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Big press for big industry makes Salt Lake City debut

Published June 20, 2013 7:53 am

Tech • KP Corp.'s $4 million marvel prints manuals for medical devices in life sciences sector.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

At a news conference Wednesday at KP Corp. in Salt Lake City, there were blue and silver balloons, banners that read "The Future is Here," and a catered reception afterward with grilled shish kabobs. Even Gov. Gary Herbert was there.

It was a lot of pomp and circumstance for the introduction of — a new printing press. A multimillion-dollar printing press

But this is no ordinary printer. The Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 is a 60-plus-ton machine that looks more like the HAL 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey" than a press.

It's designed to produce instruction manuals for medical devices such as catheters and medical imaging scanners with exact precision and no mistakes. After all, these are the kinds of manuals where you don't want a missing page or an error in the instructions.

The press can produce 15,000 sheets per hour, and KP Corp. says its Heidelberg Speedmaster is the only one of its kind in the U.S. It will be running 24 hours a day, five days a week.

To celebrate the introduction of the new press, KP Corp. donated $7,000 in scholarship money through Gov. Herbert to help students seeking degrees in the life sciences. That sector of the high-tech industry employs more than 23,200 people in the state and accounts for about 2 percent of non-agricultural employment, according to the Utah Technology Council, which represents the interests of 7,000 companies.

KP Corp., based in San Leandro, Calif., produces marketing solutions and document management for different product supply chains. The branch in Salt Lake City, which employs about 40, is focused on the life sciences industry and has clients that include GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare.

The company purchased the $4 million printing press from Heidelberg, a German company, to make sure that the material it prints for medical devices is compliant with the strict regulations set for such equipment.

"It's for a highly regulated industry," said KP CEO and President Joe Atturio. "The quality of those materials has to be beyond reproach. They have to be perfect."

The Heidelberg Speedmaster uses a sophisticated camera system that photographs both sides of each and every page as it goes through the printer. The press compares the original PDF digital file of each page to the printed pages to make sure they are as close as possible.

The press replaces two other units built in 1989 and 1993, said Glenn Ivers, who will run the machine. "It's a little more difficult to run than the others because of the technology. There's going to be a little bit of a learning curve."

vince@sltrib.com A press with some sizzle

Cost • $4 million

Weight • 60 tons, equivalent of the M1 Abrams tank, the main battle tank for the U.S. Army

Speed • 15,000 sheets per hour

Features • Compares original PDF digital file to printed page to make sure they are as close as possible