The contract was signed at drupa 2008. And the press has now been in production for the past year: The first Rapida 105 with facilities for UV and plastics printing in Eastern India. The six-colour coater press with extended delivery and both board-handling and plastics equipment packages was installed at packaging company York Print in Kolkata. It is not the company's first press from Radebeul. A Rapida 104 was already purchased back in 1993, and York Print had before that used a whole series of older Planeta models. Alongside the possibility to tailor the press configuration to individual needs, KBA's acknowledged know-how in the fields of UV and plastics printing was a decisive factor in the decision to invest in another Rapida press. One of York Print's specialities, for example, is the use of metal-coated boards, with a special focus on sophisticated cosmetics packaging.
At the end of May 2009, KBA delivered a four-colour Rapida 105 to the SGPC Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. India's Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is the parliament of the Sikh nation and as such authorised to publish the "Guru Granth Sahib", the holy scripture of the Sikhs. Today's standard version is a book of 1,430 pages. With the new Rapida 105, the SGPC is now able to produce the pages for ten editions of the Guru Granth Sahib in an hour.
The Government of Gujarat State is similarly the proud operator of a four-colour Rapida 105. The press was delivered to Government Photolitho Press in Ahmedabad, the largest city and economic centre in Gujarat, in May last year. In the meantime, it prints all the state government's official publications, in addition to an assortment of commercial work.
VFC Industries was founded in 1951 and is one of the largest packaging companies in India, with headquarters in Baska, near Baroda (on the west coast, approx. 550 km from Mumbai). VFC Industries is networked with all the major economic centres on the subcontinent, while a separate export department takes care of orders from international customers. The production portfolio stretches from folding cartons, via flexible packaging and bags, to labels. The many prizes received over the years pay testimony to both design creativity and the quality of the company's packaging products. In December 2009, VFC Industries acquired a six-colour Rapida 105 with coater, extended delivery and board-handling accessories.
Those are just four examples of the new Rapidas in service with Indian print companies. The dynamic Indian market is proving ever more important for KBA. The market share in sheetfed offset is increasing continuously, and a GDP growth of around 7 per cent is good reason for KBA to expect a further boost to the order volumes in 2010. This optimism was also confirmed by the general sentiment at customer events organised by KBA and Indo Polygraph Machinery, the KBA sales partner for sheetfed presses in India, during the first quarter of the year.
Two events in New Delhi (January) and Chennai (March) attracted print professionals from many of the country's most prominent print companies. Aditya Surana, managing director of Indo-Polygraph, was able to report on a diversity of activities and a whole string of new installations over the past 12 months. At the same time, he identified KBA's proven technology, the minimal service expenditure and effective customer support as key factors for the success of KBA presses in India. KBA sales director Dietmar Heyduck also explained to the guests in Chennai that KBA was the only major player in the print engineering industry to defy the economic crisis and return a small profit in 2009. At the forthcoming IPEX fair in Birmingham, KBA will be presenting both the Rapida 75 and the Rapida 105, two sheetfed offset presses which are ideally tailored to the needs of the Indian market. After all, as Heyduck mentioned, this international trade gathering traditionally counts many visitors from the Indian subcontinent.