New Small Format and Digital Print Division at KBA Radebeul
On May 27 Karat Digital Press GmbH merged with its parent company, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), following the termination in April of the joint venture KBA entered with Israel-based Scitex Corp in 1998. The former subsidiary has been integrated into the group’s sheetfed offset plant in Radebeul as a small format and digital print division headed by Jens Junker. The division also handles service activities for the 46 Karat (OEM Presstek) and the ultra-compact five-colour KBA Genius 52 developed jointly by Metronic, a company located in Veitshöchheim near KBA’s Würzburg headquarters. The Genius 52, like the 74 Karat, has waterless short-train inking units, but unlike the Karat it does not feature on-press imaging.
KBA, which took over all development and sales activities for the 74 Karat DI offset press last year and increased its interest in the company to 99 per cent early this year, is confident that the merger and the group’s incursion into smaller formats will enable it to carve out a sizeable share of the high-growth market for short-run colour.
Since the B2 74 Karat was launched on the market more than 60 presses - including the coater version that made its debut at Ipex 2002 - have come on stream in Europe and the USA. Many have been the press of choice for pre-press providers wanting to expand into print. The first 74 Karat presses will shortly ship to Algeria and the Middle East. Initial orders from the Far East and Latin America, where the Karat was launched more recently, are also in the pipeline.
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