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drupa: KBA Preview

March 27, 2012
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KBA, now self-described as the second-largest printing press manufacturer,  revealed what it will be demonstrating at drupa in May. Under the theme of "sprinting ahead," the company plans to launch several new products and upgrades, including a new 30.70-inch inkjet web press.

Called the RotaJET 76, the Würzburg-built machine features a production speed of 3,000 A4 pages per minute, or 85 million pages per month. It employs water-based pigment inks out of its two arrays of 56 inkjet heads each (a total of 112 piezo inkjet heads) and prints at a native resolution of 600-dpi. According to KBA, the machine is designed to produce four-colour books, brochures, commercial products, mailings and magazines.

According to KBA, the RotaJET is able to produce good copies even during its start-up phase. At drupa, it will be shown connected to Muller Martini's SigmaLine system, which allows it to produce hardcover and softcover books, as well as a variety of stitched products.

KBA will also be showing a new addition to its Rapida line, the Rapida 145. It is a large-format (41.34 x 57 inches) press which prints at speeds of up to 17,000 sheets per hour (15,000 sheets per hour in perfecting mode). At drupa, it will be shown in a six-colour plus coater configuration and include sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS and DriveTronic SPC for simultaneous plate changing. KBA attributes the fast speed of the press to its latest generation AirTronic delivery.

The company will also show the Rapida 105 with an inkjet printing system, which made its debut at the All in Print China fair last November. Based on the same platform as the Rapida 106, the 105 will feature KBA's new high-speed package, raising the production speed to 17,00 sheets per hour. At drupa, it will be shown as a hybrid offset/inkjet version, which sees the addition of an inkjet unit with two Delta 105iUV printing systems from Atlantic Zeiser. This allows for personalization options for pieces produced using a primarily offset process. The company claims it is a unique offering in the marketplace.

The Rapida 106, first introduced at drupa 2008, will also see a speed increase through an optional package, bringing the speed up to 20,000 sheets per hour (18,000 sph in perfecting mode). It will be shown in a 12-unit configuration to show four-colour print and inline coating for both sides of the sheet.

On the commercial web offset front, KBA will show off improvements to its C16 and Commander CL products to cut down on time between jobs.

KBA will also show off the new Varius 80, a variable-format (21 to 34 inches) web offset press that implements the same waterless technology as the Genius, aimed at the flexible packaging market. KBA claims the Varius produces market-ready print in as little as 100 metres of print, a savings of 80 percent compared to traditional flexo presses. Its plates are also less expensive than flexo sleeves.

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