Koenig & Bauer launches new large format presses
Press giant Koenig & Bauer has launched a new generation of its large format Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 sheetfed offset presses, aimed at packaging and display printers.
The new presses are highly automated, and have few manual operating elements anywhere on the press. Practically all processes can be controlled by means of touch panels or the main console. They have the same new innovative design as all the latest Koenig & Bauer presses.
Incorporation of a high-speed package raises the top speeds another notch, allowing them to handle 18,000sph on the Rapida 145 with a maximum sheet size of 1,060 x 1,450mm, and 17,000sph on the Rapida 164, which prints on sheets up to 1,205 x 1,640mm.
Dave Lewis, managing director of Koenig & Bauer ANZ said, "The new Rapida 145 and Rapida 165 have the same innovations that the company has on the new Rapida 106 X. Makeready time has been slashed, the press is fully automated, simulatenous plate changing for instance takes a minute for all units. With ultra low makready and high speed printing the new presses will take productivity to a new level."
Lewis says the Rapida 145 is suited to the ANZ packaging market, with the Rapida 165 to local display printers.
The operating concept has been given a makeover. Large touch panels on the feeder, on the first printing unit and at the delivery render many buttons and other operating elements superfluous. All routine processes that are normally activated decentrally from the console can therefore be controlled just as conveniently on the press itself. A prominent status indicator at the delivery provides instant updates on the current press status. Different colours are used to signal whether the press is in production, standby or maintenance mode.
Cameras for inline colour control and sheet inspection at resolutions of up to 260 dpi check every single sheet during production. Errors and defects are visualised on the wallscreen, and reports are produced to verify the quality.
The ErgoTronic console features a touchscreen monitor and a large wallscreen. All relevant information is presented on both displays, which are clearly structured. A host of additional functions allow production to be monitored in real time. Production data and other information, such as CO2 emissions, are available at a glance.
Autonomous printing of a job list, app-based control of many press functions, access to the Customer Community as a central point of contact between users and the manufacturer, and a function to start individual press programmes using presets based on the data supplied or previously saved – the console is the digital hub for all production processes in the printshop.
This applies to quality assurance in equal measure. Three different systems combine inline colour control (with the option of grey balance control) with functions for production monitoring (QualiTronic PrintCheck), comparison with the pre-press PDF (QualiTronic PDFCheck) and content inspection (QualiTronic PDF HighRes).
Koenig & Bauer says the new Rapida large format generation brings significant improvements for the core application area of packaging printing in particular. Substrate versatility was already broad, allowing board thicknesses of up to 1.2mm or 1.6 mm. Universal gripper systems make this possible. On the new presses, the range of substrates handled can be increased further still – even beyond the 2 mm mark – by simply converting the printing units.
According to Koenig & Bauer the new capabilities represent a quantum leap forward for companies that work with heavy board grades, or offer post-printing on corrugated board involving printing and finishing a full spectrum in an inline process. Other important changes concern the options to allow increased pile heights.
Five variants are available, covering the range from 185 to – as a new option – 925 mm. Raising piles by 185, 370 or 555 mm can also be achieved by placing the press on cast blocks. The additional outlay for special press foundations can then be saved.
Many less visible details have also been overhauled. These include the sheet guiding elements in the delivery and delivery extension (dryer section). Modifications like this have been paramount in realising top production speeds of up to 18,000 sheets/hr with an even broader range of substrates and finishing applications. Thanks to a dynamic sheet brake, visibility and accessibility at the delivery remain unhindered. There is no need for complicated sheet braking systems or delivery grippers.
Long-life gripper shafts with automatic lubrication and a reduced number of manual lubrication points help simplify maintenance. The same applies to the new AC drive motor of the large-format Rapidas. It is not only practically maintenance-free, but also reduces energy consumption.
All the existing automation and high performance features of the previous models are, of course, still available for the new Rapida generation. This begins with the sheer endless choice of press configurations, with up to 16 printing and finishing units, together with options such as a reel-to-sheet feeder, automatically convertible perfecting, coating and drying units, a double-pile delivery, and extends to a range of non-stop pile changing and logistics components. This means that individual press configurations can be tailored specifically to the very specific requirements of packaging and commercial printers.
The company says when it comes to automation, the new Rapida generation sets a new benchmark in large-format printing. The sidelay-free infeed DriveTronic SIS, simultaneous plate changing with DriveTronic SPC, the disengaging of unused inking units as a standard feature, CleanTronic cloth-based washing systems for parallel washing processes, fast coating forme changes with DriveTronic SFC and anilox roller changing with AniSleeve are just a few of the outstanding automation components that enable many processes to run concurrently at job changeover and thereby contribute to the shortest ever makeready times. The dryer modules, too, are manufactured by Koenig & Bauer.