Ralf Sammeck, CEO of KBA-Sheetfed and member of the executive board of Koenig & Bauer AG, welcomed the guests, during which he spotlighted both the group’s new brand image and the future visions of Koenig & Bauer. Sascha Fischer, head of product management, then spoke in more detail about the further development of innovative solutions for an increasingly automated printing process.
That already begins with a new generation of plate changers with significantly reduced change times in half, medium and large formats, alongside the ability to load plates without prior bending of the rear edges. LED-UV dryers for Rapida sheetfed offset presses are now manufactured by KBA-Sheetfed itself.
During the subsequent practical session, Dirk Winkler, head of print technology, demonstrated the printing of labels and folding cartons on a six-color Rapida 106 coater press with reel sheeter and a Vinfoil Micro cold foil module. The focus of his presentations was placed on the benefits of low-migration LED-UV production, the simple flexibility to incorporate cold foil application, and high-speed production at 20,000 sheets per hour both on reel-fed IML film and on cardboard and self-adhesive label substrates from a pile.
On two eight-color perfector presses for 4-over-4 production with subsequent coating, Winkler and Fischer provided proof of the performance capabilities of the Rapida technology in commercial printing with conventional and LED-UV inks. The conventional press ran six sections of the latest customer magazine Koenig & Bauer Report, with fully automatic management of the entire job sequence by ErgoTronic AutoRun. As soon as the defined run length was reached – in this case 500 sheets – the next makeready process began automatically. PrintCheck and PDFCheck provided for continuous quality monitoring.
The LED-UV press produced six sections of the new Koenig & Bauer image brochure and, to conclude, a pencil box on folding carton board. Here, too, job changes were initiated automatically once the run length was reached, and the press subsequently returned to production without manual intervention. It was only the necessary substrate change for the last job that required manual intervention on the part of the operator.
Under the claim “Ready for the next step”, Mario Gerber, senior sales manager for postpress solutions, introduced the rotary die-cutter Rapida RDC 106 as a “game-changer for the die-cutting process.” He explained the design features which are shared with a Rapida printing press and the various process steps which can be implemented in the individual towers. The machines offer cutting outputs of up to 15,000 sheets per hour, depending on the substrate and the required contours, and can thus match the speed of a modern sheetfed-offset press. Productivity is increased by up to 300% for label applications, and folding carton producers can achieve a 65% increase in efficiency.
The single-unit Rapida RDC 106 rounded off the day by processing the in mould and self-adhesive labels which had been printed on the six-color Rapida 106 with coater and cold foil module. Despite the tricky job change from classic die-cutting to kiss-cutting, the machine was back in production in next to no time. As the final highlight of the show, the Rapida RDC 106 then ran the self-adhesive label production at the world record speed of 17,000 sheets per hour.