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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

1,000th large-format Rapida rolls into action

Monday, January 11, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

On 4 December the 1,000th large-format KBA Rapida to leave the production line was officially inaugurated by innovative German printer Druckhaus Berlin-Mitte (DBM) at a new plant in Wustermark. The press, a 7B (64-inch) Rapida 162a, is Berlin-based DBM's second big Rapida following an installation at its production plant in Grossbeeren.

The inauguration of the new facility and press line was attended by representatives of the Brandenburg Ministry for the Environment and the Wustermark parish council along with large numbers of customers and suppliers. After all, the inauguration of the 1,000th press from a globally popular series is hardly an everyday event. The capacity boost enables DBM to pump out 750,000 A4 pages per hour.

In his opening address sales manager Martin Lind noted that the decision in favour of the new Rapida 162a and the new location in Wustermark was made in what can only be described as an economically challenging environment. Machine manufacturers are not the only ones decrying a lack of investment; the print media industry is also battling with declining order volumes. However, Druckhaus Berlin-Mitte is well positioned as both new and existing customers become increasingly aware of its exemplary commitment to conservation. This major investment amidst an economic crisis underscores management's optimism regarding future growth based on a corporate policy of sustainability. Lind thanked all those who helped to set up the new production plant, including the building companies, suppliers, his own workforce and employees at alliance partner Panther-Display.
Catharine the Great
Appropriately enough, Druckhaus Berlin-Mitte assistant vice-president Ronald Krögler and KBA sales manager Michael Grieger unveiled a plaque naming the big press Katharina (Catherine). Specifically engineered to print packaging and microflute corrugated, the highly automated Rapida 162a five-colour coater press with extended delivery stands on a 630mm (24.85in) concrete base and can handle piles up to two metres (6ft 6in) high. Productivity-enhancing features include nonstop facilities at the feeder and delivery, automatic plate changing, Inkline ink pumping and Impact washing systems. LogoTronic Professional software networks the press with pre-press and DBM headquarters in Berlin city centre, while DensiTronic Professional spectral and densitometric colour measurement and control ensures a superb print quality.

The maiden print run with a high-speed job change was hosted by KBA sheetfed marketing manager Jürgen Veil with his customary aplomb. A world map on 135gram (36lb bond) paper was followed by a DIY Christmas tree on board. Among other things Veil took his audience through a fast, automatic and cost-saving change of coating plates. All the lubricants used in the Rapida 162a are non-toxic. The press is emissions tested and eco-accredited by the BG Druck and Papierverarbeitung (the industrial safety council for the printing and paper processing industry, equivalent to the HSE in UK and OSHA in US).

Outstanding environmental management
Green print production is one of Berlin-Mitte's primary corporate objectives, and the company has gained four environmental accreditations to date. Customers even have the option of climate-neutral print production (Climate Partner Process). 25 per cent of the materials consumed are FSC-certified, although at customers' requests just three per cent are designated as such. Like all DBM's other presses the Rapida 162a complies with ISO 12647-2:2004 for offset lithographic processes. Production equipment is already powered using renewable energy, and next year the company is switching to hydroelectric power for its entire operation in order to cut carbon emissions still further.

The inauguration closed with technical discussions and a tour of the manufacturing halls at alliance partner Panther-Display, where laminating and die-cutting lines are in operation.




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