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Augustus Martin Buys First KBA Rapida 205 for the UK

Press release from the issuing company

June 28, 2004 -- The first UK Rapida 205, KBA’s ‘super XXL’ format sheetfed press, has been ordered by Augustus Martin, the country’s largest producer of point of purchase material and outdoor media. The London Docklands Group has also taken an option on a second Rapida 205. Through a total first phase investment package exceeding £3m ($5.5m) Augustus Martin will be reinforcing its leadership in retail and brand communication by expanding and enhancing its existing super-large sheetfed capability. Augustus Martin joint MD, Lascelle Barrow comments: “All our investment decisions are based on identifying customer needs and delivering cost or service benefits to them – the KBA 205 will fit perfectly with that aim.” The first Rapida 205, a five-colour UV machine, will be delivered to Augustus Martin’s main London plant and will be the largest sheetfed press ever installed in the UK. It will also be the world’s largest UV sheetfed offset press, as capable of printing on plastic as it is on board and paper. The new kit will complement Augustus Martin’s existing 21 KBA Rapida units which are spread across Rapida 105 and 162 models. To complete the picture Augustus Martin also has huge capacity in screen process and digital printing technology. The Rapida 205, unveiled earlier this year, cements KBA’s acknowledged supremacy in large-format sheetfed printing. The Rapida 162 range, widely accepted as the best machine available by book, poster and map printers, is now joined by the Rapida 185 that matches MAN Roland’s XXL press and which has in turn been surpassed by the 205 offering ‘super XXL’ format providing a staggering sheet size of 1510 x 2050mm (59½” x 80¾”). The Rapida 205 is truly a colossal press, its sheet pile alone weighing up to three tonnes. Whilst embracing all the benefits of the tried and tested 162 range, with over 3,000 units sold worldwide since 1995, the 205 is an entirely new press designed to provide a new benchmark in super-format printing, running at speeds up to 11,000 sheets per hour. The press offers shaftless feeding, double-sheet sensors and a swing arm infeed allowing gentle acceleration. There is an exceptionally short inking unit with just 16 rollers allowing for low wastage and short washing times. The Rapida 205 also offers unrivalled substrate flexibility including a wide range of paper, board and metallised stocks from 0.1mm up to 1.2mm (0.004” - 0.048”) and even 1.6mm (0.063”) on request. “The Rapida 205 is well suited for Augustus Martin’s varied range of applications and customers,” says KBA UK managing director, Christian Knapp. “I am so delighted that we continue our long and successful partnership.” He adds, “This Rapida 205 is truly the leader in XXL format and this proven technology will extend our successful growth in large format. Over 11 Rapida 205 presses have been sold worldwide in the past year and I see a strong UK potential for this machine. I am hopeful that KBA UK will shortly be making further announcements regarding major UK printing industry investment in KBA technology.” The Augustus Martin Group, founded in 1966 by the present joint managing directors Lascelle Barrow and Barrie Dix, operates a policy of sustained investment in the latest offset, screen and digital printing equipment. Today the Group has a turnover set to touch £40m ($73m) and provides employment for nearly 350 staff.