Following the pre-Drupa announcement of major KBA installations in India with Parksons purchasing two Rapida 105 6-colour plus coater full UV presses for its plants in Chakan and Rudrapur; while ITC’s Packaging Division picking up a Rapida 106 8-colour plus coater full UV press for its Chennai plant, KBA announced a raft of digital and offset launches at Drupa.
The pre-Drupa event at its Radebeul facility in March intimated us about what was to be expected at KBA's 3,500 sq/metre stand in hall 16. According to Aditya Surana of Indo Polygraph who represent KBA sheetfed presses in India, the kit at the stall include a litho press with integrated inkjet printing device, new web offset newspaper and packaging presses, and an inkjet web press, the KBA RotaJET 76. For Indian visitors, the presses to watch out are in the B2 to large format segment. Touted as "the biggest litho press at Drupa" is the six-colour Rapida 145 with coater and automated pile logistics, "the longest" is the Rapida 106 with twelve printing, coating and drying units for four-colour perfect printing and coating, and "the newest and most advanced B2 (29in) press" is the five-colour Rapida 76 with dedicated plate-cylinder drives, no-sidelay infeed and an array of other features adopted from the Rapida 106. In the backdrop of the news of the Rapida 105s being installed at ITC and Parksons, it is a special attraction for India. KBA has unveiled a new-generation B1 (41in) press, the Rapida 105, whose overhead delivery instantly revealed its similarity to the high-end Rapida 106 and KBA’s adoption of the platform concept common in the automotive industry. The Rapida 105 is offered with a much broader range of automation options than was its predecessor, and is now also available as a perfecting version for four-backing-four. The new version ha sraised the maximum production speed to 17,000sph, compared to 16,000sph for the standard version. What makes the press innovative is, its inkjet inking unit which has two integrated Atlantic Zeiser Delta 105iUV systems and a UV LED dryer for personalised imprinting and coding. An innovative vacuum cylinder (AirTronic Drum) with countersunk grippers ensured that the sheets were positioned correctly under the inkjet heads. This option, which dispenses with the need for mechanical sheet guides and print-free corridors, is unique to the Rapida 105 and 106. By preventing the rear edge from lifting it allows the inkjet system to be installed at a distance of just 1mm (0.04in) from the sheet. Claus Bolza-Schünemann, the KBA president and CEO said, "We aim to shape print’s future through innovation. ‘Digital joins offset’ is a core message on the KBA stand. Our entry into digital print does not signal our exit from sheetfed or web offset, but is the only way we can offer customers impartial advice on the best press for their needs. The ongoing consolidation in the sector will enable us to exploit our specific strengths to boost our market standing still further.” Claus Bolza-Schünemann spoke of the RotaJet 76. This press is, a high-volume digital web press built in KBA’s Wurzburg factory. It has a maximum web speed of 150 metres (500ft) per minute, a 781mm (30.7in) wide web and can output up to 3,000 four-colour A4 pages per minute (85 million per month) with inkjet quality. According to technical spokesman, Oliver Baar at the KBA stall, the RotaJet targets the book, brochure, commercial, direct mail and magazine sectors, with packaging and newspapers to follow. Transaction printing is of less interest because the medium-term prospects are uncertain and there are already plenty of vendors. In addition to the high print quality the press delivers Oliver Baar pointed out that "its more robust and compact design compared to similar presses, its reliability, intelligent web lead and thus good registration, one-man operation and its ability to deliver saleable copies even during start-up and run-down can deliver perceptible bottom-line benefits". The two arrays of 56 printing heads that arch over the two large central impression cylinders can be moved aside for cleaning and maintenance purposes. The printheads are automatically aligned (or “stitched”, since the configuration resembles back-stitching) and cleaned. The system has a native print resolution of 600dpi. The ability to vary droplet size is an additional quality bonus. Internal systems communications and the integration of third-party systems are JDF-enabled.
This News article appeared in the 18 May 2012, Vol V Issue 1 issue of PrintWeek India Magazine
10 May 2013, Vol VI Issue 1
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