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KBA users from the Czech Republic have founded the Very Smart Offset Printers Club (V.S.O.P.)
The official welcome by KBA sales director Sven Strzelczyk and Jens Junker, CEO of KBA-Grafitec, was followed by a presentation given by KBA Radebeul product manager Jens Baumann, who outlined automation concepts geared to reducing makeready times on a sheetfed offset press. By way of cost benefit analyses, he demonstrated how automation modules such as DriveTronic SPC - assuming a corresponding job structure - very quickly pay back the initial higher investment and raise a print company's profitability by enabling more jobs to be handled in a given time. DriveTronic Plate-Ident even serves three purposes: Plate detection to maximise the process reliability of plate changing, pre registration of the plates on the basis of additionally exposed register marks, and a plausibility check to ensure the correct assignment of plates to jobs and printing units. Such functions - and likewise CleanTronic and its associated components - are the key to considerable savings of time and waste. Electronic suction ring positioning on perfector presses, the video register tool ErgoTronic ACR and a whole range of QualiTronic modules for inline colour control are just a few of the many other automation solutions engineered with this same aim in mind.
After the presentation, the visitors witnessed a series of three job changeovers on an eight-colour Rapida 106 perfector. Jens Baumann and Wolfram Zehnle, head of the KBA customer centre, explained the various automation modules on the running press and showed how DriveTronic SPC, QualiTronic professional and CleanTronic interact to reduce makeready in practice. Ample time was also set aside to answer questions raised by the visitors.
KBA sales engineer Jörg Henkel devoted a second presentation to the ever more important topic of "Sense Branding & Print". As has long since been the case in the automobile industry, among airlines and in many other branches of industry, increasing attention is being paid to sensory perceptions in the consumer and luxury goods sector. Advertising materials and packaging are already lent the characteristic and unmistakeable scent, appearance or feel of a particular brand name at the time of their production. The finishing concepts elaborated by KBA permit practically all conceivable "perceptions" to be brought to paper. Jörg Henkel compared the pros and cons of different coating variants and described some of the surface effects which can be achieved. And, of course, there is no better illustration than a practical demonstration: On a six-colour Rapida 106 with inline coater, the product was first finished with just a UV gloss coating. Then, the previously unused fifth printing unit was engaged to apply an oil-based varnish, creating high-quality and register-true matt-gloss effects (hybrid technology). As a third step, finally, an additional UV effect varnish was used to give the product also a textured surface.
A further highlight of the meeting was the founding of the V.S.O.P. Club CZ as a community to promote the joint interests of KBA users in the Czech Republic. It plans to organise a variety of events to share information with and among KBA users, and in this way to further intensify the exchanges of ideas and experience between the users and the manufacturer.
A tour of the production facility, a visit to the Volkswagen Transparent Factory in Dresden and a social get-together on the River Elbe rounded off the day.
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