One in three KBA Rapida 105 Sheetfed Presses Offer No-sidelay Infeed
Press release from the issuing company
KBA North America, a leading press manufacturer based in Williston, Vt., is announcing that its revolutionary sheet infeed process known as the no-sidelay Sensoric Infeed System (SIS) has seen significant increase in growth. The SIS has become a key selling point of the 18,000 sheet per hour Rapida 105 41” format press on the world market, since it reduces or bypasses troublesome stages in sheet feeding. By doing this, it streamlines the production process, ensures quicker turn-around times and bigger profits. In fact, one in three KBA Rapida 105 machines is delivered with the SIS.
Printing press manufacturers and the graphics industry had for years been trying to simplify the process of feeding and aligning the sheet in a sheetfed offset press, a process complicated by the high running speeds involved. One of the chief aims was to make the process stable and reliable without the need for manual intervention—even with frequent changes between different printing substrates. KBA’s designers achieved this feat in the no-sidelay infeed system.
Another KBA first at a glance
In traditional mechanical or pneumatic sidelays, such as those still the norm even in modern sheetfed offset presses, the incoming sheet is first braked, then stabilized in the front lays, and then aligned at the sidelay tabs. This happens in a pulling process involving many subsidiary steps before the sheet goes through the swing infeed. In KBA's SIS, a sensor continually scans the edge of the sheet. This eliminates the risk of the scanning result being negatively influenced by the paper fibers. The gripper bar is prealigned in the single-revolution transfer drum according to the information transmitted about the position of the sheet edge. Thus the bar is already roughly aligned when it receives the sheet. Precise lateral displacement of the gripper bar enables the sheet to be exactly positioned before being transferred to the first impression cylinder.
Five sheets per second perfectly aligned
The incoming sheet can be adjusted precisely along the entire route from the swing gripper to the impression cylinder—which means there is almost twice as much time available as in traditional systems. This is essential given that up to five sheets per second must be aligned in register at production speeds of 18,000 sheets per hour. This figure alone indicates just how important no-sidelay infeed is for high-performance sheetfed offset printing.
One of the key advantages of the innovative KBA solution is that the feed process in the front lays is not interrupted by a sidelay process. Because of this, there is more time for stabilization and alignment of the sheet. SIS reduces malfunctions and enables a more precise infeed register to be achieved both with thin material, which tends to buckle, and rigid sheets, which can jump out of the front lays at high speed. There is no need to adjust the previous sidelay manually when changing printing substrates. Mechanical damage to sensitive printing substrates is also eliminated.
Thirty machines with SIS were delivered to KBA customers in 2005, and the trend is on the rise: Sales in 2007 are expected to be eight or nine times what they were in 2005. The intelligent feed system is in use on special coating presses such as a 14-unit Rapida 105 at Bolger Vision Beyond Print, Minneapolis.
Customers love the new KBA infeed system
“The SIS is the best sidelay feature we’ve seen on a press,” says Don Smith, pressroom manager at Bolger. “Everything is automatic. We don’t have to worry about setting up the side guide for different types of stock. Since we can’t see SIS, you tend to forget that it is there. But it has certainly saved us time and allows our press operators time to do other jobs because they don’t have to worry about adjusting the sidelay. Another positive feature of the KBA SIS system is that it has no side guide wheel and therefore we have no side guide wheel marks.”
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