Amcor Tobacco Packaging Orders 19-unit KBA Rapida 106
Friday, April 20, 2012
Amcor Tobacco Packaging in Rickenbach, Switzerland, the innovation centre of one of the world's leading tobacco packaging enterprise, has placed an order with Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) for a sheetfed offset press which in its final configuration of 19 printing and finishing units will be unique in the global marketplace. Following installation at the end of August the high-tech Rapida 106 will be around 35m (114ft) long and have a first coater, two dryers, ten printing units, a second coater, two more dryers, a third coater and two more units with inert UV curing technology. It will even include an inline cold-foil finishing capability.
In recent years Amcor and KBA's Swiss subsidiary Print Assist have worked together to find ways of optimising the technology and processes involved in printing high-quality cigarette packs. Their aim has been to print even exceptionally complex jobs and short runs faster while maximising short run flexibility. According to Amcor's technical staff and management, it was KBA's flexibility and innovative prowess that persuaded them to entrust the group with this challenging project.
A string of Rapidas have already found homes in the highly discerning Swiss printing market. When they are joined by the new 19-unit installation this will represent yet another record for KBA's Rapida 106. Already the world makeready champion it will then also be the world's longest B1 (41in) press. The contract from Amcor is one of the biggest that KBA's sheetfed offset division will book this year.
With 33,000 employees and more than 300 plants in 42 countries, Amcor is one of the leading packaging producers. Installing cutting-edge, powerful technology like the Rapida 106, which represents a landmark in the sector, places Amcor in an ideal position to sustain this growth and offer their customers unrivalled innovative potential on an ongoing basis.
In addition to optimising the production sequence the Rapida 106 at Amcor will enable a new job to be made ready while the current job is still running at maximum speed. The ultra-short set-up times thus achieved mean that even short runs entailing complex finishing can be printed efficiently inline. Some of the features that make this possible by virtually eliminating changeover times are disengageable inking units, DriveTronic SPC dedicated plate-cylinder drives and, in the coater, DriveTronic SFC simultaneous forme change and Anilox-Loader automatic anilox roller change. Mounted on a 450mm (17.7in) plinth, the record-breaking Rapida will also be equipped with a board-handling capability and a Vinfoil Infigo SF110-GF device for cold foil. Other features will include automatic nonstop systems at the feeder and delivery, integration in an automated pile-logistics system, CleanTronic Synchro for simultaneous washing during changes of ink (conventional/UV) and KBA VariDry IR, UV and thermal dryers. QualiTronic Professional inline colour control will inspect the sheets and tag faulty images.
As is common with such complex configurations, the contract was signed only after exhaustive print tests had been carried out. “We are looking forward to installing this high-end industrial press line which for our company heralds a new era in packaging printing and gives us a major competitive edge in the market,” enthuses Jerzy Czubak, Amcor Tobacco Packaging's COO and vice-president of its European operation. Peter J Rickenmann, managing director of Print Assist, says: “I am delighted to be working with Amcor on this groundbreaking project, which has caused something of a sensation in the industry. Our mutual trust and confidence is a sound basis for the future.” KBA sales director Sascha Fischer adds: “Our association with Amcor started in Australia in 2007. It is being continued with a technological milestone in Europe that the sector has never seen before.” Amcor Cartons in West Heidelberg, a suburb of Melbourne, operates a Rapida 142 with six printing units, a coater and extended delivery. Two years ago it was joined by a seven-colour Rapida 106 with DriveTronic SIS no-sidelay infeed, a board-handling package, automatic plate changing and a coater. Amcor also has a six-colour Rapida 105 with inline finishing capabilities in Auckland, New Zealand.