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High Quality Packaging Printer Dramatically Increases Throughput With KBA Rapida 130a 51-Inch Sheetfed Press

Monday, May 15, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

KBA North America, a leading supplier of sheetfed offset and digital presses based in Williston, VT, has announced that McCowat-Mercer Packaging, Inc., a large high-quality packaging printer based in Jackson, Tennessee, has dramatically increased its throughput by connecting its new computer-to-plate system to its new highly-automated KBA Rapida 130a 51-inch six-color sheetfed press. “The driving force behind purchasing the new KBA 51-inch press was the installation of our new Creo digital prepress system,” says Jon Butler, vice president and plant manager of McCowat-Mercer. “We wanted to take full advantage of the faster throughput from prepress to press. Twenty years ago, we used to get six weeks to turnaround a job. Today, we’re lucky if we get two weeks. The new KBA Rapida 130a is a very sophisticated, automated machine that allows us to take a 5,000 to 50,000 run length job and get it back to the customer quickly. In our line of work---short- to medium-run high quality packaging---makeready is critical. We rerun lots of jobs with more sophisticated designs and more parameters; with the Rapida press, we can keep all of that data in memory to recall quickly when we need to reprint the job.” New press provides a surprise Since the firm has had a long-term relationship with KBA, having owned four previous sheetfed presses, management was quite familiar with KBA’s press design and high-quality output. But nothing prepared them for the surprise when they received their new press. “We’re aware of KBA’s unique method of building presses,” says Butler. “We know that they build the press in Germany to our specifications, dismantle the press, ship it to the US, and re-assemble it at our facility. When the new Rapida 130a arrived at our facility, it was re-assembled by KBA’s team of engineers. What they weren’t expecting and is not supposed to happen was that the test plates used in Germany were still on the press, having made the trip half-way around the world in all sorts of weather conditions. Instead of taking the test plates off, we re-inked them and gave them a try. Five units were in perfect register and one unit had one dot off! It was a true testament to KBA’s high-quality design and register!” Two presses running in tandem The new Rapida 130a, installed in December 2005 and running live jobs by mid-January 2006, runs in tandem with a sister Rapida 105 41-inch six-color double coater sheetfed press. The two presses are operated on two 10-hour shifts four days a week with overtime work completed on Friday. Most of the firm’s work is printed on boxboard, from SPSS to carrier code substrates. But, says Butler, customers may send jobs to be printed on foil or any other type of substrate. The Rapida 130a is equipped with KBA’s unique Logotronic management system and KBA’s Densitronic S system. The KBA Logotronic system guarantees multi-system digital data communication. The company-wide data exchange between the printing company management system, Logotronic professional, MIS or trade software and prepress is carried out by means of a JDF interface. Once the plates have been made the CIP3 data are automatically assigned to the job via the hot folder. The CIP3 files are also converted into preset data for the press. When a job is rescheduled to another press the preset data are automatically recalculated for that press. This ensures that the latest job data, including preset data, is always available at the control console. KBA’s Densitronic S is a combined density and color measuring system for quality control during printing. Unlike any other system available on the market, Densitronic S also permits direct measurements within the image. Deviations from defined target densities, color values and other quality parameters (dot gain, trapping, etc.) are recognized and displayed not only reliably, but also immediately in comparison to hand-held measuring devices. With integration for online control, the density and spectral deviations are converted into corrective adjustments for the individual ink keys. The Densitronic S controls the density and spectral parameters of each sheet by measuring along control strips or directly on the image.




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