Innovation the drupa key for KBA

Some presses, such as the B3 Genius 52 and the size 9 (80”) Rapida 205, which is the biggest sheetfed press format in the world, are already on the market. Others will be unveiled at a pre-Drupa open house in Radebeul from March 23 to 26.

KBA says that in line with its aim to make life easier for our customers by increasing production speeds, enhancing automation and cutting makeready times, it will also be running live demos of its new 16pp commercial heatset press, the Compacta 217. And for newspaper, publication rotogravure and corrugated packaging printers it will be promoting the Cortina, a waterless minitower press that it says is selling well; and its TR 12B, which can handle a web 4.32m (170”) wide. Also being promoted will be the new sheetfed flexo press, the Corrugraph.

KBA to underscore technological lead in waterless offset

KBA is using drupa 2004 to highlight its waterless credentials, as well as launch new products. The company has long been a market leader and driver of innovation in keyless inking for both sheetfed and web presses. At drupa 1990 it exhibited a 12m (39’) high Anilox-Commander tower and followed this up at drupa 1995 with an Anilox-Express featuring automatic plate changing and a Scitex inkjet imprinter for keyless colour newspaper production in conventional offset with dampening.

At drupa 2000 KBA laid claim to the pole position in waterless offset with demos of much smaller presses. The company says an intelligent combination of keyless and waterless technology in the 74 Karat B2 DI offset press and the much-acclaimed Cortina compact newspaper press has achieved a higher level of process standardisation and a reliably predictable print quality faster than many had thought possible.

At drupa 2004 KBA is teaming up with suppliers on two other stands to focus on short-run production in SRA3 to B2, where the low volume of waste generated by waterless and keyless offset systems can deliver substantial economic and technical benefits.

Waterless trio in “short-run factory”

One of the many attractions on KBA’s 3,500sqm exhibition stand in hall 16 will be a “short-run factory” demonstrating the speed, versatility and quality possible in waterless offset with new inking technology.

The “factory” comprises a 74 Karat with Gravuflow inking units and integrated coater, a B3 Genius 52 five-colour for printing on paper and board, and the corresponding peripherals (a Creo Lotem 200V platesetter and Varis proofing system for the Genius, a Brisque/ORIS workflow for the 74 Karat). New applications for the 74 Karat include printing on plastic and metal foil using oxidative inks.

A 46 Karat SRA3 waterless offset press, which unlike the 74 Karat and Genius 52 features conventional inking units, will also be running in the factory.

UV version of Genius 52 at new KBA subsidiary Metronic

A five-colour UV version of the Genius 52 for printing plastic and board will be displayed on the Metronic stand in hall 11. Metronic, a new addition to the KBA group, handles the development and sales of the Genius 52 for plastic printing applications, while KBA’s Radebeul facility manufactures and sells the paper and board version which runs oxidative inks.

The drupa debut of the Genius 52 UV press will not be the only premiere on the stand at drupa: the show will also see the world premiere of a B2 waterless offset press featuring the keyless inking system incorporated in the 74 Karat.

Developed at KBA’s Radebeul facility, KBA says the Rapida 74G (G = Gravuflow) achieves the same low level of start-up waste (10 sheets maximum) and delivers the same superior print quality as the 74 Karat, but with just one doctoring system, one screen roller and one forme roller.

The press unveiled in Düsseldorf will be a four-colour version with coater and delivery extension. Alongside a sophisticated temperature control system the G version of the Rapida 74 boasts the same features (automatic plate change, remote format and register control, JDF workflow integration etc) as its stablemate, the Rapida 74, which has conventional roller-type inking units.

Customised configurations for costly substrates

Unlike the 74 Karat DI, which is engineered for a maximum of four colours plus inline coating, the Rapida 74 G is a unit-type press which can be configured with up to 10 printing units plus perfectors, coaters and other inline finishing options. The first presses to roll off the production line have already been sold to a short-run packaging printer in Sweden.

The innovative design of the Rapida 74 G primarily targets print operations specialising in short-run production in more than four colours on costly substrates (aluminium-coated paper, film, foil etc) or already operating computer-to-plate and unwilling to add a computer-to-press system such as the 74 Karat. The Rapida 74 G further proof of KBA’s standing as a mover and shaker in sheetfed offset.

Cortina will not be shown at drupa

Meanwhile, KBA says its new waterless Cortina newspaper web press which caused a minor sensation at drupa 2000 will not be on display at drupa in Düsseldorf, due to lack of space.

The Cortina has been selling well over the past few months with Rodi Rotatiedruk (Holland), Freiburger Druck (Germany) and Persgroep (Belgium) investing in the new technology.

However, KBA is planning to offer potential users of the press a chance to see the prototype in action in Offenburg, complete with retrofit automatic plate changing and minigaps on the blanket cylinders.

KBA is also planning to hold an open house in Offenburg to promote the new water-washable inks (Shark W) developed by Sun Chemical for the Cortina as a tool for enhancing coldset ecology and quality, along with cost efficiency.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.