KBA pioneers 6-wide newspaper presses
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
May 20, 2003 -- Next year two Swiss printing houses, Tamedia in Zurich and Espace Media Groupe in Bern, will take delivery of the first 6/2 Commanders to roll off KBA’s production line. The 22-tower newspaper presses, like all 6/2 versions, will be configured as 9-cylinder satellites (1) featuring Drivetronic (2) shaftless drives with dedicated AC motors (3). The short web paths in a 9-cylinder satellite support precise registration by eliminating the risk of fan-out, even with wide webs. KBA is patenting a string of new features to cut changeover times, manning, maintenance and waste while enhancing layout flexibility and print quality. Some have been incorporated in other new presses such as the Cortina and 4/1 Prisma. The printing units on the 6/2 Commander have narrow, continuous lock-up slots, so the six plates can be mounted simultaneously side by side and there is no time wasted repositioning the cylinder for staggered plating-up. With the new pneumatic plate clamps (4) all the operator has to do is insert the front edge of each plate in the slot and press a button: the plates are mounted and clamped automatically and supported by a new design of trolley (5), with no need for tools. This saves a lot of time and effort when printing a number of different editions. The blanket cylinders on the 6/2 Commander accept three metal-backed blanket plates (6), one of them staggered. The vibration and streaking often associated with wide cylinders is eliminated by a new type of plate clamp in conjunction with minigaps and the metal blankets KBA first fitted on its heatset presses in the mid-nineties. Pneumatic blanket locks with clamps, tension springs and air hoses (7) support quick and easy blanket changes, also without tools. Well-proven in heatset, the blankets are available from a number of suppliers. As an option, the roller locks on the 6/2 Commander can be set remotely to prespecified values by push-button from the console. The roller bearings are set automatically relative to the ink drum and plate cylinder, and the rollers thrown on and off, via a new patented system comprising four membrane pressure chambers (8) (9). Once set, the roller bearings are locked in place by radially adjustable segmented rings (10) and the membrane pressure chambers vented, which fixes the roller settings. This space- and energy-saving mechanism reduces time-consuming maintenance work and promotes a better print quality. The superstructure of the new 6/2 Commander also incorporates a lot of new features for enhancing flexibility. These include a turner-bar system which allows quarter- or half-webs to be transferred to a different former and the ribbons from these to be allocated to two adjacent formers (11). So the number of pages in the individual signatures, and thus the signature structure itself, can be changed at speed according to copy specifications. The result is lower costs and greater reliability because there is no need to feed in and print half-webs. The folder superstructure can be configured as three adjacent or six balloon formers. The split-level arrangement affords greater flexibility in signature pagination and layout. To save space, only one of two stacked formers has a harp (12), usually with non-driven idling rollers, but webs can be transferred from the harp to the other former. Two stacked formers can accept ribbons of different widths, or different numbers of quarter- and half-webs.