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New KBA Rapida 106 in operation at CARTONIC Packaging Group

Friday, April 25, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

At the beginning of 2014 the CARTONIC Packaging Group flipped the switch on a new plinth-mounted seven-colour Rapida 106 with two coaters at its site in Emskirchen, Germany.

The press features an extensive level of automation ensuring a high net output with short makeready times. It signals a change in generation, press model and technology in the Franconian company’s press room.

978 print jobs, over 300 orders a month resulting in an average of 15 jobs a day is an impressive amount for the press’ first quarter. It printed 13.5m sheets during this time, which at this rate could equate to 55m sheets a year. This compares to the 36m printed by the company’s existing 12-year-old press. The average output over the entire quarter stood at 15,300sph. In other words, the Rapida 106 has a maximum rated output of 19,000sph. The press can also run stably for a longer period of time at 20,000sph, depending on the product or board. A display screen above the press shows its current speed.

Tuned for performance

An important contribution to ensuring an outstanding level of productivity are parallel makeready processes, such as automatic plate changing with DriveTronic SPC, simultaneous coating forme changing (SFC) as well as CleanTronic Multi automatic washing units. Further key features include automatic colour control (QualiTronic ColorControl) including a PDF scanner (DensiTronic PDF) and a plinth measuring 900mm (35.4in), which allows for the 1.6m-high (4ft 11in) piles to be handled with nonstop logistics and makes better use of the freight volume of heavy goods vehicles. Nonstop operation is possible for substrates up to 350g/m² (225lbs) at full speed. 

CARTONIC managing director Fridolin Leis describes the Rapida 106’s start-up phases as particularly short. After an exemplary press installation and inauguration in December 2013, the anticipated results have already been achieved in the first few months of operation. Makeready times have halved and production output has increased by more than 50 per cent.

Under the umbrella brand CARTONIC Packaging Group

With folding carton expert Fridolin Leis responsible for technology and his colleague Klaus-Dirk Breitbach in charge of marketing and sales at the helm, the folding carton activities of the WEIG Group as the largest private board manufacturer in Europe are intended to be pooled centrally under the brand name CARTONIC Packaging Group. Along with the site in Emskirchen, there are three further facilities in Minden, Georgsmarienhütte and Nordhausen, Germany. All of the sites are specialised: the site in Georgsmarienhütte is orientated to volume production with its large-format kit and supplies the fine flute plant in Nordhausen with printed top liners. The site in Emskirchen is responsible for high-quality finishing, and the focus in Minden is on high-speed gluing with staggered and interrupted glue lines. As a former Melitta printing house, today the company primarily produces products for the well-known coffee roaster. When more capacity or a higher level of flexibility is needed, a job can be produced simultaneously at the other plants. The CARTONIC Packaging Group can thus offer the flexibility and site proximity of the individual companies as well as the strength of a packaging group. Furthermore, production peaks can be more easily distributed. Sometimes customers ask for update solutions, here the name CARTONIC Packaging Group once more stands for safety.

Before the Rapida 106 was installed standard industry tests on presses from other manufacturers were carried out. In terms of job changing and start-up times this makeready champion from KBA met the expectations of the print experts in Emskirchen perfectly. When configuring the press a focus was placed on everything that the packaging printers need to stay one step ahead in the future. The number of inking units allows printing in Hexachrome as well as with Euroscale and sufficient special inks. The two coaters facilitate various finishing combinations with conventional and UV systems up to high-quality spot coatings.

Low-migration production

The Rapida 106 uses little alcohol and low-migration inks when printing packaging for food. Many of the packaging products for confectionary produced in Emskirchen are similar to primary packaging. Migration is a topic of great importance and is increasingly receiving the attention necessary with regard to the manufacture of packaging which comes into direct contact with food. The CARTONIC Packaging Group now has the best prerequisites for low-migration packaging production. Under the name UniFood the Weig Group has developed recycled board with an approved effective barrier on the substrate’s inner surface and put it into serial production. The board is designed to meet the demands for secure food packaging with a barrier against mineral oil migration. Recycling, including the collection of raw material, is carried out by WEIG itself ensuring that the entire process from the selection of raw materials up to the produced board is controlled and monitored. Furthermore, the firm has its own laboratory for monitoring and analysing the production process.

Along with packaging for food, the Group also produces packaging for non-food items. There is an extensive customer storage facility (3,200m²), typical in many packaging plants, as well as a creative area in which new and from time to time award-winning packaging solutions are developed. This area also focuses on the visual design of the packaging. As the graphic design of the product is usually carried out by an external agency, this department mainly makes adjustments or changes.

Today the companies belonging to the CARTONIC Packaging Group process some 50,000 tonnes of board a year. The Group employs 360 people at four production sites. Some 90 employees work in Emskirchen alone at a production and storage site measuring nearly 6,000m².


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Label & Packaging Editor

Jennifer Matt

Patrick Henry, Section Editor
Pat has covered graphic communications for nearly 30 years as a reporter, an editor, and a commentator.


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