The dynamic Southeast Asian region is a growth market for Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA). At present packaging presses, in particular, are popular in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and various other countries. In this continually expanding market sector KBA has long since established a strong presence with its medium- and large-format Rapida offset presses for printing folding cartons.
Asian printers are snapping up KBA's new B1 (41in) Rapida 105, which is based on the same technological platform as the high-tech Rapida 106 and was unveiled in November 2011 at the All-in-Print trade fair in Shanghai. Its practical level of automation, ability to handle an extensive range of substrates and high production output of up to 16,500sph (with speed-enhancement package) make the Rapida 105 the most advanced press of its class. But printers in the region are also buying the Rapida 106 world makeready champion, half-format and large-format Rapidas.
Thailand: packaging printers invest in Rapidas
In spring this year packaging and folding-carton manufacturer F4 Kyoshin Proprint in Khlong Luang, north of Bangkok, became one of the numerous Rapida 105 users in Thailand. The configuration it chose was for six colours with a coater, a CX board-handling capability, nonstop facilities at the feeder and delivery, and a maximum rated speed of 16,500sph.
Another new Rapida user, The War Veterans Printer in Bangkok, recently took delivery of a four-colour version of the Rapida 105. Established in 1948, the company is owned by The War Veterans Organization of Thailand, whose patron is the King. It has around 50 employees and mainly prints commercials, most of them for state institutions.
The first new-generation large-format Rapida 145 in Thailand was installed in August at Sahakij Packaging in Bangkhunthian, south of Bangkok. The six-colour coater press with extended delivery and hybrid capability for alternate conventional and UV inks is mounted on a 420mm (16.53in) plinth and has an automated nonstop facility at the feeder plus a height-adjustable nonstop roller in the delivery.
At the beginning of next year Continental Packaging in Bangkok will receive its second seven-colour Rapida 105 coater press. The company, which was founded in 1946 and now employs around 1,000 staff, processes 10,000 tonnes (11,000 US tons) of board and paper per year. Its biggest product lines are food packaging, labels and wrappers.
Vietnam: Rapida technology for packaging and books
KAF Investment and Business in Hanoi, north Vietnam, will be the proud recipient this autumn of a four-colour Rapida 75. At about the same time a Rapida 105 with seven printing units and a coater will go to Starprint Vietnam in Bien Hoa City. Since starting up in 2001 this packaging specialist and leading producer of children's books has worked with three medium-format presses from other vendors. In 2004 the ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 accredited company opened a publishing and sales office in Thailand.
A four-colour Rapida 105 with board-handling capability is heading this autumn for Hanoi-based Woman Publishing House, a printing and publishing house which specialises in women's titles and international publications.
Malaysia and Singapore: growing KBA markets
Printers in Malaysia are also opting for cutting-edge KBA press technology. A four-colour Rapida 105 with coater has been bought by xprint in Seri Kembangan, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. The company was set up in 2005 as an online provider of offset and digital print and since then has received a string of awards including the Enterprise 50 Award in 2010, the Golden Bull Award several times and the Konica Minolta Production Print Award. At present the company runs three offset presses from European and Asian manufacturers plus Konica Minolta digital printing systems. Alcohol-free print production, total environmental management, certification to ISO 14001:2004 and a product palette conforming to rigorous in-house ecostandards reflect xprint's focus on green processes.
Tung Lim in Selangor has chosen a new six-colour Rapida 105 with coater and board-handling capabilities. Shipping is scheduled for October. A five-colour Rapida 105 universal coater press has been in operation at Tung Lim since 2007, and it was joined by a six-colour Rapida 74 with coater and extended delivery in 2009. Back in the spring a six-colour Rapida 105 coater press went to another Selangor-based company, Eastern Press. Features include a CX package for board, a nonstop facility at the feeder and a height-adjustable nonstop roller in the delivery.
After firing up a highly automated Rapida 142 a few months ago Tien Wah Press, a print provider in Johor Bahru with a high reputation throughout Asia and beyond, signed up for a Rapida 106 with ten printing units, a coater and a perfecting unit for five-backing-five.
Image Printers in Singapore has been in the print business for 27 years and its customer base extends beyond the region to Australia, the USA, Mauritius and the UK. It prints commercials such as business reports, diaries, illustrated volumes and products for the tourist industry on five B2 and B1 sheetfed offset presses. The most recent addition is a five-colour Rapida 105 universal. But it won't be the only one for long: Image Printers will take delivery of a four-colour version of the Rapida 105 in December.