Following a temporary lull, contracts for shipments of medium- and large-format presses over the past few months have included a gratifyingly large number for prominent packaging and display printers in Germany, Europe and overseas. These recent sales and installations have enabled KBA to defend its pole position in packaging press technology. The group's strong standing in this high-growth sector is one reason why the decline in orders for its sheetfed presses compared to the previous year has been less severe in the second six months than at rival German and Japanese manufacturers. Packaging printing is even attracting the occasional pure-play commercial printer keen to diversify into markets that are less exposed to financial and economic cycles.
Three LF coater presses for Poland
Polish packaging printers placed three orders in quick succession for large-format Rapida presses from KBA. The first, a six-colour Rapida 162a with dual coating facilities, will be handed over this month to TFP n Kornik, south of Poznan. Werner Kenkel in Krzycko Male will take delivery of an almost identical press line in summer 2010. At about the same time, Kartonpak in Nova Sol, to date a specialist for medium format, will be venturing into the large-format sheetfed offset arena with a KBA Rapida 142 in a six-colour coater version.
Despite the recession there have also been some interesting installations and new order bookings in Italy, the USA and Canada. For example, not long ago Industria Grafica Vedano in Burago unpacked a six-colour Rapida 142 coater press with extended delivery and carton printing capability. In late summer US print enterprise W.G. Anderson in Hamel, Minnesota, pushed the button on a Rapida 142 with seven printing units, a coater, automatic plate changing and automatic nonstop facility at the feeder. A similar press recently went to Canada's Master Packaging in Charlotte Town on Prince Edward Island. Fellow Canadian packaging printer Boehmer Box in Ontario is busy installing a six-colour Rapida 142 coater press. A.V.I.D. Ink in Los Angeles, California, has just fired up a Rapida 162 five-colour coater press whose prints will later be transferred to textiles.
Raft of Rapidas for German packaging printers
Packaging printers in Germany have also been defying the recession with a string of counter-cyclical investments. One of them, Thimm Display in Wörrstadt, had worked with presses from Radebeul some years previously. Following a brief interlude in which it switched to equipment from other manufacturers Thimm returned to KBA technology in the form of a Rapida 142 six-colour coater press which went live a few days ago. Two other big German packaging printers will get nearly similar equipped Rapida large size presses at the beginning of 2010, too. Bernholz Verpackungen in Bad Salzuflen opted for an eight-colour Rapida 106 dual-coater press that is scheduled to ship this month.
Two east German packaging printers, Mugler Werbe- und Verpackungsdruck in Wüstenbrand and Liebau Display & Verpackung in Mühlhausen, also signed up for KBA's innovative Rapida technology. A plinth-mounted Rapida 106 six-colour coater press with DriveTronic SPC dedicated drives went to Mugler, while Liebau took charge of a Rapida 105 seven-colour coater press.