The ambitious growth strategy pursued by Brazil’s no. 1 large-format printer, Grafica Brasil, has made it a showcase for both large- and medium-format Rapida sheetfed offset presses from Koenig & Bauer AG. In September last year its fourth KBA press – a Rapida 130a perfector – came on stream at the main plant in Brasilia. The company also has operations in São Paulo and Goiania.
The production plant on a 20,000m2 (5-acre) site in Brasilia’s Parque Grafico specialises in high-end magazines and books. While Grafica’s biggest customer is the Brazilian government with its many ministries, which account for 70 per cent of total output, it also prints quality products for prominent publishing houses and advertising agencies. In recent years it has invested more than 30 million real (US$17.6m) in pre-press, print production and finishing.
Choice of large format was transformative
Founded in 1966, Grafica Brasil installed its first KBA press, a four-colour Rapida 105, at its Brasilia plant in 2002. This was later joined by a Rapida 105 Universal coater press. Shortly after Drupa 2008 the company expanded into large format with the addition of a four-colour KBA Rapida 130a. It was the first large-format press to come on stream in Brazil for many years.
Company president Romeu Jose de Oliveira has never regretted this decision: “The investment had a transformative impact on our development and our collaboration with KBA. We seek to apply the most advanced technology in every aspect of production, and to offer our customers the highest standards of quality and productivity. The press’s larger format and faster throughput doubled our capacity.”
Less than two years later Grafica Brasil added a second Rapida 130a, this time a two-backing-two perfector instead of a straight-on version. The new press incorporates automated plate changers and washing systems, LWC- and board-printing capabilities, and rollers for low-alcohol printing. Other features include IR dryers, ErgoTronic ACR Professional automatic registration, and a LogoTronic production management system to which the other Rapidas are also linked.
Head of production Romulo Gregorio da Silva says: “The Rapida 130a that recently went live has all the strengths of its sister press, plus even greater flexibility. We can now print multiple perfecting jobs in one pass, which slashes turnaround times. Our customers often take their time placing orders, then expect rapid fulfilment. With the two large-format Rapidas in triple-shift operation, we’ve got it nailed.”
Close alliance for the future
Grafica Brasil president de Oliveira is delighted with the improvement in communications since KBA changed its Brazilian agency. “Since Deltagraf Representacoes Commerciais took over there has been a big improvement in every aspect of after-sales service. We enjoy a close relationship with KBA and are proud to be one of the most advanced sheetfed printers in South America. KBA has played a major role in our successful development and has always lived up to expectations with compelling technology.”