One big step forward into large format with a KBA Rapida 142
Press release from the issuing company
May 4, 2007 -- Last October representatives from Eurographic Press (EP) paid a visit to Spanish printing firm Novoprint in Sant Andreu de la Barca (Barcelona). The purpose of the visit was not only to see the company’s web offset and B1 (40in) sheetfed presses but also to learn why Novoprint, which has been active in the field for the past 20 years, has installed a 1,020 x 1,420mm (56in) five-colour KBA Rapida 142.
For some EP professionals, a tour of the 200 square meters (2,150 square feet) hall housing a graphic arts museum – founder Andrés Bellido’s hobby – complete with “operators” manning the machines, took them back to their early years. “We even have a wooden proofing press using stones instead of plates. We would love to learn how to operate it.”
"Novoprint is a family-owned company employing 150 people. It has an annual turnover of 14 million euro and is growing at a rate of 20 per cent per year," says Sergi Bellido, who is a member of the management board along with Andrés Bellido and two partners. Andrés Bellido started up his own printing company after working for several years in the technical department of Printer Industria Gráfica, part of Germany’s Bertelsmann Group. At present the web press department operates two Compactas and one Rotoman, all two-colour versions for printing 110 x 180mm (4 3/4 x 7in) paperbacks. In addition three Roland 700 sheetfed presses are used to print coloured books, reviews and commercials. Two 1,550mm (61in) guillotines, three B1 folders, a line of stitchers (Müller Martini), a line of Acoro perfect binders and CTP equipment from Creo and Kodak round off the technology with which Novoprint integrates all stages of the production process to guarantee a complete service. With 60% of sales in the publishing market and more than 31% exported, mainly to France, Switzerland, Belgium and the UK, the company decided to enter the large-format sheetfed market, hence the Rapida 142.
Why not a Rapida 162 or even a 205?
One of the directors answers this question: "We move ahead step by step, and when we make a move we study it carefully. The next step may well be an even larger format." The question was raised because models are popular. There are a lot of Rapida 162 presses in Spain, mostly printing books, and even half a dozen of the huge 205 have been delivered to large-format screen printers in the Madrid area.
Has the Rapida 142 fulfilled expectations at Novoprint? "We use the press to print runs of up to 10,000 copies: above that, we may pass the job to the web offset presses. It may not sound logical, but with a press that combines a great performance with a high capacity we can reduce prices and move into a sector that is normally the preserve of sheetfed," says Andrés Bellido, adding enthusiastically: "In the two weeks after starting up the Rapida 142 we printed over two million sheets of substrates ranging from 85 to 125gsm."
He highlights the fact that the Rapida 142 has dramatically reduced start-up waste, and is fascinated by the fact that with the integrated DensiTronic S system job parameters are transferred directly from pre-press to the machine console, allowing the operator to "control the dynamic colour". This leaves him free to focus on the printed sheets instead of continuously having to check the colours. As a result colour-related waste has been reduced by approximately 80%.
Andrés Bellido has amassed a wealth of expertise in installing printing presses, originally as technical director at Printer Industria Gráfica and now at the head of Novoprint, and he is keen learn more about the Rapida 142. KBA sheetfed presses are distributed in Spain by Ilasa Graphic, while web presses are the responsibility of Lauvic (Catalonia). Although he had no experience with the KBA sheetfed dealer, and two weeks training were scheduled prior to its inauguration, the big Rapida was up and running just one week after delivery.
"For Novoprint, expanding from B1 into B0 meant entering a whole new market, double-format printing," says Sergi Bellido, who stresses again the philosophy of quality and customer service for which the company is known throughout Spain. This, together with the Bellidos’ business acumen and leadership, is driving Novoprint forward. In fact it will shortly move up among the top twelve printing companies in Catalonia.
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