South Carolina-based Protective Packaging increases capacity by investing in KBA Rapida 106 six-color, 41-inch press, which will be delivered in summer 2022; Protective Packaging produces custom-printed boxes for food, automotive industries in Southeast

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April 6, 2022 (press release) –

  • New 41-inch flagship press will be delivered in summer 2022 to Lugoff, SC
  • Six years of investment generates doubled sales in four years
  • Producing custom printed boxes for a mix of Southeast industries including food and automotive 
(Left to right) The team at Protective Packaging looks forward to their second Koenig & Bauer Rapida press: Jenny Curran, CFO; Jonah Locklear, head Koenig & Bauer pressman; Ashlee Huttenlocker, CSR; Tom Price, president; Allison Price, CSR; and James Moss, VP of operations

In the past six years, even as the market has faced some very challenging times, Protective Packaging has not just grown but thrived. This Lugoff, SC custom packaging printer, headquartered outside of Columbia, has seen its large investment in new equipment increase its capacity and propel the 80-employee firm to double its sales in four years. This summer the firm will welcome the delivery of a special key piece of equipment—a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 six-color 41-inch press, one of the first new innovative models in the U.S. 

“Ever since I founded the company in 1987, I believe in continually reinvesting in new technology,” says Tom Price, president of Protective Packaging Inc. “Our loyal customers are the recipients of these technological investments, gaining faster, higher quality, more efficient throughput. When our new state-of-the-art Rapida 106 arrives, it will represent a highpoint for our business, giving us the fastest speeds to ensure fast delivery to our customers.”

With its laser focus on its mix of packaging clientele in the Southeast region, Protective Packaging specializes on run lengths between 15,000 to 50,000 but, due to its strength in customer service and the press’ ultrashort makeready times, the firm will produce work with no minimums. Common customized box styles include reverse-tuck end, straight-tuck end, sleeves, auto-bottom tuck top, seal end, simplex, Klik lock, four-point in-fold, six-point in-fold, and windowed carton. 

As the firm continued to grow, Price added 70,000 sq ft in 2016 to his original 60,000 sq ft so that currently his firm operates at a 130,000 sq ft facility. A new room is being built specially for the Rapida 106 where it will share the workload with Protective’s current 2019 Koenig & Bauer sheetfed press. The firm is looking forward to the Koenig & Bauer enhanced color control system, which will automatically provide operators with measurement as well as intricate and detailed report systems. It is also being delivered with a custom raised kit to support faster net sheets on the floor through continuous running of the press. 

“We’re proud of our loyal customer base,” says Price. “I always say ‘prospects are silver, and customers are gold.’ Our customers depend on us to deliver the highest quality folding cartons with ultra-short delivery times. When we needed a new press, it was an easy decision to call Sam Creel, our sales manager and trusted advisor, to partner with Koenig & Bauer.” 

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