KBA driving technology, workflows and processes at drupa

KBA says innovations in sheetfed and web press engineering, workflow integration, production networking and process technology reflect the group’s undiminished optimism in the future of print and point the way out of the current crisis. To assist navigation, KBA’s 3500sqm stand in hall 16 will be divided into centres dedicated variously to prepress, sheetfed, gravure, newspaper and commercial web offset.

Four years ago at drupa 2000, the spotlight was on KBA’s digitally integrated B2 offset press, the 74 Karat, and revolutionary mini newspaper press, the Cortina. At drupa 2004, the group will 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 benefits.

The KBA stand in will feature a “short-run factory” comprising a 46 Karat SRA3 waterless press with conventional inking and two waterless, keyless presses: a B3 Genius 52 five colour, and a B2 74 Karat with integrated coater, both with their associated peripherals. These include a Creo’s Lotem 200K platesetter and Veris proofing system for the Genius, and a Brisque/Oris workflow for the Karat. New applications for the 74 Karat, developed in collaboration with HumanEyes Technologies, include 3-D photographic printing on plastic and foil using oxidative inks.

A UV version of the Genius 52 can be seen on the Metronic stand in printing smart cards on 0.6mm PVC film and other plastic products. A new addition to the KBA group, Metronic handles the development and sales of the Genius 52 for plastic printing applications and will also be showcasing its universal ID system, UniverSYS, in which inkjet can be custom-integrated with other processes such as hot stamping to support personalisation.

Two other pioneers of waterless offset, Japanese plate manufacturer Toray and its German distributor Ernst Marks in Mühlheim (Marks-3zet), will run demos on KBA presses in a waterless competence centre on the Marks-3zet stand in hall 3.

The Cortina waterless newspaper press, will not be displayed in Düsseldorf due to lack of space. However, the beta press in Offenburg, which now features automatic plate changing and minigaps on the blanket cylinders, can be seen in action by prior arrangement with KBA.

KBA will also be exhibiting a five-colour coater version of its revamped Rapida 74 with delivery extension. Abutting this will be a new-generation B1 Rapida 105 six colour with coater and plinth for printing packaging. Representing KBA’s large-format presses, a six-colour version of the size 7 Rapida 162, also with coater and delivery extension, will be put through its paces printing on a variety of substrates.

Carrying the flag for the current generation of B1 KBA presses, the first of which came on the market in 1998, will be a six-colour coater press with a hybrid inking/coating capability. During drupa, KBA is also arranging for prospective buyers to see a production run on the world’s first 14-unit Rapida 105 press line for five-colour perfecting and coating at Meinke Druck in Neuss, near Düsseldorf.

Visitors can also visit a production site of its new size 9 Rapida 205. A four-unit version with perforator and automatic plate changers will be on display at teNeues in Kempen, 60km from Düsseldorf.

KBA will also show its new Rapida 105. KBA says the new press can be instantly recognised by its high-line delivery extension which, coupled with a new cylinder geometry, supports an even flatter sheet run and an unparalleled output of 18,000sph in straight printing or 15,000sph in perfecting. The press incorporates a number of new features that farsighted print operators have been hankering after. These include electrically operated frontlay adjustment at the infeed, with optional sidelay-free infeed – a world first.

Since KBA launched its large-format Rapidas at drupa 1995 it has shipped a grand total of 600 presses with more than 3000 printing units, some configured as multi-unit press lines with one or more types of coater, UV capabilities and perfecting facilities for up to four over four. At drupa, KBA will show even bigger, more powerful presses. It has raised the speed of its size 6 Rapida 142 to 15,000 sheets per hour, the same as the size 5 Rapida 130, and that of its size 7 Rapida 162 to 14,000sph. The new Rapida 162a now runs at 13,000 1200x1620mm sheets per hour. Optional extras, such as a package for printing on lightweight stock, simultaneous blanket and roller washing, an ICS pre-delivery sheet slitter etc, expand the range of applications and ease operator workload.

Heatset printers at drupa will have the chance to eye up KBA’s new 70,000cph 16pp press, the Compacta 217, which features a high level of automation (plate changing, press preset) to minimise makeready and start-up. The press exhibited, which will be embedded in the JDF workflow as will all of KBA’s presses, will be configured with a Pastostar reelstand, KBA infeed unit, five double printing units (one of them functioning as an imprinter for face and back imprinting), Vits Rotoline heatset dryer and KBA’s new P5 pin folder. The Compacta 217 will print a 20pp flyer on two different types of stock and in different language versions, for finishing on the Müller Martini stand.

KBA’s waterless Cortina press, huge 6/2 Commander newspaper presses, TR12B rotogravure press and Corrugraph sheetfed flexo press will not be exhibited at drupa, however there will be video shows, a TR console and plenty of information available. In addition to the Cortina tour KBA is organising trips to see the new 4/2 Commander press line with integrated reel logistics at Pressehaus in Stuttgart, the world’s first 6/2 Commander at Tamedia in Zurich and the new 4/1 Prisma in the assembly hall in Würzburg.

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