KBA at Grafitalia: crisis management through innovation

High-tech offset and workflows in Milan

(PresseBox) ( Würzburg, )
Italy, along with Germany, the UK and France, is one of the four biggest print markets in Europe and has a reputation for quality books and catalogues that extends far beyond its frontiers. Until just a few years ago it was KBA's biggest market for offset litho presses, ahead of Germany and the USA. KBA's Compacta presses have also made it a prominent player in the Italian commercial web press market. These have recently been joined by some big press lines for leading newspaper publishers.

Even though national economic stagnation has impacted on investment by Italian printers for some time, and has now been exacerbated by the global recession, KBA anticipates a return to strong growth once the crisis has passed. The stand it shared with subsidiary KBA-Italia in hall 9 at the Grafitalia trade fair therefore functioned as a forum for promoting customer contacts with an eye to future sales.

New KBA Rapida 75 - ideal for small family businesses

Italy has a preponderance of small, family-run print enterprises, and KBA targeted them at Grafitalia with a Rapida 75. There may be faster and more highly automated presses, but these also command a much higher price, and many printers prefer to go for low cost, ease of handling and maintenance, a small footprint and low energy consumption. This is where the 15,000sph Rapida 75, press lines of which have shipped all over the world since its launch at Drupa last year, really comes into its own. Although the model at Grafitalia had a standard four-colour configuration with semi-automatic plate changing, the Rapida 75 is available with up to eight printing units, an anilox coater and autoconvertible perfecting. Alongside the standard 530 x 750mm (20.8 x 29.5in) format for commercial printers there is a 605 x 750mm (23.8 x 29.5in) version which is sure to appeal to packaging and label printers.

Rapida 106 world makeready champion an ace at coating too

At the last Grafitalia in May 2006 KBA exhibited a six-colour Rapida 105 with an inline hybrid coating capability. Three years later it showed a similar configuration, but of the 105's new-generation successor, the 740 x 1,060mm (29 x 41.73in) Rapida 106 with dedicated plate-cylinder drives and a raft of new automation modules for enhancing quality and cutting makeready. It also featured a coater with extended delivery, a board fitment, DriveTronic SIS no-sidelay infeed, DriveTronic SPC simultaneous plate changing, automatic preregistration with Plate-Ident, QualiTronic Professional (including inline colour density control) and DensiTronic PDF for the online comparison of the printed sheets with the original PDF. With the hybrid capability it is possible to create some fascinating coating effects. The Rapida 106's outstanding quality, productivity and flexibility when printing runs of any length was demonstrated "live" at Grafitalia. There are already plenty of satisfied owners in Italy, but none of them boasts such a high-spec press as the one at the show.

KBA Complete and Logica Sistemi offer integrated workflows

Independent consultancy KBA Complete and its technology partners Hiflex and Logica Sistemi are happy to provide information on the new options now possible for process optimisation. Optimising production sequences via a management information system (MIS) can boost earnings and customer focus on a sustainable basis. At Grafitalia demos were given on how to exploit optimisation potential from the perspective of users in the various departments of a printing plant, with a focus on the interplay of the sundry processes involved and the integration of customers and suppliers in the production chain. The Hiflex MIS software and Logica Sistemi systems favoured by KBA Complete were developed specifically for the print and media industry and are suitable both for a digital print workflow and for analogue sheetfed and web offset presses.

Service personnel were also on hand at Grafitalia to provide information on the wide range of upgrades, special services and maintenance packages available for KBA presses.
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