida 106 to maintain its color expertise and enhanced color accuracy for its customers.

This unique system uses an inter-deck camera system integrated directly into the press. The control strips can be positioned either at the front or in the center of the sheet. This ensures that printing jobs maintain color integrity on all customer work and provide limitless printing applications.

“We are extremely impressed with the expert method that Koenig & Bauer builds its presses,” says Murray. “Our Rapida 106 is a strong, well built machine equipped with unique automation that allows us to produce more work more efficiently than ever before. We needed a new press that could accommodate our continued fast growth. The advanced technology on the Rapida 106 increases our company’s output capacity and has immediately delivered efficiency and cost savings. It’s no wonder that it has gained a reputation as the makeready and production output world champion in medium format.”

Its healthy mix of high-end commercial customers from the Pacific Northwest are drawn to the firm’s personable approach and convenient location near the famous Rose Garden in downtown Portland. Customer service is one of its strong distinctions amid the current competitive landscape as well as its specialty equipment and services that help clients with projects that require letterpress, foil stamping, embossing and its ability to offer custom ink mixes. The firm maximizes the value and beauty of each of its perfectly printed products with a variety of finishing techniques such as die-cutting, folding, gluing, and kiss cutting.

With a strong anchor in the commercial printing market, Brown Packaging has begun to diversify its services by adding packaging to its repertory.

To accommodate a variety of run lengths, Brown is utilizing the state-of-the-art automation modules, such as the DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed, on the Rapida 106 to quickly complete job changeovers and shorter production deadlines.

The fast run speeds of the Rapida 106 equate to less time on-press as well as shorter delivery times. Since its installation, the press has performed at optimum conditions and become Brown’s “go-to” press.

Brown Printing is a family-owned commercial printing company providing a complete range of services for clients large and small. The Portland business offers a full range of services—from simple one-color jobs to six-color inline printing with in-house foil stamp and die-cut. For nearly 80 years, it has gained a reputation for giving its clients personalized attention, professional knowledge, competitive pricing and timeliness. Using environmentally friendly practices, its goal is to provide its customers with a quality print job, no matter how large or complex.

KBA North America is located in Dallas, Texas and is a member of the Koenig & Bauer Group, which was established 200 years ago in Würzburg, Germany. The group’s product range includes sheetfed offset presses in all format classes, post press die-cutters, inkjet presses and systems, flexographic presses, commercial and newspaper web presses, corrugated presses, special presses for banknotes, securities, metal-decorating, smart cards, glass and plastic decorating. For more information visit the company’s web site at or contact Eric Frank
via e-mail at


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