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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

KBA: Super Large Format Sheetfed (SLF) Presses Start Printing

Monday, November 24, 2003

Press release from the issuing company

November 24, 2003 -- The biggest SLF offset press on the international market entered the final phase of production at the beginning of November with the successful conclusion of sheet-run trials at KBA’s factory near Dresden, Germany. Following exhaustive print tests and the completion of other work, the first press will roll off the assembly line and will be delivered to nearby poster printer Ellerhold, one of the world’s leading large format printers, at the end of January. Pumping up performance in SLF KBA has created two totally new models: the Rapida185 72¾” and the Rapida 205 80¾”, both of which Ellerhold has ordered as four-color coater versions with dryers. The two press types fill a technology gap in a sector that has seen few advances since the sixties and seventies. The sophisticated level of automation they offer (plate changing, press presetting and adjustment) will be a big boon for poster and display printers looking to enhance their productivity and cost-efficiency in a sector where short runs dominate. The cut in makeready times is as substantial as the increase in output compared to other presses of this size: the Rapida 185 pumps out 11,000 sheets per hour while the Rapida 205 produces 9,000 sph. The 205’s image and plate size can be aligned with existing technology, i.e. maximum platesetter format etc. Heavy duty engineering, sophisticated technology KBA’s new SLF presses, like all Rapidas, are mounted on solid substructures cast in one piece to promote an optimum print quality. Torsionally rigid ink ducts eliminate color fluctuations, even across the Rapida 205’s record width of 2,050mm. Other features include KBA’s unique four-drive shaftless feeder for a smooth, jerk-free pile movement, a multiple washing system for the plate, blanket and impression cylinders (including a wash and print function for UV presses), an anilox coater and an Ergotronic console with remote maintenance function, digital data communication and networking option.The new SLF presses also incorporate a few surprise features that will be unveiled at Drupa 2004 and with which KBA is aiming to consolidate its position as market and technology leader. Not just for posters and displays SLF presses are not limited to posters and displays but are just as suitable for books and packaging, as initial orders demonstrate. The Rapida 205 for Ellerhold will print giant packaging alongside posters and displays, though the Rapida 185 for its plant in Zirndorf will initially be confined to posters. In November 2004 a Rapida 205 six-color coater will ship to Challenge Printing, a US packaging printer with 400 employees on the outskirts of Minneapolis. Other SLF orders include a four-color Rapida 205 for Te Neues in Kempen, Germany, a five color for JCM Schlieren in Switzerland, two presses for southern Europe and one more for the USA.




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