KBA North America Introduces Two New Super Large-Format Presses

Press release from the issuing company

Sept. 1, 2003: KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, VT, is announcing the availability of two new super-large format presses. The Rapida 185 and 205 are available for the commercial, book, and packaging printing markets. “We’ve been receiving requests for a new generation of super large format presses from all over the world,” says Ralf Sammeck, President and CEO of KBA North America. “The market required a highly automated, high quality new press in this format to keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of their users. With this in mind, our design engineers used our proven automation and user-friendly features of our medium and large-format Rapidas as their yardstick to produce these highly-automated super large format presses.” The first installation of the Rapida 205 in the U.S. will take place at Challenge Printing, Eden Prairie, Minn. Challenge Printing, a 400-employee firm located outside of Minneapolis, will receive its Rapida 205 six-color press with extended delivery at the end of 2004. “We purchased the super large-format press because our customers are looking for larger, more impactful pieces in the retail environment,” says Bob Lothenbach, CEO of Challenge. “Our largest press is a KBA Rapida 64” sheetfed press. The new Rapida 205 fits perfectly with our plans to expand our display printing market. We already have a sizeable market share in the point-of-purchase, commercial, and packaging markets.” The Rapida 205’s sheet measures 59 ½” x 80 ¾” while the Rapida 185 sheet measures 51” x 72 ¾”. Both presses are available in up to six printing units. The maximum printing speed for the Rapida 185 is 11,000 sheets per hour and the maximum printing speed for the Rapida 205 is 9,000 sheets per hour. Both presses print on a variety of substrates, including paper, board, and corrugated. The superlarge presses boast a new shaftless AC four-drive feeder that transports the pile in one smooth, continuous movement. The feeder is now a standard specification for medium and LF Rapidas. The same technology is being used to drive the auxiliary pile in non-stop feeders. The suction head and suction-tape feed table are also driven by servomotors, which helps eliminate vibration. Further advancements are the sheet deceleration to 25% on the feed table and automatic skew correction for the sheet stream. Remote adjustment of the front and side lays is a standard feature on both the Rapida 185 and 205. Both presses feature a brand new design that incorporates a monolithic substructure box with mounted inking unit towers to provide a single torsionally rigid block. The superlarge presses are big. A sheet pile on the 205 can weigh as much as 3.3 tons. A single impression cylinder on the Rapida 205 weighs around 5.5 tons or as much as three mid-range cars. The Rapida 185 and 205 presses are equipped with two different double-sheet sensors. The new Rapidas also feature smear-free sheet transfer. Suction units eliminate the risk of set-off in the nip, while air-blown sheet guides, replacing outdated drum shells, generate a cushion of suction air on which the sheets float contact-free. All air settings can be stored in the console computer. Universal gripper pretensioning at the impression cylinders and transfer systems dispense with the need to recalibrate the grippers whenever the stock thickness is changed. The Rapida 185 and 205 presses are equipped with an exceptionally short inking unit with just 17 rollers that provides quick changeover, process stability, and short washing times. The short inking unit provides for optimum heat dissipation and avoids unwanted heat build-up in the inking unit. This design detail improves the ink flow characteristics by maintaining a highly constant viscosity. Due to the large plate formats being handled, the list of standard features to facilitate operation and shorten makeready on the Rapida 185 and 205 includes a fully-automatic plate changing system. To enable manual register corrections to be accomplished as easily as possible, which are by no means unusual on sheets of this size, the printer will still find the proven system of split rear clamping bars. Both the Rapida 185 and 205 are equipped with Automatic Camera Register Control (ACR Control) that provide the printer with an extremely efficient system for fast color registration even in this large format. The ACR Control system—featuring a camera, a PC, and the corresponding software—allow the printer to correct register settings by way of automatic or manual measurements. The superlarge Rapida 185 and 205 can be configured with an anilox coater. A line of dampeners prevents the doctor blade from flexing during operation. The dampeners automatically regulate the contact pressure at several points along the blade length, thus ensuring that a uniform film of coating is applied. This prolongs the service life of both the doctor blades and the anilox roller. In addition, there is no need to remove the doctor chamber when changing the anilox roller. An automatic cleaning system makes manual cleaning obsolete. The Rapida 185 and 205 presses can be equipped with the appropriate dryer systems for hybrid technology. Complementing standard applications using conventional inks and water-based coatings, hybrid technology combines the properties of mineral-oil-based and UV-reactive inks. The fast drying and the reliable compatibility of the binder systems with the UV coating guarantee excellent high-gloss results. The delivery on the Rapida 185 and 205 is available in a variety of versions, according to the type of product to be printed, and the delivery extension accepts a wide choice of drying and finishing systems. An automatic nonstop roller system is also available to facilitate handling.